Interviews – Massachusetts Fashion Designer Catarina Abreu has always been a busy person with her hands tied with new things and it’s always a breath of fresh air when she takes the time out of her hard work to speak to me about what’s going on with her. I recently caught up with the designer to touch down on some of her latest news and projects for the new year and she kindly filled me in by answering every question I had sent to her. She was one of many talented people I got in touch with to do an interview but was one of the first to finish up her interview this month. I definitely enjoyed interviewing her and I hope you enjoy reading it!
~*~*Interview /w Catarina Abreu*~*~
Internet Hollywood: We meet again Catarina!! Welcome back to the Internet Hollywood universe! It’s an honor having someone as amazingly talented as you back for a second interview. You did an amazing job at the Internet Hollywood Fashion Show and I appreciate all of the advice you gave me leading up to the show. Without your support the show would have been a lot different. But now we in a new year and I’m sure you have your hands tied with a lot of things. How’s life been treating you this year so far, and what are some of the things you’re working on now?
Catarina: Hello Internet Hollywood! Thank you for having me again. It’s a pleasure working with you, and as always I am here to share my fashion journey and the new things that have been happening in my life. This journey has not been easy, but I am learning to trust God more and more and walk in wisdom. I have met and worked with great people in the Fashion Industry. I did two Fashion shows which one was a silent play with Fashion Fusion produced by Tania Anderson who is a smart and creative individual. This show is a Multi-Cultural Theater Production showcasing art, this annual event was created to raise awareness surrounding mental health experiences. All designers had different theme, mine was vanity, Couture collection, which I was so proud of, and one of my favorites dress was my masterpiece African Print Dress with customized, handmade hat. This was a very luxurious collection. I was also a part of a 3rd Annual Catwalk for the Cure Event on March 8th. This was a special night cocktails and silent auction followed by a fashion show. The fashion show features breast cancer survivors and proceeds support families fighting against breast cancer. The show was produced by Brian and his team along with the Susan G Komen of the Cure foundation. This event was inspiring in an uplifting way.
Internet Hollywood: You are someone that always keeps yourself actively involved with shows to show off your amazing designs. I have even witnessed you worked hard putting together designs for two fashion shows you had that were both in the same month. What was the driving force behind that motivation that keeps you focused enough to do that and why do you feel maintaining the fashion shows at the rate that you do is important?
Catarina: The driving force behind that motivation that keeps me focused enough to do this is the fashion industry itself, getting to the top in fashion industry has always been a daunting challenge, which makes my drive to achieve even more exciting.
Internet Hollywood: I’m sure we both could agree that things could be a bit challenging doing things on an independent scale but you still take it with a force of power that seems to come from a natural place. As the times change along with people who tend to gravitate with what’s more trendy do you change anything about yourself or the clothing you design to remain relevant with the times like a lot of others do?
Catarina: I try to stay in the loop of things to make sure I am not too far off; however I try to stay true to myself/ my design as much as possible. We live in an era where people want to be wearing the same type of clothing mostly from Fashion Nova. There is nothing wrong with that but by brand LLeya P. is all about been unique, been bold and being your purest truth (self). All my designs have some type of character to it. Simple design is not my thing.
Internet Hollywood: As stated multiple times before, you have beautiful designs and I’m aware that you also have some available for purchase. What are some of things that you currently have in stock now and where is the best place that could go to purchase them?
Catarina: I do have several items for sale, from gowns to summer dresses, skirts, shirts and much more. My website www.LLeyap.com is still work in progress, however I suggest reaching out to me via email at Customercare@LLeyap.com or follow me on my social media where I post all items I have for sale. My Facebook page is LLeya P. and my Instagram is LLeya_P.
Internet Hollywood: What has changed about the way you view the realm of fashion now that we’re in a new year and your more experience and has your way of dealing with models changed when it comes to associating them with your clothing for things like events, promotion, or anything else?
Catarina: As I grow in this industry, I am incorporating model from diverse background into my brand as I want to show equality in our society. I am learning that in order to sell your clothing or in order for your brand to expand to a bigger scale you need to work with professionals, regardless if the models are getting paid or not. I like working with professionals. I am also starting to incorporate contracts. I had a few undesirable experiences in which helped me learn a lot from different characters I worked with; from the models and from the photographers.
Internet Hollywood: I remember you told me in our last interview that your goal is to dress Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Has that goal changed and are there other things besides designing that you would like to turn into a career in the near future to expand your brand or no?
Catarina: My goal has not changed, to add on to that, I would like to become an interior designer or maybe an architect. I graduated with a bachelor of science in Mathematics from Bridgewater state University in 2012. I would like to return to school to obtain another degree in one of those areas I mentioned above. My goal is to my brand as diverse as possible. I currently working on a project called Unity which I recently did a photoshoot with Akou Diabakhate (model), Bonnie Burke (model), Samantha Gottlich (model), Rayvell Smith (model) and Jason Pietroski (Photographer who came all the way from Rhode Island to be a part of this amazing project. I am currently working on submitting this great project to art Galleries as well as magazines.
Internet Hollywood: Thank you for the interview, Catarina!
Paulo Fidalgo Photography: Instagram