By Alexia Hill
“Quirky, bright, fun, something new, something that makes you take a double take, something down to Earth, and affordable” is how Chief Fashion Designer Lauren-Bacall Snowden would describe her brand, Sueño LB.
Snowden is from Seattle, Washington, and came to Arizona because of family. She has been designing and selling clothes for about nine years and has been actively trying to be a part of the fashion industry for about two or three years.
“I’ve always sewn things for just me or the girls [her daughters and friends], and I used to model so I would do some alterations and things like that for myself for shoots,” Snowden said.
Snowden was inspired to delve into the realm of fashion because she saw something missing in the industry and wanted to bring more representation to the table.
“I saw a hole,” Snowden said. “I couldn’t find what it was that I wanted, and I have a body type I felt wasn’t being represented so I put myself out there.”
Snowden’s brand, Sueño LB, derives from the spanish word “to dream,” and the LB represents her name, Lauren-Bacall. Snowden grew up speaking Spanish as her father is Cuban, and her mother is African American.
“That’s where my inspirations come from— dreaming, daydreaming, deja vu,” Snowden said. “Seeing fabric, visions come to me because fabric speaks. Sometimes I’ll hear a song or just be in a mood and then I’ll see something I want to create.”
On the note of Snowden being both Cuban and African American, she explained it has brought varied expectations of her designs from different people. She also mentioned that she hasn’t experienced discrimination or inequities within the fashion industry in Arizona, but that people are sometimes surprised by the quality work she delivers.
“For example I’m mixed, so with having roots on both sides I don’t quite fit on either one. Like if I tell somebody that I’m Hispanic, then there’s this expectation that there might be a more Hispanic twist on things, and there might be, but there might not be at the same time,” Snowden said.
The main inequity Snowden has noticed in Arizona is not in regards to race or ethnicity, but that diverse-sized models are seldom, and some body types are not being depicted in the industry. Examples from Snowden included women who weightlift or have had children.
“It’s very difficult to try and find clothes that fit well if you’re kind of toned up. For my body type or athletic body types, you’re stuck in sportswear or jeans and a T-shirt,” Snowden said. “Those are the body types that are curvy and thick and athletic, and I am not seeing. That’s where I am still not seeing as much progress as there was in the Pacific Northwest…I want Sueño to try and fill that gap.”
The clothes made by Snowden are not exclusively for any audience, but rather meant to be worn by anyone and everyone. Snowden described it as being the in-between for the $10,000 gown and the $5 gown.
“If there’s a girl who has something coming up and their budget is $100 or $200, we’re going to whip up something for you and you’re going to look amazing. It shouldn’t have to break the bank,” Snowden said. “The idea is to use upcycling and recycling to help not only reduce waste in the fashion industry because we can reuse everything, but because it also keeps things affordable.”