Leesa Evans is a true purveyor of style: from her work as a costume designer for film to her dedication as a private stylist for celebrities and professional clients alike. Her personal philosophy and professional inspiration are drawn from a lifelong commitment to fashion, individuality, and the art of storytelling.  Raised in Laguna Beach, the daughter of a couture designer with retail stores in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Leesa grew up in and around the fashion industry. She spent her formative years at runway shows, mingling with the socialites, politician’s wives and rock stars that her mother designed for. It was here that Leesa experienced firsthand the intricacies of the fashion world. She went on to spend the first part of her career working alongside her mother, gaining extensive experience in clothing design, manufacturing, as well as the retail business.  However, once Leesa was given the opportunity to work with a costume designer in 1989, she found her true calling. Since then, she has dedicated herself to the craft of costume design and styling for film, commercial advertising, and celebrities. Leesa’s work gives her the ability to nurture her own passion for fabric, color and design, while simultaneously instilling a sense of confidence, ownership, and originality in every actor and private client she dresses.  Leesa said, “I love to create the feeling of confidence when dressing someone. Whether it's a character who needs to exude authority and influence or an individual I'm working with one on one who wants to be more confident. It delights me to know I’ve helped someone feel amazing in their daily life.”  In 2015, Leesa launched – along with actress, friend, and client, Amy Schumer – StyleFund, an organization that works to empower women via clothing and, ultimately, to step out into the world with confidence.  Leesa’s credits include more than 25 films such as  I Feel Pretty  with Amy Schumer,  Why Him?  starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston,  Zoolander 2 ,  Trainwreck ,  Bridesmaids , for which she was nominated for a Costume Designer Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film;  Neighbors , starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne; and  22 Jump Street , starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, as well as  Get Him to the Greek ;  I Love You, Man ;  Forgetting Sarah Marshall ;  This is 40 ;  Five Year Engagement ; and  Scooby-Doo , among many others. She has more than 500 television commercials under her belt, including ones for clients like Coca Cola, AT&T, Verizon, HP, Samsung, GM, Ford, Mastercard, Porsche, and Kelloggs, among countless others.  Leesa’s work with films and celebrities has been seen in such illustrious publications as  Vanity Fair ,  Rolling Stone ,  People ,  Nylon  and  InStyle , as well as on the red carpets of events from the Academy Awards® to the Grammys® and everywhere in between.  Leesa is based in New York and Los Angeles, but leaves clients self-assured and well styled wherever her work may take her.

Leesa Evans is a true purveyor of style: from her work as a costume designer for film to her dedication as a private stylist for celebrities and professional clients alike. Her personal philosophy and professional inspiration are drawn from a lifelong commitment to fashion, individuality, and the art of storytelling.

Raised in Laguna Beach, the daughter of a couture designer with retail stores in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Leesa grew up in and around the fashion industry. She spent her formative years at runway shows, mingling with the socialites, politician’s wives and rock stars that her mother designed for. It was here that Leesa experienced firsthand the intricacies of the fashion world. She went on to spend the first part of her career working alongside her mother, gaining extensive experience in clothing design, manufacturing, as well as the retail business.

However, once Leesa was given the opportunity to work with a costume designer in 1989, she found her true calling. Since then, she has dedicated herself to the craft of costume design and styling for film, commercial advertising, and celebrities. Leesa’s work gives her the ability to nurture her own passion for fabric, color and design, while simultaneously instilling a sense of confidence, ownership, and originality in every actor and private client she dresses.

Leesa said, “I love to create the feeling of confidence when dressing someone. Whether it's a character who needs to exude authority and influence or an individual I'm working with one on one who wants to be more confident. It delights me to know I’ve helped someone feel amazing in their daily life.”

In 2015, Leesa launched – along with actress, friend, and client, Amy Schumer – StyleFund, an organization that works to empower women via clothing and, ultimately, to step out into the world with confidence.

Leesa’s credits include more than 25 films such as I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer, Why Him? starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston, Zoolander 2, Trainwreck, Bridesmaids, for which she was nominated for a Costume Designer Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film; Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne; and 22 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, as well as Get Him to the Greek; I Love You, Man; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; This is 40; Five Year Engagement; and Scooby-Doo, among many others. She has more than 500 television commercials under her belt, including ones for clients like Coca Cola, AT&T, Verizon, HP, Samsung, GM, Ford, Mastercard, Porsche, and Kelloggs, among countless others.

Leesa’s work with films and celebrities has been seen in such illustrious publications as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, People, Nylon and InStyle, as well as on the red carpets of events from the Academy Awards® to the Grammys® and everywhere in between.

Leesa is based in New York and Los Angeles, but leaves clients self-assured and well styled wherever her work may take her.

Although I worked in the fashion industry for 17 years, we haven’t talked about the subject very much on the show. So, I’m excited to be sitting down with costume designer and personal stylist Leesa Evans, who is credited on over 25 films and 500 commercials, created the le Cloud clothing line, and co-founded Stylefund with comedian Amy Schumer.

In movies, clothes help establish characters, but that’s only a small part of Leesa’s role on set. She’s also, in many ways, an anthropologist, psychologist, and artist; she’s figuring out how the clothing speaks to who characters are as humans and how they relate to the world at large, as well as the emotions that those clothes evoke from viewers.

And through doing this work, Leesa has learned the profound ways that clothing can affect us and the people around us, positively or negatively, developing an aesthetic philosophy that extends beyond the silver screen and into the real world.

One of her clients, Russell Brand, poetically describes this philosophy as aligning one’s essence with their clothes. “Through color, fabric, texture, and accessory, Leesa creates a symphonic truth, bringing to the surface and demonstrating the aspects of your character that you want the world to see... She helps you to show the world the beautiful part of you. And if that happens to be a lime green cape, purple boots and a cap with a feather—if Leesa dresses you in it— that must be who you are inside.”

That is what style is, although we don’t always give it the credit it deserves, often misrepresenting it as a tool of vanity. But our form has a purpose, and we should be purposeful in the way that we express ourselves.

So, are you ready to connect with yourself, find your purpose, and pull it out of you one thread at a time?


 TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:

  • How clothing makes or breaks your day

  • What we communicate to the world through the way we dress

  • Through collaboration, building something better than you could ever conceive of on your own

  • How coming up with the initial design concept and then fitting an actor contributes to how the actor embodies their character

  • What it’s like to work with method actors

  • How collaboration betters you as a person

  • Some of the most beautiful, successful, and famous people are also some of the most insecure

  • The bizarre epiphany that Leesa had at 17 & how it affects the way she lives her life to this day

  • Choosing to be happy

  • Healing our subconscious wounds

  • Pushing yourself into creativity by filling voids

  • Feeling comfortable enough to connect with yourself

  • Leesa’s styling philosophy: the shapes that we wear help us get out of our comfort zone, and over time, that leads to a general feeling of well being

  • How the artistic intention of our clothing contributes to the way we express ourselves

  • You can’t fabricate confidence – that’s arrogance

  • Not letting your clothes stop you from doing anything you want to do in your life

  • Allowing your clothing to support you

  • Co-founding Stylefund with Amy Schumer with the mission to improve women’s process of getting dressed by helping them better understand their individual silhouettes



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