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Meet DTLA Wardrobe Stylist & Visual Artist: LaNita Leary

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaNita Leary.

LaNita, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started with my mother, growing up I watched her make clothes, to comforters, to knitting. she began to teach me how to do those things and, once my confidence was build up enough I began my own path. by the time I reached high school I began making handbags and selling them. it was not easy at first because I lacked confidence in myself and I was still very timid and shy. I got a motivational boost from my dad, he taught me how to make people want the product from me. I took that into affect and it was a success. I would walk up to girls and say ” I have this fabric that will go great with your shoes if u give me 25.00 I’ll make you a handbag to match them.”

It was pure success after that. after high school, I decided to keep this train rolling I decided to go to design school. while there I was also interning at the California market center and with an independent headwear designer. I learned a great deal of information, which lead me to freelance, where I am now.

Has it been a smooth road?
There were definitely some challenges along the road but nothing good comes easy in this world, I struggled for a while with myself. and by that I mean; I was constantly doubting if this was my calling or just fun and games. I always asked myself could I see myself doing this for the rest of my life? So I put it to test. I put fashion on the back burner and went back to school for the medical field. I liked it but it was not as fulfilling as fashion so that gave me a push I needed to get back into what I love.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As an innovative thinker, I see my industry expanding to new horizons with an entirely different look on fashion – crossing paths with trends, creating a new meaning for everyday fashion.

What has been the primary challenge you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge for me over the years was self-doubt. I passed on some opportunities in the past that could have been greatly beneficial for my career, but my doubts on my work ate me alive! I let my thoughts overpower the moves I needed to make, it was crazy because people would constantly tell me how amazing my work was but I couldn’t see it. after a plethora of my peers and people encouraging me, I came to this moment of realization that I am my own worst enemy because I allowed my thoughts to consume me, and I allowed those opportunities to pass and most of all I let doubt win. As an artist, I think we are all our own toughest critics but it’s only OK to a certain degree. I have a tattoo on my left arm that says “my perfect enemy” and every time I doubt myself I look down at my arm and tell myself “you got this” self-doubt doesn’t go away easy but as an artist I now know that you never may know what people may like so just put it out into the universe and see what you get back the worst you can hear is, no I don’t like it – everything after that is a blessing.

What would you tell someone who is just starting out?
Be you, be humble, get out there and DO WORK! we are here physically for a certain amount of time make your name live on past that, manifest your dreams with your eyes open because what you see with them closed is not your reality.

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