This week, we introduced the four finalists in the running for The Cultivate Awards Year II Grande Prize. The Cultivate Awards will air on April 23rd, and the four finalists chosen by a panel of notable judges and guided by a celebrity mentor will showcase their work in hopes of winning the $10,000 prize and the opportunity to have a capsule collection with ELOQUII!
Before the LIVE event, we wanted you to get to know each of our finalists better! Of course, you’ve already learned about finalist Angela Rene’ and Charniece Whiteso today, we will be spotlighting Le’Andra Dove of Lorenza James By Elle Dove!
The Cultivate Awards Finalist Spotlight: Le ‘ Andra Dove
Le’Andra Dove, affectionately known as Elle, is a Black American designer. She was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and from the time she was eight, she knew she wanted to become a designer. One of her first designs was inspired by a Georgia O’Keefe painting!
She is formally taught and received her BFA in fashion design and merchandising from IADT Orlando in 2012. She later launched Lorenza James by Elle Dove in 2013.
“I was making beautiful garments that I couldn’t wear the entire time I was in school. Now I want to serve women that look like me…”
Lorenza James by Elle Dove has seen its ups and downs over the years since its conception but has always found a way to thrive and serve the plus community through stylish looks that turn heads and provide comfort.
Get To Know The Cultivate Awards Finalists, In Their Own Words
What inspired you to become a designer?
“I have never wanted to be anything else, well, maybe an ice skater. I have always been creative, but I really zeroed in on designing when I was in elementary school. We were in art class studying Georgia O’Keefe Paintings, and I decided to turn it into a dress. The desire to create has never left me, and here we are today.“
Where do you pull inspiration from?
“OMG!!! I LOVE people watching and listening to music, so my inspiration comes from that. I love how people move through the world, especially the ones who are unapologetically themselves. If I am listening to music, that’s a match made in heaven. I get lost in my imagination while listening to a good playlist.“
Are there any designers that inspire you?
“I wouldn’t say inspire more like admire only because when you are developing your voice as a designer, in my opinion, to limit your exposure to work that has been done. For me, at the moment, I admire two designers whose aesthetic is beautiful, Iris Van Herpen and Jasmine Elder (Jibri). I love how they both execute their visions. It’s a silent grace and beauty.“
What do you feel the fashion industry is missing?
‘Me!!! Just Kidding, or am I? I wish more fashion companies would find a way to slow fashion waste. It is missing that element of responsibility. I know that wasn’t the answer you were expecting, but it is one of the things I think about as far as the social impact my brand will have.“
How would you describe your personal style?
“Ha!!! What style? Lol, just kidding. Well, I love comfort, and when athleisure really settled in, I did too. Other than that, I like things to be simple, clean, and polished, especially because I am a mom.“
What do you feel makes your designs stand out from other designers?
“Me. It’s my eye and the way I try to cater to the lifestyle of the women I dress. I want to simplify style for the women who find it hard to achieve. For example, many of the looks I produce require little to no jewelry to make a point, and I love that.“
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your brand?
“I may have things in common with other designers, but my story is my own; Therefore, it looks unique to me, my life, and my experiences. Those experiences shape my point of view in fashion, which is reflected in what I design.“
Don’t forget to RSVP to the live event!
Check back in tomorrow to learn about finalist Matthew Robinson, founder, and designer of Matthew Paul Robinson.