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Spotlight: Arielle Bergmann — Spotlight

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

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Spotlight: Arielle Bergmann


Photo By: Bob Gathany

Photo By: Bob Gathany

Arielle Bergmann is a young fashion designer making her mark on the fashion industry with Elleira Couture. Arielle is a native of Charlotte, NC and started her love affair at the tender age of 8 years old. The precocious designer began sketching and studying the works of noted fashion designers and icons in the industry. Arielle credits her high school apparel teacher Alberta “Ren” Jetton with providing an outlet for her creativity and encouraging it. She continued her education at Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia.

In 2007, she started her own line, Elleira Couture, for the everyday woman that transcends modern vintage inspired pieces. She designs everything from casual t-shirts to edgy cocktail dresses. One thing is sure; each of the garments she creates is unique and made with meticulous craftsmanship and skill. All of Arielle’s designs are produced in the United States and have a refreshing handmade quality. Elleira Couture can be currently found in 16 stores and boutiques across the southeast. When not sketching or draping, Arielle shares her love for fashion and design with high schoolers in Huntsville, AL. The fabulous young designer’s ambition and drive to create was palpable during our conversation.

Q: Where did you learn your trade?

A: I Graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design but my mentor was Ren Jetton, my fashion teacher in High School. Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Q: When did you start designing?

A: I started designing when I was 8 years old. I love to watch

Bold & the Beautiful. They had these gorgeous gowns and outfits, so I started drawing dresses and making outfits for my Barbies. When I got to high school instead of art I took fashion apparel classes. I guess that’s where it all started.

Q: What was your first design?

A: In Charlotte we had this thing called the Senior Exit Project;

it was part of our graduation requirement. You had to pick a topic and write a paper. I chose women’s 20th century fashion and how it evolved overtime. For the project I was inspired to create a dress with a bell shape and backless, but it still had straps. I wore it to prom and it was great to know that I MADE my dress and it was a one of a kind design. Everyone was floored and I loved it.

Q: What are some things other than clothes that inspire you?

A: I never get inspired by clothing. I get inspiration from buildings and color schemes. One time I made a whole collection based off gold fish…well the Japanese coy. I can draw inspiration from anywhere really. My mind is always going so it’s really whatever feels good.

Q: What was a really disappointing time in your design career?

A: When I first started out people were taking advantage of me or make false promises from a business standpoint. I had a PR person make all these promises that she would get my line coverage in ELLE and COSMO; but never delivered. We even signed contracts and everything! She said that she had celebrities interested in my line and would wear them to events. It was all smoke. When you are first starting out you don’t have money to take them to court. It was disappointing because I knew my line was great but SAD that they would take advantage.

Q: Describe an evolution in your work from your first project to today?

A: In the beginning I was more focused on designing more dresses and now I’ve been making more transitional pieces…casual wear and what sells, HA.


Above Items can be purchased at Smashing Darling.

Q: What kind of music do you list to at the moment?

A: Well I just bought two CDs: OWL City and John Meyer. I’m the #1 John Meyer fan. I’ve seen him over 20 times, even before he was really famous. I liked him when his head didn’t fit his body. Now’s he’s filled out and has muscles. (giggles)

Q: Do you read fashion magazines?

A: Well I used to read W Magazine but I’m kinda disappointed that it’s ALL ads. I do really like Nylon Magazine tho.

Q: What kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?

A: I don’t avoid anything. My personal style changes from day to day. I might wear pastry tennis shoes, a neon graphic tee, or a JCrew type dress. My personal style is vintage inspired, trendy with antique jewelry. I LOVE accessories.

Q: Do you discuss your projects with other designers?

A: Not really, Sometimes I show my students so they can see the progress and gives credibility to what I’m teaching in the classroom. I do have a business team that I show my work to but not really any other designers.

Q: What advise do you have for young aspiring designers?

A: It takes time; it’s hard, and doesn’t happen overnight. It is easy to start your own business but the hard part is growing it.

elleira-editorial4elleira-editorialelleira-editorial3Above photos by Mark Durling Photography Hair and Makeup by Mod Squad.

Check out Arielle Bergmann’s Elleira Couture Spring 2010 Collection at http://www.elleiracouture.com. Just FYI –  when you go to her site you have to click in the lower left hand corner for the menu/ navigation bar to appear.

Share what you think about her collection below in the comments.

Image Source: http://www.elleiracouture.com

About Terrance Brown
I have a bachelors degree from the University of Alabama in World Business concentrating in International Marketing and French. I spent the past 3 years working at a large ad agency as a Broadcast Negotiator, on accounts such as Ford, Dominos, Burger King, Olive Garden, Cellular South, and Toys R Us to name a few. After being laid off in February '09, I've switched my attentions to helping make Refugee Desiger.com become a destination covering all aspects of design.



  1. [...] pick the runners-up in the Indie Design blog-off at WhatDesigners.com …don’t miss this lovely interview with Darling Arielle Bergmann of Elleira Couture… kudos to Papusza Couture whose pieces can be [...]

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