Daniel Alexander is an award-winning designer from Queensland Australia with over 14 years of experience in the fashion industry. With progressive and imaginative craftsmanship, Daniel radiates sophistication and edge.
Daniel is inspired by women who, not only want to look fabulous, but feel majestic when sliding into a “DA” creation. Daniel’s collections are created for women who have a flair for the dramatic approach and theatrics – women who want to make an elegant yet head turning statement.
WW had a chance to ask him a few questions:
Who is an iconic woman in history you admire greatly and have you used this woman to influence your designs?
Without a doubt it has to be Joan Crawford – she’s the perfect mix of pure elegance, sex and crazy (just like me!) It’s the ultimate fashion power combination.
At what age did you begin to take designing seriously and why?
I’ve always taken it seriously. I’ve been sewing since I was six-years-old, but wasn’t something would talk about as a boy because dresses were for girls. I became really serious about it when I went public or “came out” shall we say, and was nominated in the Australian Fashion Awards at the age of 17. It was on live TV so there was absolutely no hiding it anymore.
How do you feel your designs changed over time from when you first started?
Dramatically. I was so young when I started and looking back at what I created for the Australian Fashion Awards I just cringe. At the time it was very much ahead of trend but we are 17 years on now. I’ve grown up and as I’ve grown as a person, friend, brother and son, my aesthetic and style has evolved too. Back then I would design for the woman I thought wanted to buy my clothes, but now the woman I’m designing for is the woman I would be if I was a woman – elegant, sexy and crazy…just like Joan.
What life skills do you feel that any designer needs to have to make it in the fashion world?
Strength. It takes on very many forms, but the fact is no matter what line of work you do you’re going to get hit down at some point (possibly at several points). Success I’ve found comes from getting up, brushing yourself off and getting on with things. Strength is a life skill I’ve been blessed with and if I could give it to others I would.
How would you describe your personal style? Is it different from the inspiration you draw from your designs?
I have a classic wardrobe and a modern wardrobe and I mix the two together depending on my mood. I would say my style is eclectic and to put a label on it I would say ‘modern structure with classic detail. My personal style is different from my designs in the sense that my collections change seasonally and my wardrobe doesn’t as much.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Ultimately it is doing what I love, but to pick one thing it has to be the fashion weeks that I’m doing all over the world. There’s nothing more exciting than a fashion week – it’s better than Christmas.
Knowing what you know about the fashion industry now, what would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Be patient, it’s going to happen, you can’t force it, and at times that is going to be hard. I’ve lived it up until now. Somehow I just knew it was eventually going to happen but I was very impatient in the meantime.
What was your biggest fear when starting out as a designer? Do you have any fears now?
When I opened my first boutique at the age of 25, after winning my Australian fashion award that year. Opening the doors that first morning and wondering if anyone was going to come in and buy anything was terrifying. Luckily I had a very busy day and didn’t need to worry at all. Fear is something that I always have to overcome in my career. Each season I’m very scared that the public and also the media won’t understand, or worse, even like my collection. It’s always nerve-wracking because I have to follow my own style but also be tune with my customer.
Do you ever feel pressure having to create new ideas season after season? Why or why not?
Yes, there is huge pressure and it often keeps me awake at night, but I’m lucky that my ideas tend to rush in all of a sudden, whether I’m daydreaming or driving or whatever I’m doing, it just comes to me all at once and then the collection comes together. It happens in my mind first and then I take it to the studio.