I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “take a leap of faith” before… Well, that’s just what designer Karissa Lindsey did when she first started her locally manufactured line- A Leap of Style. “It’s also how I want my customers to feel when they’re wearing each piece. I want them to feel as though they’ve taken a style risk on some level. The name “A Leap of Style” embodies that fully.”
It all began when Karissa was growing up. She goes on to further explain, “As a kid, I wavered between wanting to be a fashion designer, a writer, or the next Oprah Winfrey. My mom loved to shop, and some of my fondest memories with her were taking shopping trips to the local mall or out of town. That, combined with my love for creating led me wanting a career in design. I got “off track” in high school though when I read somewhere that most designers didn’t make a lot of money, so I put that dream on the back burner and ended up pursuing careers that were equally unlikely to make me a millionaire. I started pursuing design again in 2013.”
There was a time when she went through a rough patch, during which she went to counseling and eventually had her faith renewed. “The more my faith in Christ grew, the more confident I became; and I wanted something that would reflect that new confidence on the outside – African prints, or ankara, are the perfect reflection of that with all of the bold colors and designs. I started out just designing a dress for my birthday, and a couple of friends encouraged me to sketch out a collection. I started sketching again, which was really freeing, and I bought a $50 sewing machine on eBay and got to work. A few months later I had a “line” and A Leap of Style was launched. It’s crazy to think how far the company has come from those initial days.”
Karissa’s inspiration stems from her admiration of vintage fashion- mostly the 50s and 70s. “The silhouettes from the 50s were just so flattering to the female form, and I always strive for flattering. And the 70s were just such a fierce time in fashion – I’m currently inspired by everything from the caftans that were so popular in that decade to the disco fashion. I love recreating these silhouettes in African-inspired textiles.”
“At the core of A Leap of Style, our goal is to empower and inspire women through fashion. That means empowering and inspiring the women who wear our pieces, as well as the women who work behind the scenes to make the clothing and make the brand “work”. I’m expanding the team and always on the lookout for women who want to use their talents with a creative startup – if anyone is interested, they can email us at:[firstname.lastname@example.org]! Be sure to check out the website, where we’ll be adding new styles after July 4th. Also, check us out on social media, as we are constantly updating our Instagram and Facebook pages. Right now, on the blog, we feature bloggers wearing pieces from A Leap of Style, but soon I’ll be blogging more personal pieces of inspiration, advice, and such from my journey as a designer. Our team is growing, but I want to maintain a personal touch and I’m a writer at heart too, so I’m excited for that.”
I had heard of A Leap of Style through social media and numerous friends. I was thrilled when I had the chance to finally meet Karissa at one of her recent pop-up shops. For this shoot, I chose five pieces that I felt really conveyed my aesthetic. I loved being able to mix ‘n match the prints, as they all seem to work well with each other. When it came time to accessorize the looks, I added my own unique flair: vintage bracelets, oversize sunglasses, necklaces, and belt.
** Images by Sofia Emm **