MAR. 10, 2014

Newcomer brand questionnaire / That’s Totally Fine <LAFC>

Los Angeles Fashion Council

Brand / Designer

That’s Totally Fine / Rosa La Grua


Contemporary Women’s / Clothing

Brand information / About the designer

―What inspired you to become a fashion designer? Describe developments leading up to the brand launch.

I’ve been sewing my whole life! My grandmother taught me the basics when I was 8 years old and I’ve been designing ever since. I put together my first fashion show at twelve years old so in a way you could say that I never made the choice to be a designer but rather recognized at a certain point that the sewing and design work I loved to do for fun could translate into a viable career path. I graduated with a BFA in fashion design from the Rhode Island School Design in 2011 and have been honing my design sensibility within the constraints of a brand identity ever since.

―What is the brand’s concept? What do you want to communicate through fashion designing? What are the images of men and women you want to project?

That’s Totally Fine is a unisex brand that combines street wear, club culture, and unconventional pattern cutting to create pieces that are timeless and appeal to the burgeoning LGBTQ community. Each collection features of a variety of loose-fitting one size fits all pieces in an effort to encourage people from all walks of life and size to feel comfortable and stylish at the same time. In these ways I hope to break gender and body type boundaries simultaneously. I especially want people to walk away feeling like they’ve learned that clothing can be stylish without sacrificing comfort or quality.

―What is your source of inspiration in creating fashion? What is your process of developing a design concept?

A lot of my ideas come to me randomly. I’m a very visual person so throughout the day I’ll notice things I like and mentally file them away. Often these impressions manifest themselves later as fully realized design concepts while taking a break, eating breakfast, or sitting on the train. Whatever I’m working on at any given time is an amalgamation of my interests during that period. For example, a show that I’m watching, a day trip I’ve taken recently, or a thrift shop find will inevitably find its voice later in my work. Once I have a few solid concepts brewing I’ll sit down and start to sketch out some solid looks with construction notes and details. I try not to limit myself by creating precise collections that are thematically finite. A perfect collection, in my mind, should have something for everyone.

―Who are your current stockists (areas, retail formats, etc.)? Describe the typical followers of your brand.

As of yet I’m in two stores, Haus of Love an independent boutique that features hip emerging designers and an ecommerce store called The Babe’s Den. My clientele is generally composed of men and women ages 18-28 who have a flair for dramatic style and entertainers within the music industry. My clothing has been featured on Brooke Candy, Azalea Banks, Soko, Nikko Gray, Sabi, and King. Most of my social media followers are fashion-savvy individuals who are looking to stay up on new trends and innovative emerging styles.

―Which brands, designers, styles and cultures have had the most impact on your fashion designing, and why?

My favorite designer is Amber Halford of 69. I do freelance pattern and samples for her and think that she does an amazing job of translating vintage pieces into contemporary denim looks. She taught me that simple can indeed be preferable.

About 2014-15 A/W collection

―Why have you chosen Tokyo (or MBFWT) as the venue for presenting your collection?

I have always been intrigued by Japanese Street Fashion. I wish hope that over time Los Angeles and New York natives will learn to be as free with their self expression as the youth in Tokyo. When the opportunity to showcase in Tokyo presented itself to me through the LAFC, the pull was undeniable. I can’t wait to see how my collection measures up!

―What is the concept / image for your brand’s 2014-15 A/W season?

The upcoming collection is all about simple geometry and convertibility. The line features a series of pieces with removable elements such as a coat that can become a sweatshirt or a dress that can become a crop top. So far it’s been described as “Prairie Punk” by those who have seen it. The primary fabrics are felted wool, washed denim, canvas, chiffon, and as always, a variety of plaids. This collection in particular features a lot of neutral timeless pieces that can be worn different ways.

―What is your vision for your show / installation?

I think that my clothing speaks for itself so I want to keep it pretty concise and low maintenance. The clothing is meant for real people living day to day so I like the idea of keeping it intimate and ready-to-wear.


―What are your brand’s future outlook and goal for 2014?

Right now I have everything set up with my fabric suppliers and factory to fulfill bulk production orders. Ideally I’d like take on new stores and move my studio to be a better location. By the end of 2014 I’d like to have the company set up in a new space and be in a position to hire additional help for line development and production needs.


―What does Tokyo represent for you?

Tokyo definitely represents the future for me. For years, images of Tokyo street fashion have inspired me to keep going, keep designing. My theory has been that if kids in Tokyo are down to be wild with their style then there is hope for the rest of the world!

―Which parts / sites of Tokyo do you like most? Why?

I have never been to Tokyo. I have a few friends who go back and forth often for modeling and teaching so I’m going to pick their brains about the best places to go. I’m very excited to get a feel for the city.

―What are your favorite / recommended shops (of any genres, e.g. fashion stores, homeware stores, food services), facilities and sites?

I rarely buy anything new so most of my favorite stores are thrift shops! I once had a friend say that, “people are like squirrels, hoarding nuts, and you like the old ones.” I guess this is pretty true. My favorite thrifting spots are the Cambridge Antique Mart in Masaschusettes, the PCC Flea Market in Pasadena CA, and Exquisite Costume in New York. I always find great stuff at these spots! When I shop for new clothes I prefer small boutiques like Weltenbeurger, Assembly, and Haus of Love, because they feature a lot of lesser known and innovative designers. Often that means spending a little more money but it’s always worth it for something that is truly unique. Randomly, I really enjoy Home Depot. Whenever I’m stumped about how to solve a problem, any kind of problem really, I like to go there. I think it’s because Home Depot, like fashion, is all about solutions so when I’m walking down the aisles I start getting all sorts of ideas and it kind of jumpstarts the problem solving machine in my head.

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