Unplugged: So let’s get to it. What’s the name of your business and this line you’re displaying tonight?
Joan Madison: Well, I own a bridal salon called “Joan’s Bridal Couture” but the name of this line tonight is “Joan Madison – The Signature Collection”.
Unplugged: So tell me, Joan. What’s the inspiration behind this clothing line?
Joan Madison: The inspiration for my collection of evening wear is all about being an Empowered fashionista, with a raw feminine attitude that slays every time she walks in a room. These modern designs are made with luxurious fabrics that exude royalty, opulence, and affluence. It's all about channeling your inner goddess, and taking your rightful seat on the throne, to confidently reign supreme in your Queendom.
Unplugged: Where does the creativity and imagination derive as you design your lines?
Joan Madison: The imagination to create comes from everywhere. People. Fabrics. Current events. Your own experience. The more exposure you have, the easier it is to be creative.
Unplugged: Do you have a favorite line or are you partial to a particular design?
Joan Madison: I love all of them! However, being that my line is typically evening wear and sophisticated bridal wear, I love seeing women glow as they wear my garments. It shapes them out the way they want to be shaped giving them the silhouettes they desire and they just feel beautiful altogether. My garments are special occasion pieces. It customize for each woman to enjoy her moment in the spotlight. So I think when women wear my garments, they feel fabulous and thus, every garment that satisfies my clients becomes my favorite because it has proven to do its job.
Unplugged: The fashion industry is growing with new designers every year so how did you transition into your own brick & mortar location?
Joan Madison: I have a background in design. Originally from New York, I moved to Columbus as the Technical Design Manager for the Limited for a little over 10 years. Prior to working for the Limited, I’ve worked for major dress houses like Liz Claiborne, Donna Karan, and Ellen Tracy. So have an extensive background in fashion and plenty of experience under my belt.
(laughing hysterically with her husband Roger next to her)
So when I retired from the limited, I knew this was the next step for me. Ironically, we just celebrated our 10th Anniversary in business as well. So what make Joan’s Bridal unique is that while we carry other designers, we customize for all of our clients. If you didn’t see what you wanted, we can make you whatever you need. After that, one thing just led to another and here we are!
Unplugged: What is a challenge to being a designer in Columbus, Ohio?
Joan Madison: While Columbus is #3 in the fashion industry, we do not have the facilities available to us to expedite what designers need to finish their work. An example of this is fabric stores. Columbus just doesn’t have enough. Consequently, I have to search other places in the world to secure the fabrics I need. As a result, importing fabrics means higher costs. It cost more to get the fabric which drives the price of the garment higher because I have to cover my expenses to make it.
Unplugged: What’s the biggest success for you?
Joan Madison: There’s really many! But one that sticks out is this one. The producers from the television show “Growing up McGhee” contacted me requesting that I design a custom bridal gown for Mia McGhee. So you I know I tripped out like, “this is not real” but it was very real! Immediately, I became honored to have the producers of a reality show reach out to me to design one of their main stars’ garments. It truly made me feel special and I wanted to ensure the dress I designed for Mia was fabulous! I wanted her to know how much I appreciated her and her belief in me to seek me out. She highlighted my business on her show and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.
Unplugged: When displaying your designs, what kinds of models do you want?
Joan Madison: I need models to be empathetic. I’m an empathetic person so I look for models who can exude emotion. My models must do more than wear my clothes. They have to bring the design to life. Each piece has its own expression and I expect my models to capture that expression and breathe life to it!
Unplugged: So what’s next Joan?
Joan Madison: Only God knows! Whatever comes down the road, just know Phillip I’m ready for it!