At twenty-seven years young, Hillary Taymour of NYC-based label Collina Strada may have the ‘cool girl following,’ however her true passion is when she gets to use her presentations to make a statement. Taymour uses her brand to express social awareness, which made it’s way to inception starting in Fall 2008. While last season took a look at gender identity, Spring 2017 examines the issue of diversity within the fashion industry. Thus, Taymour took it upon herself to cast an all black model show, and her presentation will take place on September 10th at 3:30PM at Pier 59 Studios. We chatted with Taymour about what drives the Collina Strada brand, what we can expect to see during Fashion Week and dug a little bit deeper.


When did you start to have dreams of becoming a fashion designer?

I have always wanted to change things about my clothing since I was a small child. I have memories of liking a specific thing about a garment, but I always wanted to change another aspect of it. Looking back now, its always been in my blood; I guess it really didn’t hit me until I was in my first year of college. I just realized that I wasn’t like everyone else, and I was not made for a 9-5 business job.

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How would you explain Collina Strada’s DNA?

Collina Strada is a small creative outlet for my big ideas.

Your focus for your collections tends to stem from bringing certain issues to light, in particular social awareness. How did this start? How does this thought process drive drive you?

It has always been in my nature to be full of big ideas and statements. In the back of my mind, I have always though that creating a presence during fashion week should be a lot more than just fashion. You get one hour to show off your vision, why not make a stance towards a cause that you feel passionate about? This has all progressed naturally since I started showing two years ago. I am so incredibly fortunate to have any voice at all, and that is the ultimate driving force.

You casted an all black model presentation for Spring 2017. What specific events and thoughts had you come to this decision?

If you read the press release, you could really understand the depth behind this decision. This past Spring just felt like enough is enough. I realized how easy it is to fall into this social media trap without being truly affected by the racist circus that we have all now settled into.


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How does this relate to the clothes?

It doesn’t really relate to the clothes; it is a way to bring acknowledgement towards the issue through the love of fashion.

Explain the silhouettes and shapes along with the color palette that we can look forward to seeing for Spring 2017.

SS17 is full of Mauve. I really wanted it to feel very neutral with just a hint of color. Everything is very undone yet styled just right for your wearing pleasure.

What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

I am constantly challenged, learning and making mistakes. Nothing is ever made just the way that I want, it is that constant strive for perfection. That’s what pushes me season after season.

Do you try to keep with the trends or create your own?

I usually just design around what I want to wear at the time. I would like to say its on trend, but most would say it’s a bit off planet.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?

Honestly, I just want to be happy. If I am fortunate enough to continue to create and work in a field that I love, whether it is fashion, art or both.

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Resin Artwork by Soliana Habte