Latasha Henderson-Robinson Fashion Designer and Season 15 Project Runway Contestant
SB: Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
LHR: I began dabbling in fashion when I was about 8-years-old. My late mother, Roberta Henderson, allowed me to choose my own clothes for school and also choose her outfits. I mixed lots of prints for my mother and she always told me how people complimented her. I would get compliments on my outfits at school as well. I didn’t grow up wealthy, so we got a lot of hand-me-downs. I would distress them, cut them and do whatever I could so that people wouldn’t make fun of me or remind me that their family had given us the clothes. Fashion design began early for me and it saved my life.
SB: Are you trained in fashion design? If so, where did you train?
LHR: Fashion design is God-given, but I did attend The Art Institute of Los Angeles (Graphic Design), Santa Monica College (Fashion Merchandising) and West Los Angeles College (Business).
SB: Where do you most often pull inspiration from when designing your pieces?
LHR: I love this question. I pull inspiration from several places such as music, family, color palettes for the season, my husband’s [Dennis Robinson] artwork, illustrations and animations. I dream about designs a lot, too. I read a lot into my dreams.
SB: How would you describe your brand?
LHR: I describe our brand, VonRay, as fun, funky, free, artistic and street. We love to have fun and make pieces you can wear often while still getting fantastic compliments. We love to implement art and layers of love. We are known for our explosive fashion show productions. We have lots of fashion shows and music showcase productions coming up soon. We are also working on collaborations.
SB: If VonRay could snag any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be?
LHR: We have been blessed to have so many celebrities wear our brand such as Randy Jackson, Wiz Khalifa, Diggy Simmons, Lance Gross, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sassy & Puma and many more. We would love to have Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar or SZA as our spokesmodel. That would be super dope.
SB: Do you feel a lot of pressure to design things that no one’s ever seen before?
LHR: I thrive off of creating unique pieces that are against the norm. I was always considered weird in an artistic way and I feel no pressure at all designing things that no one’s ever seen before because, eventually, they will catch on to the trend. I like setting trends.
SB: What advice would you give a young person with a passion for designing?
LHR: I would advise anyone to keep God first. I’d tell them not to listen to people saying that they can’t do it; we can do anything we want in life. Do lots of research and work under people that inspire you if given an opportunity. Never stop learning and growing. Step out of the box as much as you can.
SB: How do you feel about the show (Project Runway)?
LHR: I am really good friends with about half the cast because we had to be around each other the entire summer. It’s a super dope feeling to have a fashion family. The most challenging part of the show was the hours of sleep and work. We’d have to work a lot of hours and our minds wouldn’t rest which caused us not to sleep well. I’d be excited and emotional at the same time. I missed my husband and family a lot. That was emotionally challenging. My favorite part of the show was forming a close friendship with Tim Gunn and really being able to talk to him one-on-one anytime I wanted to. I also adored my relationship with Zac Posen [celebrity fashion designer and Project Runway judge] off camera. He was a great energy. I really enjoyed being able to see my designs come down the runway and seeing my hard work pay off. It’s been such a blessing to be apart of the PR family and the show is a great platform. I am so grateful to God for his many blessings and allowing me this opportunity.
Find more about Latasha and her husband’s brand at www.vonraydesigns.com. Visit VonRay Designs on Facebook, Instagram (@vonraydesigns @von_of_vonray) and Twitter (@vonrayboutique @msdiversecity).