Celebrity designer Stephen Goudeau, makes a big name for himself in the industry!
When we think of where some of the world’s top fashion designers hail from, we usually think of places like New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Barcelona. After all, it is cities like this that are considered the fashion capitals of the world. Fashion weeks, high-end shopping experiences, luxurious fabrics and couture looks…everything that we love about the world of fashion lives and breathes in these places. Now, let’s take a little trip down south to Shreveport, Louisiana, home to some of the best cajun cuisine in the world. Shreveport is a soulful city, rich in culture, yes, but hardly recognized as a fashion mecca. That is until a young man with a bold dream and an eye for fashion decided that he was going to take a path that may not have been so popular coming from the Bible belt. Now, years and countless breathtaking designs later, Stephen Goudeau is a fashion force to reckon with.
Tell us a little about how your career in design began?
Growing up I was always a creative child. I was drawing and being creative. I wanted to write books and horror films and my mom still has the journal that I used to write in, to this day. I wanted to write black horror films but growing up I was into everything. My parents were always fascinated with what they wore and what I wore and they were always “fresh” so I caught on to style. Then people began to reach out to me to ask what they should wear but still I was never really into fashion. Then I began to create styles by cutting up clothes and then I learned to hand sew with this lady that taught me in Shreveport and I will never forget the first dress that I ever made. It was a homecoming dress for my little cousin. It was a canary yellow chiffon dress so then I thought that maybe I should give this a shot. Then, around 2001, I got accepted into the New York Fashion Institute but my parents wanted me to take another route. I kept on going with it. Then, in 2005, I designed my first wedding gown for only $475. I never thought that I would be considered a wedding gown designer, even though I design so many other things but creating that first gown was one of my proudest moments.
Do you still see yourself doing something in the horror film industry?
I never want to give that up so even if it’s just creating visuals. It’s all art. I see all art as cousins, they are all related.
When we think about fashion, most people don’t think about places like Shreveport. How do you think coming from a southern city benefits you in your career?
I think that coming out of Shreveport allows me to show others that it is possible to follow your dreams, even when you come from a small town. I love the way that people feel motivated by that. Just starting this year, coming from where I am from, people began to say that I represent Black history and I love that. Being featured in publications like British Vogue was great but when I made the front page of the Shreveport Times on a Sunday morning, that took the cake!
Do you incorporate much of where you are from into your designs?
I do. Actually, back in 2014, I developed this line and it was called Religious Paradise. It was a collection of blue and white floral pieces with yellow and coral and it was a print. I went back to my neighborhood and shot the collection there. I went to all the places where I had great memories like the neighborhood corner store, the parks, and my home, and did the photos for the collection. That was a major thing for me, going back home.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I would say classic and timeless. I like to create looks that can be worn now and also ten years from now. I also study my clients so I know who I am creating for. I appreciate the body of a woman and I like designing for women with curves.
How do you keep your “designer’s mind” sharp?
I have had blocks just like anybody, but creativity is always there. I am big on music, history, and traveling and those things always inspire me.
Who would you like to work with that you haven’t yet?
That’s easy. Beyoncé! I have set goals and reached a lot of them but she is on my list and I am coming for that goal.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
I look at it more as a brand than just design. To me both are important so I say stay consistent and stay true to your brand. Never lower your brand for anyone. As far as pricing goes, it is for your talent so don’t bring that down for others and although it may take a while, you will appreciate that you kept your standards in the end.
What is next for you?
Beyoncé! Also, I am very excited about my men’s line. I have been doing some tees and sweatshirts that have done well so we’re working on the actual line and there will also be a women’s line to mirror that.
Since you are so inspired by music, what song or album would you use to describe you and your art?
There is this song called “A$AP Forever” and it’s by A$AP Rocky. It gets me going in the morning and I listen to it every morning but I listen to a little bit of everything from soft rock to hip-hop to the early ’80s. I listen to everything.
Featured Image by Antwoin Gilbert of AG Imagery