Monday, March 16, 2015

"Project Runway" Star Althea Harper Heats Up Fashion Week Cleveland

        Growing up in Dayton, Althea Harper loved sketching figures and being creative. Then after college she landed a spot on Project Runway and her life changed. She eventually launched her own line, Althea Harper, and has dressed stars such as the Kardashian sisters. The blond bombshell warmed up Fashion Week Cleveland's Retail's Night Out at the 5th Street Arcades on March 13 with her resort wear. The historic building was filled with boutique duds for a market-style shopping experience where patrons could talk to the designers about their creations. See more of her line at the runway show and black-tie reception March 21 at the Arcade. We talked with the Ohioan about her favorite design and what's inspiring her now.

Althea Harper, third from the left, stands with models wearing designs from  her resort Althea Harper line.

Q: How has your fashion line, Althea Harper, evolved?
A: On Project Runway, I started off with evening gowns and the judges really responded to my ready-to-wear designs. I now have a swimwear, activewear, baby and resort line.

Q: Tell me about your favorite design.
A: It was a knitwear project that I worked on in my junior year of college. It was an extravagant coat down to the floor with two double layers, and it took me three months to design. 

Q: What's inspiring your designs now?
A: Nature! I love looking at animals.  They have different colors, but they have fun prints.  God really figured it out when he put it all together. The colors float together and come together well.  

Q: What's it like having your designs shown at Fashion Week Cleveland?
A: It's always nice to see my designs come down the runway because it glamorizes them, but  I appreciate this [Fashion Week Cleveland] because you can see someone actually wear it.

Q: What's next for you?
A: Right now, I want to continue with my resort line it's  self entitled [Althea Harper] and the swimwear line. I'm still figuring things out. I just had a daughter 10 months ago, so I'm trying to figure out how to find that balance.  

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