While the name Kat Von D might ring a bell, the first thoughts that come to mind are her television show LA Ink, the, ahem, relationships she’s been in or maybe her head to toe tattoos. What might not come to mind is the debut of her new clothing line.

And it’s actually pretty dang good. Perhaps it’s because a Portlander is helping steer that ship. Janeane Marie (whom you might recognize from her season 7 stint on Project Runway) was part of the Portland fashion scene before she packed her bags last year and headed off to Florida (yes, Florida) to work side by side with Kat on the now international selling collection. Marie and I went to fashion school together and caught up to talk about what it’s like being part of a celebrity line.

Eden Dawn: What’s your title?

Janeane Marie: Head Designer at Kat Von D.

E.D: How long did it take for this to come together?

J.M: I came on board in June of 2010, and worked from Portland until I moved to Florida last November. The process had started much earlier than that, though. We launched the first collection in February at Coterie in NYC, so it ended up being about a year. Kat is very involved with the line, and she has a vision for what she wants it to be like. She does all the original artwork, and goes over each detail of every style.

E.D: What was the inspiration for the collection?

J.M: The collection is called "Love Letters," and is inspired by historic romances. We looked at the tempestuous love between Napoleon and Empress Josephine, Beethoven and his Immortal Beloved, Henry the VIII and his wives. It’s very dark and romantic, but with sharp angles and cutting to make it modern.

E.D: What’s the reception to the line been like?

J.M: It’s only the first season, but people have been very excited about the clothing. We’ve had great reception internationally. Kat has millions of fans, and they are all very happy to see her come out with a clothing line. The best selling pieces are the coats and jackets, and the fully-fashioned knitwear.
What are you working on now? We took the SS12 Collection to market this summer, and we are working on the collection for next fall. I’ve already started sketching for SS13, which will be our 4th season!

To view or purchase the pieces check out: www.katvondlosangeles.com/

(Janeane’s cameo on LA Ink)