CFSTYLE.com had a chance to interact with Mr. Leslie Francis who was a judge at the Fashion Evolution Caribbean event recently. This is an interview CFSTYLE.com did with him. His passion for fashion is evident while interacting with him.
CFSTYLE: What made you want to become a designer?
LF: At the age of five I was taken to tailor Merin Jack in POS to be measured for a suit for church. He was a tall, strapped, black guy with his tape around his neck. That experience impressed me instantly.
I relocated to NY in 1968 with my family and went to Barney’s one day. A brown double breasted pin stripe suit was the next piece added to my collection, and I was so impressed that I knew fashion was what I wanted to do.
CFSTYLE: What was your path in becoming a designer?
I went to NY Technical College and got an associate’s degree in Art and Advertising Design, then I got a job at a fashion boutique. I went on to do a course at Meyer School of Fashion design course and completed it in one year, then I went on to the Fashion Institute of Technology at nights, and got my certification in five years.
CFSTYLE: We heard you’ve won a few awards?
While at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I won the Irving D. Curtis award and finished number one in pattern making technology.
CFSTYLE: where has your designing work taken you, as far as jobs are concerned?
I have worked for Calvin Klein as a production pattern maker, I spent seven years at Liz Clairborne as designer/production pattern maker, doing – men’s wear, and full figure and junior ladies clothing.
I am a licensed instructor having lectured at the Parsons School of Design for the last three years, in Progression of fashion grading (issues of fit) at Fashion Institute of Technology
New York School of Design pattern wear and grading, custom clothing development.
CFSTYLE: What is your vision?
My vision is the sharing of knowledge. This encompases my respect for my craft and what I do.
CFSTYLE: What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include kung fu. I am a martial artist.
CFSTYLE: Tell us more about yourself:
I am a widower with two kids and I have spent twenty-five years in New York doing fashion.
Fit, comfort, and movement are the hallmark of design and wearable clothing,
I promote inclusiveness in that I make clothing that persons will want to wear and that will fit certain body types.
I am a Christian. I am using my talent under God and give God the praise through my work.
CFSTYLE: What are your future plans?
Promoting my own label: Leslie Eric Francis – Look out for it soon