It didn’t take long for celebrity fashion designer Kevan Hall to size up his Oklahoma customers on a recent visit.
After being in Oklahoma City for only a few hours, he quickly learned women here enjoy traveling, they know fashion, they’re stylish, and they welcome suggestions and new ideas. They’re aware of trends but don’t jump on a certain style or color just because it’s of the moment.
“Fashion is so instant,” Hall said during a visit to R Meyers in Nichols Hills. “The Oklahoma woman has a keen eye and knows what she likes.”
In many ways, Oklahoma women mirror Hall’s fashion philosophy. He said he’s never been married to fashion trends and encourages women to embrace what they like.
“Women have to decide what works best for them, what they feel confident in,” he said. When a woman looks in the mirror, she needs to feel beautiful in that gown or dress.
He said women are looking for clothing that’s not complicated, that offers a sense of ease and sense of confidence.
Hall was sketching clothes when he was as young as 8, but he never imagined a career as a fashion designer. He didn’t know such a job existed.
But his parents bought him magazines and art supplies, and perhaps most important, supported him.
In his sketches, he reimagined the wardrobes of Sonny and Cher, Hollywood actresses of the 1940s, ’50s and ‘60s, and the women of Motown, including Diana Ross and Martha Reeves.
Growing up in Detroit, “I was just a young guy looking and admiring the incredible style of those musicians,” he said.
“I didn’t know there was such a thing as a designer. I just enjoyed sketching.”
His mother influenced him as well. “She loved fashion and took us to Saks and the best stores in town,” he said. And in those days, church was where every woman showed off her Sunday best.
His influences remain the same today. He still loves glamour, vintage and old Hollywood, but now his sketches come to life in beautiful and luxurious fabrics.
In 1983, he founded Kevan Hall Couture, selling to Neiman Marcus and Saks. His resume also includes design and creative director for Halston from 1998 until the company was sold in 2000.
“It was a great opportunity for me to work with so many tailors and patternmakers from when they worked with Roy (Halston),” he said.