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Exclusive Q&A with Fashion designer, Amanda Perna

Amanda Perna pictured
Photographer: Kara Starzyk

Clothing designer and stylist Amanda Perna needs no introduction. As seen on Project Runway Season 9 and with her fabulous line "The House of Perna" full of luxury garments she has the fashion scene under wraps. Her passion for fashion developed deeper as she studied Apparel Design at the University of Alabama. I will definitely throw in a Roll Tide to a fellow alumna of the greatest school in the country. At just 19, she created her very own clothing line, Couture Chaos. Upon graduation Amanda landed a job with the one and only Calvin Klein where she worked as a designer for four years. In addition to her fabulous resume she adds being a featured expert host at and a world-class stylist with clients such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. As you see, Amanda has made a name for herself in this fashion world and it is only the beginning of the amazing things in store for her. So you can definitely see why she is our Monday Muse this week. Check out her interview below. 1) Describe The House of Perna: The House of Perna is a luxury women’s wear line with all garments made in the USA. Our mission is to make women look and feel sexy yet sophisticated, blending architectural lines with color and movement. We believe in making fabulously updated versions of classic silhouettes. 2) How long have you been designing and styling? I’ve been designing and styling since I was very young. I was always picking out clothes for my friends, and turning my clothes into something different. I’ve officially been designing since 2005 when I studied Apparel Design at the University of Alabama. After graduation in 2008 I moved to New York City to work for Calvin Klein as a dress designer. It was in 2010 when I started styling officially for paid clients (including Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s). 3) What inspires you? The world inspires me. I’m inspired by so many things every day. By people, nature, color and textures. Color and texture are usually where I start when designing a collection. I’m inspired by juxtapositions and contrasts. Something chic next to something grungy. Old next to new. 4) Describe your personal style: My personal style is colorful and bold. I love putting together outfits that are a little unexpected: a mixture of high and low brands, as well as vintage with trendy pieces. I LOVE accessories: they’re the icing on the cake; the finishing touch that makes the outfit completely finished and fabulous. 5) If you could do anything in the world what would it be? I would keep designing and styling, and get to a place in my career where I can give more back to people in need and help other aspiring designers fulfill their own fashion dreams. 6) Give us a run down on the history behind your company and how it came about: The House of Perna started as a side project while working full time as a designer. I wanted to keep my skills honed and design clothes with my personal aesthetic. People responded very positively to what I was creating, so I made the hardest decision of my life, and quit my dream corporate fashion job to work on THoP. I took on many different freelance jobs in design and styling to pay for the brand. When coming up with the brand name, I didn’t want it to be just about me, since there are so many different people involved in the production process. While in college, my best friends who helped me with any crazy project I came up with jokingly called themselves “The House of Perna” since they were at my house all hours of the day. I thought it to be the perfect name for my brand, and therefore The House of Perna was born. 7) What are your long term and short-term goals for you company? Since we are currently in our second season for The House of Perna, our short-term goals are to be in 20 stores by the end of 2014 and have even more extensive press coverage. Our long-term goal is to have the honor of being able to participate in one of the CFDA incentives, and eventually inducted into the CFDA. We’d like to have brick and mortar stores and be a brand that is synonymous with American fashion. 8) Describe your self in five words or less: Determined, colorful, optimistic, creative, loving. Any Closing Remarks you would like to share? We are launching our new blog and our new line very soon, so follow us for updates as well as giveaways and exciting news!

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