Anthony Ryan Auld hopes to ‘kick start’ new interest in local fashion designers

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 3:41pm

BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Creative types in Baton Rouge continue to gain opportunities within the film, multi-media and music industries. Now, one local artist is hoping to kick-start that same momentum for local fashion designers.

“You're always going to have a brick wall no matter what you do, but it's really about ramming it down I think,” Anthony Ryan Auld, a Baton Rouge fashion designer said when asked what advice he would give to other designers who are frustrated due to a lack of resources.

Auld has witnessed a whirlwind of activity since graduating from LSU in the spring of 2010. After studying for an extended period in Paris, he returned home and was cast on the Lifetime hit show, Project Runway. Although he made it far in the competition, Auld left with out the big prize.

Rather than accepting defete, Auld found his own way to ram down the brick wall though a website called Kickstarter.com.

“You set yourself up with a time, you set yourself up with a goal. If you make your goal you get the money. If you don't make your goal you don't get the money,” Auld said with a smile when explaining how the site works.

Auld created a Kickstarter account back in December. His project involved two things: launching a new collection, and bringing awareness to his non-profit organization.

Several years ago Auld was diagnosed with testicular cancer – a fact that was made public during his time on Project Runway. Utilizing his new found fame, Auld began working on the non-profit group as a way of providing support for others with, or dealing with issues related to cancer.

As for his main objective, Auld succeeded in raising the funds need to begin momentum on a two-day fashion event to debut his new line. He plans to invite some big names to attend.

“There's no telling who will come, you know, tim, heidi?”

Invitations have already gone out to his fellow Season 9 contestants, which is fitting considering that his departure from the show was a large source of inspiration for his new designs.

“After I left the show I was really in a dark place,” Auld reveals. “I was just really questioning ‘is this what I really should be doing and is this what I, you know, really want to do, is it worth it,’ and to pull yourself out of that and say, yes.”

Auld hopes the Baton Rouge-catwalk will serve a greater purpose than just a night’s entertainment. Rather, he hopes the event will be a small catalyst for a new era of fashion in Bayou Country.

“Louisiana isn’t really known for fashion,” Auld explained. “If we actually set ourselves apart and say ‘hey, we can do this, we're good at fashion, we have all this talent here in Baton Rouge, in New Orleans, in just Louisiana in general,’ then with these movies coming in, they're not going to bring in stylists, they're going to want stylists from here. They're going to want people to make garments for them.”

A way of making that happen is to provide a showcase for other designers at the March event. His hope is to utilize his Project Runway status as a way a sort of springboard for other designers looking for a leg-up opportunity. Then, a possible snowball effect could happen, which would continue to grow more opportunities within a state that continues to grow in regarding to all fields within the entertainment industry as a whole.

“I think that this could be the start to something bigger.”

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