Find your passion and live it- some of the best advice out there. But, advice that seldom few are able to follow. First, it requires having the personal insight to look inside and recognize what your true passion is. And then, even if you can identify your life’s vision, you then need the courage to dedicate your heart and mind to it. Fear holds back some of us and then for others, life inevitably throws up roadblocks that mandate a permanent detour. So, when you do see someone going after their dream, there must be pure admiration for that person.
That’s the way we felt about Fashion Designer and Producer, Conrad Lamour.
We’ve admired Conrad’s work for quite some time. So, when we started exchanging messages and had a few phone calls with the creator of Brazilian Fashion Week USA, our admiration started to turn into an infatuation. We couldn’t wait to meet the self-taught designer and get a closer look at his glamorous designs and hear his story.
Born and raised in Boston, fashion surrounded Conrad as a child. His mother, as many of us do, loved her shoes. And to complement her shoe addiction, she often found herself making clothes to match. If there was something she wanted, she just made it. At the age of 12, Conrad started following his mother’s lead by altering his own clothes.
He felt most connected to this undercurrent of fashion during family trips to NYC, where he and his family would go school clothes shopping and visit his aunt, a buyer for Barney’s and stylist to many celebrity clients.
So, there’s young Conrad taking in the sights of NYC, hanging out with his vogue aunt, watching his mom pick out fabrics to create her own designs, and then he starts to sketch.
Not dresses, but Superheroes- yes, that’s right. Young Conrad loved to draw comic books, and he started to sketch these characters compulsively. This is what he thought he was going to be when he grew up- a cartoonist or illustrator. And when you look at the power suits for which he is known, it’s quite obvious where the influence of the strong, well-tailored yet feminine, suits was drawn (literally and figuratively). It was in his youth, in the female characters of his sketches.
By the age of 22, Conrad is no longer just altering his clothes, but he’s starting to make his own; and they’re getting him attention. He’s finally grasping what his life’s passion is. It’s not about the comic books, it’s about the clothes.
In 1998, he had the opportunity for his first fashion show at Bentley University. Having never designed for other people other than himself, this posed a huge challenge. But, not one to let fear prevent him from grasping an opportunity, he worked like hell to sketch the show’s portfolio until it was perfect, and in the end it was a huge success.
In the late 90’s, as an emerging designer he starts to connect with the international scene by producing fashion shows and presenting his collections at places like Aria. (If you’re over 35, and are a true Bostonian, you HAVE to remember Aria. Hint: it was next to the Wang and always had gorgeous model types blasting past the long line.) Good old Conrad was picking up traction.
Before he knew it, Nouveau Fashion Gallery at the High End Copley Mall was selling Conrad Lamour’s women’s suits. These power suits, carefully tailored, with thoughtfully chosen fabrics have become Conrad’s calling card. How amazing is this white suit?
Conrad’s international clientele quickly grows, and he starts to produce exclusive pieces. Not just limited to the clothes, but swimwear, handbags, and accessories. He also picks up celebrity clients like Donna Summer and Puff Daddy’s and crew.
During the millennium decade, glam and the Studio 54 vibe heavily influenced his designs. One collection was based on gold fabrics and leopard prints (which you can view at the bottom of the post.) In 2009, he debuted his sequin collection and every year following, he’s included a sequin dress because of the demand from his clients.
We had a blast trying on the glam sequin dresses.
But, really, it is the women’s power suit that he loves to create. And honestly, what woman doesn’t love to wear a suit that makes her feel both strong and sexy. THAT is empowering. He chooses fabrics with care. For example, this suit with the Greek key for success is made with an upholstery fabric and the lined backing helps to maintain its structure.
As Conrad is managing his fashion shows, he discovers another talent and love- producing. He starts to produce events and organizations such as BostonEnVogue.com.
He created Providence Fashion Week, and is the creator of Brazilian Fashion Week USA, with the latest just a few weeks away!
During these events, he works with ten to twenty different designers, helping to bring their visions to the runway in the best way suited to showcase their individual brands. We think having the skill set to manage all of those details- models, music, venues, individual style, etc., is just about as impressive as his talent as a designer.
So, after hanging out with Conrad, chatting, and hearing how he discovered his life’s passion and found his way into fashion design and event producing, we wanted to know what was next for Conrad Lamour. He still has his fashion week events to produce. But, on the design side, he plans to take us back to the ‘60’s with a more mod and hip flair in his next collection. He’s also revisiting and revamping those gorgeous handbags. And of course, he’ll incorporate his power suit.
But, here’s what we took away from the day we spent with Conrad. To be honest, we were a little intimidated going into the interview and photo shoot, as we stated earlier, we’ve admired his work from afar for some time. (We may have frequented Aria back in the day…) But, that intimidation was completely unnecessary. We met a warm, smart, and funny guy. One who rolled into an industrial space with a gigantic suitcase brimming with so many little girls’ dreams- glam dresses! We got to play dress up in his spectacular creations and he didn’t stress about us picking up and ogling the dresses. He didn’t worry about us crushing sequins; instead, he loved that we were excited by the fabrics! He didn’t care that we weren’t real models representing his designs; he designs for all women. And, he wasn’t beneath helping us with the photography or providing direction. He was a kind person and was having just as much as we were. (At least, we think.) 😉
So, although our intimidation was unfounded, our infatuation was completely substantiated. Seeing someone live out their dream is intoxicating and infectious. After spending a few hours with Conrad Lamour, it’s easy to see that young boy is still there sketching and having one hell of time while doing it!
He’s given us a little bit of inspiration to follow our dream and live The Haute Life. We hope he’ll give you a little bit of that too. 🙂
Enjoy the gallery!