Laura Citron, from Broussard, has turned her love of daring dress into a booming fashion brand, growing from a 6-year-old girl playing dress-up in her mother’s closet to a professional designer seeing her work on an up-and-coming artist in a feature film at the Vogue.com.
Citron, 35, can identify the exact moment when everything changed for her.
When she was an undergrad at LSU to get her degree in broadcast journalism, her cousin, who worked in television production in Los Angeles, invited her to the city for the summer to explore the entertainment side. Of the industry.
She scored a gig working on “The Tyra Banks Show” on the broadcast side, but made her way to the wardrobe department.
Seeing the care and seriousness with which the team of dozens of stylists, wardrobe managers and other professionals handled the dressing of banks and show guests and the upkeep of the show wardrobe, she flipped a switch at Citron, she said.
“It was the first time I saw a career in fashion in action and it was even a possibility. As soon as it happened, nothing else was an option for me. It was like if I could never go back,” she said.
Since childhood, Citron had found a voice in fashion.
She would raid her mother’s closet for glamorous ’70s and early ’80s pieces to dress up in, reveling in her confidence to be able to express herself through clothes.
As she grew, she continued to follow her fashion intuition, taking fashion risks and finding ways to push boundaries by putting together unexpected pieces, the designer said.
“I love all art mediums, but for example a painting you have on your wall, it stays on your wall when you leave your house. That outfit that you put on your body is an art form that moves , working, breathing and a message about yourself that you carry throughout the day. For me, that has always been so powerful,” Citron said.
Realizing that love might be his career, Citron put his college career on hold at LSU. She applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology and was accepted. She moved to New York, transferred as many course credits as possible, and began studying fashion merchandising.
She didn’t know anyone in town and, at first, her family was concerned about the drastic change in management, but Citron was convinced it was the right move, she said.
“I’m such a passionate person that if I don’t put my heart into what I’m doing, I really can’t see myself doing it… The risk of going in there and failing wasn’t as bad as the risk never trying,” she said.
Citron earned his associate’s degree from FIT and then a bachelor’s degree while working in the city, trying out different areas of the industry, including as a stylist, buyer, and trend forecaster. After graduating, she worked for a vintage fashion boutique and honed her love for vintage clothing.
In 2014, Citron and her boyfriend, Andrew Clancey, then a fashion designer and boutique owner, made the decision to move from New York to Nashville, where they felt they could carve out a place among the fashion scene. diverse mode of city and country. the music industry is moving from an old-school country look to a more contemporary style.
Clancey launched her own fashion label, Any Old Iron, and Citron founded a vintage boutique, OPIUMvintage.
As she struggled to find enough pieces that fit her vision, Clancey suggested trying a new route – taking vintage fashion elements she loves, like wide-legged suits and disco dresses. , and translating them into a modern collection with the signature Citron style.
Clancey, from York, England, said he knew Citron’s eclectic taste, penchant for unusual pairings and natural sense of dressing would naturally translate into design.
Growing up as side-by-side designers was a special experience, he said. The couple each have a vision for their brands, but one can always look to the other as a sounding board and when things get stressful, they ground each other in the things that matter, like family.
Beyond her fashion sense, Citron’s natural magnetism and kindness she shows to everyone has contributed to her success, he said.
“She’s really nice and that goes a long way. I think everyone who meets Laura loves Laura. I think that’s part of Louisiana, the hospitality, I would say,” Clancey said.
Even with Clancey’s encouragement, her first collection in 2016 was scary, Citron said.
Putting that piece of yourself out into the world for dissection, critique, and public consumption can be a tricky process. Citron described her style as maximalist, mature glam with bold colors, bright lamé and bold prints for people who want to stand out, but early in her brand she was asked if that was “too much”, she said.
The designer was pulled here and there by opinions, and her self-doubt led her to overthink designs. Over time, she learned when to accept constructive feedback and when to ignore the noise, she said.
“When you dilute your voice, you lose your audience. You have to be true to yourself because your people will always find you,” Citron said.
The designer has grown her brand in the six years since launch, finding continued interest among Nashville performers like Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Margo Price and members of the Pistol Annies, Little Big Town and The Highwomen, as well than non-country musicians. like rock band Greta Van Fleet and singer Lennon Stella.
The native of Broussard favors small series, with a sample piece and one or two reproductions of her creations, as well as tailor-made pieces to offer her customers a unique experience, an approach appreciated by artists and other clienteles.
Citron said she produces three to four collections a year depending on how many regional fashion shows she commits to in cities like Kansas City, Missouri; Charleston, South Carolina; and Charlotte, North Carolina, with standalone pieces interspersed to keep things fresh.
“I will never get tired [the fashion shows]. I still feel like that 6-year-old girl in my mom’s closet. If you told me then that I would design my own collection and that I would participate in fashion shows and that I would dress musicians, I would say ‘huh?’ I’m still pinching myself everyday and I’m so excited that I was able to find a way to make this all happen,” Citron said.
A real pinch moment came recently in mid-January, when Citron’s Gwenyth Twin Set was worn by Jake Wesley Rogers, an up-and-coming American pop musician whose style is compared to Elton John, in a feature film on Vogue.com.
Citron had loaned the Rogers team the outfit for the press, unsure what would ultimately become of the photos, so see the bold turquoise and royal blue sequins under the banner of the fashion magazine and iconic media brand. America was a thrill.
An outfit credit in Vogue is what every up-and-coming designer desires, she said.
“It was a dream… It’s something you’ve worked for your whole career and I hope one day you’ll be as lucky, so to have that moment was just surreal,” Citron said.
The designer hopes this feature will help her raise awareness of her work and continue to drive organic growth for the brand.
On his list of long-term goals is a presence in New Orleans. Citron is taking its first step toward that mission with a pop-up at the Saint Claude Social Club at 1933 Sophie Wright Place in New Orleans from Feb. 17-20, her first professional event in Louisiana, she said.
Citron said she was excited to begin merging her personal connection to Louisiana with her professional life.
The 35-year-old credits her upbringing in Acadia and Louisiana with a humility that has grounded her throughout her professional journey and an openness that has allowed her to embrace all crazy ideas.
“Growing up, I always felt like I could be myself, let my colors and my personality come out…the idea of being who you are and living a colorful and loud life, which has been the foundation of my life. I come from Louisiana to thank that,” Citron said.