Sweet Designer: Leah Lawrence
I caught up with Pacific Northwest swimwear designer Leah Lawrence to chat about her debut swimwear collection, Drifting Arrows. Leah brings a laidback Hawaiian vibe to Seattle’s eclecticism that’s sure to put the Pacific Northwest on the map.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find so much inspiration without trying. So many of my friends are entrepreneurs and doing really inspiring things in different mediums, and I’m constantly reading books and going online and just looking around me. I think the key to inspiration is that as soon as you look for it, it’s nowhere to be found. It can’t be forced.
What inspired you to launch Drifting Arrows?
I worked as a buyer for a long time with small businesses and entrepreneurs and learned how the fashion industry works, and all of a sudden it felt like I had arrived at a time in my life where I was ready become an entrepreneur myself.
What is important to me is to offer something that isn’t just a throwaway item. I want to make pieces that will be really special for years. I want to focus on the quality and consistency of the pieces.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
The piece that I’ve worn the most is the Kure. It’s a great bandeau top you can wear sunbathing and not get tan lines, and I love the high-waisted bottoms. So that’s probably my favorite.
You grew up in Hawaii and clearly travel is an inspiration for you. Can you tell me more about that?
I left Seattle after high school to move to Hawaii, which was a huge shift. My parents traveled when I was young and I was born overseas, so I was always very inspired by that. I can’t remember a whole lot of it but it’s always something I look back on and I think of how amazing it is.
Seattle isn’t exactly the place you think of for swimwear.
No it’s not, but I’ll forever consider Hawaii home now just as much as Seattle is home. I mean, you can’t really beat the lifestyle you have there.
Do you go back often?
A couple times a year. I’m looking to start going for more like a month and then eventually after a couple years stretch it out so I can be there three months out of the year.
Any big plans for the future for the brand?
I definitely want to expand into other categories that are related to swimwear like eyewear, beach bags, and possibly footwear. I kind of want to do a little bit of apparel but keep focused on swim and the accessories that go with swimwear.
Interview originally posted on Citizens of Culture.