Meet Andre Purdy – 2018 Designer of the Year


Q. How does it feel to be named MKEFW’s 2018 Designer of the Year?
A. It’s a great honor and privilege to be named MKEFW’s 2018 designer of the year. I am very excited just to know that people love what I do. It’s so rewarding and such a phenomenal feeling.

Q. How did you decide to be a designer? Who or what inspired you?
A. I am a third generation fashion designer and my grandmother is my biggest inspiration. When I was about 7 or 8 years old I would sit on the floor behind her and watch her sew for most of the day. I would ask for the scrap material to make doll clothing by hand for my sister’s oversized dolls. My mother didn’t like me playing with my sister’s dolls at all but my grandmother applauded my natural gifting and encouraged it.

Q. What was the first garment you’ve designed? How did it feel to showcase it on the runway?
A. My very first garment was a hat, a duel purpose hat with all the bedazzling I could possibly give it, made to be worn multiple ways. I loved my silly little hat but I didn’t think anyone else would. It was a phenomenal feeling, a hard to describe joy and freedom that came from following a silly little dream about a silly little hat.

Q. What are your goals as a Designer? Are you looking to sell your garments? Or do you design for other reasons?
A. I would love to be instrumental in changing the face of fashion in Milwaukee one minority designer at a time. While my creations are available for sale,I unequivocally design for the love of creating fashion.

Q. What do you enjoy most of when designing?
A. My greatest joy is the freedom of imagination when the finished product has manifested. I’m excited by the way fabric makes me feel. Sometimes it’s the richness of color but essentially it’s the quality of texture. I love the way a simple touch triggers insatiable visions within me when I am in design mode.

Q. If you could pick one local, and one large scale, magazine to be on the cover, what would it be?
A. I would choose Style Milwaukee, on a large scale Vogue, and then move on to Forbes. I dream big, very big.

Q. What are your favorite things to do outside of designing?
A. Outside of fashion design, I’m also a third generation hair stylist. I also have a passion for interior design, overall, beautifying people, places, and things. I love long nature walks with my dog, cooking, good music, and a chilled glass of red wine.

Q. What advice would you give for someone that is starting out?
A. No stitch is perfect- keep moving, keep striving for excellence and “Never Never Never Quit” (Winston Churchill). I believe we’re all pregnant with dreams, visions, concepts, and ideas that we must give birth to. Don’t abort the gift, don’t stop moving, don’t stop manifesting, and what ever you do don’t stop dreaming. Become your dream. The world is waiting on your emergence.