Say hello to a few faces from Interform’s EMERGE II designer cohort.
WORDS / JULIA M. TRUPP
ILLUSTRATIONS / LUPITA ALBARRAN
Little Rock | Philadelphia
@where_beauty_meets_fashion | alyecelenae.com
As a young girl, A’Lyece Lenae loved Barbie dolls. Her mother always tried to get her the latest doll in the collection but couldn’t afford extra accessories or clothing, so Lenae made her own out of old socks and stockings, tying knots to custom-fit the garments to the doll’s figure. Once she learned how to sew, the rest was history.
Since deciding to take the leap to pursue fashion full-time and open a design studio in her hometown of Little Rock, Lenae has showcased her work in Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week multiple times. Last year, the pandemic forced her to close her business and move to Philadelphia to be closer to her sister. While she still has connections to the Arkansas fashion industry, she is working on developing more clientele and officially re-locating her business to Philadelphia, where she will also study fashion at the Made Institute, a premier fashion design and sewing school.
As a self-described “emotional designer,” Lenae listens to mood music to visualize each piece she makes, specifically how she wants them to make people feel and how her models will look in motion on the runway. “I think [women] are some of the most beautiful and powerful beings on this planet. I love being a woman, and I think I just enjoy seeing women feel good and look good in my garments.”