Woman of Substance Alexis Barbara Isaias Discusses New Summer Collection

Alexis Barbara Isaias launched her new Miami-based womenswear line, ALEXIS, in 2009 as the perfect travel wardrobe. Now, she just launched a collection with The Outnet for summer. ALEXIS is now sold in more than 250 stores, including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and readying to move into a 20,000-square-foot warehouse. Haute Living sat down with the young designer to find out about the new collection, her inspiration and what pieces are perfect for a warm-weather weekend trip.

HL: What was your starting point for this collection?
AB: I was thinking that women are finishing winter and wearing all those dark colors, sweaters, so I wanted to make some sexy, easier styles to slip on. I’m all about transitional pieces that can go from day to night, so I brought in a lot of lace and things that can be worn many ways. There are dresses you can wear with flats during the day and then with heels at night. That makes it easy when you’re packing and heading to the islands in Europe or the Caribbean.

HL: Travel was the genesis of your brand, wasn’t it?
AB: It was! I travel a lot, I travel with my girls a lot, and we go all over the world. Last year, we explored Morocco and it was so inspirational—seeing the different textures, the colors, the traditions, the culture, everything. The different palettes of the colors—on clothing, on the buildings and the different materials they use to construct them. It wound up on our mood boards, and was our inspiration for this season.

HL: What do you think is the most important thing in a piece of clothing when you’re designing it, like what is the most important aspect?
AB: To me, the most important is the fit. I really fight and work hard to have the perfect fit. I think when you put something on and it fits perfect, you automatically feel beautiful. And when you feel beautiful, you look beautiful.

HL: You travel a lot, you’re in and out, but what are the pros and cons of being a Miami-based designer?
AB: I definitely feel it was a big con at the beginning. When you try to expand yourself into the fashion world, and into even the retail world, and people ask you where your brand is based, all of a sudden you kind of get a little stereotype. But we worked hard and proved ourselves and have left that behind. We bring collections with a lot of variety for all types of women living in different climates. We have more coats and tights.

HL: What’s the hardest thing about being a designer?
AB: I think the most difficult thing about being a designer is when you’re designing to think, “Okay, I just did an amazing collection, how am I going to do it again next time?” But when you get your inspirations and get in that mode, it just comes together.

HL: What is your favorite part?
AB: Definitely the most rewarding thing is seeing different kinds of women all over the world wearing my clothing in so many different ways. We’ve had a lot of celebrity placement recently, and that’s been very rewarding because a lot if it has been purchased directly by their stylists, not sent by us.

HL: You are moving to new headquarters soon?
AB: Yes! In June, we are moving to a 20,000-square-foot warehouse that is twice as big as our current one. It’s going to be very cool. We’re going to have a room to do our photo shoots and everything.