“Actually I was very hesitant to work with alligator,” says Ashley Porter, creator of Porter Lyons, a high fashion line of accessories made from exotics sourced from the bayous.
“So it says L-A, Mississippi and it has the year 2003. These hides right here are the center of the alligator which you don’t see that much, you see the belly a lot, ” she explains while giving me the tour of her work space. Porter makes sure each alligator she uses is tagged as part of the regulated hunting season and she doesn’t just use skins and furs in her fashion designs, she believes in using every part.
“I really did want to use the bones, they’re great for earrings because they’re so light weight you can’t even tell that they’re on. They’re out there in this bone graveyard I go to.” Bones, skulls, even alligator teeth.
“I started designing them into long pendants, I also started designing them horizontally so that the chain goes right through them and I also cast from them as well. ”
She uses a casting house in New York, leather tannery in Lafayette, metal plaiter in New Mexico and gets her gators from Galliano. It’s only been one year since the inception but this entrepreneur is living out her wildest dreams.
“In New Orleans, I’m inspired from the moment I wake up to the minute my head hits the pillow at night. I grew up in San Francisco, I’ve lived in L.A., here and New York and this city is just fabulous.”
So fabulous, she donates a portion of her profits to local causes. “That’s one of my big things about the whole brand is that everything has a tie back into New Orleans, and into the city and part of the whole collection gives back to wetland preservation as well, specifically, The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. I really believe that we have a social responsibility to give back to a greater cause. ”
It’s no wonder the collection has resonated with so many New Orleans women, Porter Lyons is philanthropic, fashion forward and a bit feisty.
For more information visit the website: http://www.porterlyons.com/
And Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Porterlyonscollection?ref=ts&fref=ts