Lesley Ware: Open Book

Meet the fabulous fashion educator.

We recently caught up with Lesley Ware to chat standout style, confident kids, and the endless fun to be found in fashion. Lesley is a writer, entrepreneur, and fashion educator and author of How to Be a Fashion Designer.

Your work in five words:

Fun. Inclusive. Colourful. Inspiring. Expressive.

Three objects you couldn’t do without:

Earrings. Sunglasses. Houseplants.

Your fashion motto:

Live Sparkly!

Stripes or polka dots (or neither!)?

Both! Especially in black and white.

How did you approach writing How To Be a Fashion Designer? What did you feel it was important to include?

The process for writing How to Be a Fashion Designer happened super fast! This past summer I was teaching teen fashion courses at The Metropolitan Museum and The Parsons School of Design, so my mornings, evenings, and weekends were spent writing. I took lots of field trips with friends to find inspiration. For example, the “at the beach” section of the book was written at my friend Nomi’s beach house out on Long Island, and I wrote “dress like an Ancient Egyptian” while touring the Egyptian galleries at The MET on my lunch breaks.

The hardest part of writing How to Be a Fashion Designer was narrowing down the content. It was really a task of picking what would be most visual and lively for a young audience. Thank goodness for a wonderful editor!

What do you think makes fashion so fun for kids?

Fashion is fun for kids because everything is fresh and new. They do not mind if something may be cringe-worthy, as long as they like it and it feels comfortable. Times have changed from when I was growing up, when everyone just wanted to blend in. Today, kids with style stand out and are admired for their ability to be bold and different. Plus, the stylescape is opening up and there are many cool new unisex brands for kids to wear. This is exciting too!

Do you have a favourite spread from How to Be a Fashion Designer?

I do! My favourite spread in How to Be a Fashion Designer is Outlines, because there is a visual rhythm to the color-blocked clothes on the dolls. Also, silhouette is my favourite element of design to experiment with. I am always trying to change it up, so if you see me I might be wearing one, or all three, of these outlines at the same time.