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SF Fashion Week

Louis Verdad has a dream. The gifted designer from Los Angeles dreams of a small atelier, where two Russian seamstresses bring to life exquisite designs. “They sit there doing amazing handwork on evening gowns all day. Gowns full of antique details and chantelle lace”, he tells me as his brown eyes glimmer with reverie. I wonder if the dining room of the Four Season Hotel (the location of our interview) has become the quaint couture studio, if the attentive wait staff have transformed into Verdad’s romantic and adept seamstresses. Then there is a pause, and as he turns away to look out the window he sighs, “But for now I have to make samples and sell them so that I can grow and nurture my company.” Alas, but for now, Verdad can only reach his dream with dedication, hope, and natural talent.

Louis Verdad catapulted into the LA Fashion scene after his brilliant 2002 debut in the Gen Art fashion show. Since then, Louis’ rigorously tailored retro trouser suits have been worn by international style icons like Madonna and Cate Blanchett. Even the extremely discerning Anna Wintour, who is known not to have attended a single Ralph Rucci event showed up to review his Fall 2005 line, one of only two stops during the entire fashion week. Indeed, Verdad’s stars are aligning into a constellation, a harbinger of international acclaim.


Despite his fame, Louis Verdad remains a humble man, who, among other simple things, likes to laugh out loud, hug friends, offer to pay for lunch, and promptly return phone calls. His extreme shyness almost prohibits him from autographing copies of the book, Sample, a collection of the top 100 most influential designers of our day, a catalog which includes Verdad, himself. Excusing his reluctance, he claims, "I do not want to ruin it." Humility aside, Verdad's belief in his gift is unflinching. He agrees he is not the designer he is supposed to become, but he also offers, "I have not even gotten started yet. I have so much to offer. Trust me I will not disappoint."

It is no secret that after showcasing his most recent work Louis Verdad came under fire by the infamous LA Times fashion writer, Booth Moore. In her piece, “Haven’t we seen this already?” Booth publicly lamented, “Unfortunately, we have seen most of what [Verdad] did here before; he has been showing it for two years.” Her assertion was so outrageous that felt compelled to pen a letter to the Los Angeles Times pointing out the fact that Booth was incapable of “distinguishing distinctive style from replication”. The result was a vague response from Ms. Moore, published in the LA Times, which read:

In Booth's eyes, all designers are not created equal. In fact, certain talent deserves artistic concessions. In other words, Booth believes distinctive style by a superstar designer is a trademark while thematic variation from an up-and-comer is repetition from an inspirationally dry well.


But, focusing on the negative and paying heed to those who try to bring him down is not Louis' style. He would rather talk about his future projects, new designs and an ad campaign. In fact, all of a sudden he gets incredibly excited about a revolutionary fabric woven with metal that has the ability to stay still. With undeniable enthusiasm he announces, "this is the beginning of a new era of de-constructivism. I predict very strong individuals will be drawn to this look and I certainly will be incorporating this material into my collections." Even with so much in the making, Louis Verdad remains forever true to his roots. He admits, "No matter what you do, you will always go back to the essence of who you are."



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