The design process is one that I love. From the inspiration that triggers the entire collection, to sketching, creating mood boards, choosing fabrics, to fittings—those are just a few steps. What was equally important and satisfying to me was meeting the clients and discussing how we could accomplish the best fit for the FOTINI garment she had chosen or sometimes just about their wardrobe in general. I always wanted to help women be the best version of themselves. I have helped design a complete wedding experience from the aesthetic and theme, to the attire, including selecting and making the floral arrangements. I have been asked to advise on the interior decor of summer homes. This, of course, is partly lifestyle, but what I find most rewarding is helping women achieve their objectives and empowering them, especially through fashion. Even as a little girl, I was the child that other little girls confided in and came to for help.
At my talks, I share my knowledge with my audience. When I decided to take my career to a new level, I knew it had to involve interacting with other women. I loved dressing them, whether they were my own daughters, or strangers I had met five minutes before who had come to a presentation and been swept away by the intricacy of the tailoring, the luxuriousness of the fabrics, or the romance of the designs. Unlike most designers, I loved getting down on the dressing room floor to pin hems myself and make sure any alterations were perfect. And my clients loved that I did this.
It is all too easy to get lost in the frenzy of fashion. My role is to help women navigate and find the route to success through their visual representation. To clearly see and understand what the return on investment (ROI) is when you invest in your appearance, and how it can actualize what you envision is the key, whatever your goals might be. My role is to help women in finding the best path through fashion individuality, one that is perfectly tailored to their selves, their lives, their dreams, and their ambitions.
Your personal brand needs to be consistent, so that it becomes your signature look wherever you may be going.
Every woman must command the “right” attention and make the “right” impression. You are your own celebrity and muse—a niche!
My message is, “I don’t want to change you, I want to enhance you.” And I do. I want to help every woman I interact with to learn.
My book Alterations in Life: Finding My Way in Fashion is my authentic story about the many goals and dreams I pursued from my corporate career all the way to my current life in fashion design, and the tough lessons I learned along the way. I hope to use my life story to help guide all women to boldly explore and express their own authentic selves–in fashion, business, and in life.
Adapted from an excerpt of Alterations in Life: Finding My Way in Fashion. Copyright © 2020 by Fotini Copeland. Published by Advantage Media Group.