Q&A: Robin Harris #1062

by TJ Armour

Robin Harris is a fashion model represented by Ford Models that also happens to have an MBA in International Business. She has been in the fashion industry for over a decade, working as a model, designer, merchandiser, and creative director.

In 2014, the six foot beauty created her own designer line called Model Atelier to fill the void and frustration that tall women have when it comes to finding stylish clothes that are the perfect fit and length.

We recently sat down with Harris to discuss her introduction to the world of fashion, her Model Atelier line, and how she effectively juggles her career and family life.


When did the world of fashion capture your attention and when did you know you wanted to be a part of it?

AI’ve been interested in fashion since I was a little girl, at the age of 6, I’d see fashion models in magazines and on TV wearing beautiful designs and from there I knew I wanted to be apart of the fashion industry.


Who are three of your fashion icons and why?

AMichelle Obama, Jackie Onassis Kennedy, and Kate Middleton. I love women who are strong and confident yet approachable, and these three ladies have all of that and then some. Jackie O was always dressed elegantly and always gave the essence of a quiet confidence. Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama are tall and extremely chic, I absolutely love their style! Kate Middleton wears a lot of great coats and dresses, which are always chic tailored and classic. Michelle Obama is my favorite fashion icon, not only because of how she dresses, but also because of her ability to have an affect on emerging designers and their future. I admire the fact that she supports emerging designers from the U.S by wearing a pieces that she believes fit into her lifestyle.


What was the inspiration in starting Model Atelier?

AThe inspiration in starting Model Atelier came from my career of being a high fashion runway model. When I was modeling for designers I loved wearing the beautiful, timeless, and on-trend pieces that were long enough and tailor made for my elongated frame, however, when I got off the runway those same brands were not available in department stores in my size and length, so I decided to create designs that I wish existed. I created ready-to-wear clothing for women 5’9’’ or taller, sizes 2-20 that fit the lifestyle of working women.


Tell us a little about Model Atelier’s Spring/Summer line?

AIn the new Spring/Resort 2016 collection, you will see cutouts, to bodycons, minis to maxi’s, to colorful prints all inspired by the woman who wants to travel in style. French Polynesia was a huge inspiration behind the new collection. I loved the tropical plants and vibrant greens and blues seen on the Island, so I designed prints and pieces that reminded me of French Polynesia. I imagined women traveling to their favorite or dream destination vacation wearing beautiful, colorful pieces to compliment their skin tone and their surroundings.


What’s your personal secret to the balancing the act of being a wife, new mother, and business owner?

AI wish there was a secret to tell. In short, being a wife, new mom, and business owner is a never ending juggling act. I love all of it, but in order for me not to become too overwhelmed, I just take it one day at a time and make sure I am more productive than busy. I love compartmentalizing, it helps with balance.


In your opinion, what’s one of the next big trends in fashion that aficionados can look forward to?

AI think the next big trends in fashion coincides with technology and the multifaceted lifestyle of consumers. I think when it comes to technology it’s going involve having huge fashionable, tech in ready-to-wear. For example, developing fabric that can change colors, giving consumers the option of wearing their favorite piece but in a different color is something that designers are researching.


What’s your number one duty as a designer?

AWhen it comes to fashion and designing for consumers with multifaceted lifestyles, we as designers must design collections to fit all aspects of consumers, meaning dressing them from day to evening with pieces from the same collection.


As a woman of color, have you faced many obstacles navigating the industry that you feel others haven’t had to face?

AAs a woman of color, I am fortunate to say that I have not faced any obstacles navigating the fashion industry. I’ve been extremely blessed and embraced by the fashion industry. People love seeing a model become an entrepreneur, it helps shed the light on models being more than just a pretty face.


Any advice for aspiring models and/or designers?

AI can say as a designer, you have to be more than just a good designer to make it in the fashion industry, you have to be a good business person, as well. For aspiring models, first you must believe in yourself before you go knocking on the doors of the top modeling agencies. When I first started modeling I was told no 3 or 4 times before I got signed to a top agency, and that was because I didn’t give up and believed in myself. The power of belief is real!


Name one book you’d absolutely recommend to anyone interested in the world of fashion?

AGirlboss by Sophia Armoruso is an absolute must. It’s funny, entertaining, and inspiring all in one.


What’s next for Robin Harris?

AI love what I do so you can expect Model Atelier to expand into different avenues such as designing for tall men, and tall children.
For more information on Robin, please visit her website

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