Designer to Watch: Lanie B. (of Hellz Bellz)
by Couch Sessions
NAME: Lanie Alabanza-Barcena (Lanie B.)
Reppen: Los Angeles
Occupation: Creative Director and Founder of Hellz Bellz
Crew: Husband Bam and dog Marley
Quote: “There is nothing more empowering for a woman than to be able to hold her own without the help of a man.”
“Hells Bells and cockle shells!” What does that really mean anyway? Well from a little research I’ve done it has something to do with wicked people when they die, Pilgrims and a symbol of St. James. And it’s actually the name of Lanie B’s streetwear clothing line for women called Hellz Bellz (she took out the cockle shells part)- which exemplifies the BWA (Bitch With Attitude) we all have deep inside of us.
Born and raised in San Diego, Lanie B. had no idea she would end up being the creative director and founder of a streatwear clothing line for women. Instead she had aspirations of being just a designer and attended the Art Institute of California which exposed her to all different aspects of design. From there she landed internships at Alphanumeric (streatwear apparel company) and DiZinno Thompson (advertising company) and it was from these experiences she decided to gear towards fashion design. By landing jobs at Triple 5 Soul (ladies graphic designer) and Rocawear (ladies art director), Lanie B. realized that she wanted to design whatever she wanted and keep her creative juices flowing. She knew that working for corporations that huge she would rarely or even at all get to design what she wanted.
It’s kind of refreshing to see a female moving along side all the males in the streetwear market. Hellz Bellz is not for the faint of heart either. Lanie’s designs boast some of the things that men get to do but society sometimes over looks – because it’s like “oh he’s man”! From a topless Kate Moss to a masked Minnie Mouse toting a machine gun – to a cut and sew collection that could easily be put on any runway, Lanie’s eye for mixing bad and good is so empowering.
Coming up on its 6th year since inception, Hellz Bellz has some new projects coming up in 2010. First being collaborating with Vans to release 2 limited edition styles called the Hadley and The Sofie (see pics below) which were inspired by Lanie’s love of vintage motorcycle boots and saddle shoes. Mark your calendars for Feb. 8th (this coming Monday)because these special editions Vans will definitely sell out fast. Second being GPPR, which stands for Gentleman, the Philosopher, the Pervert, and the Rebel. This will be Lanie’s first dip into menswear (so all you guy’s out there can stop wearing your girl’s clothes) and it’s looking to be a pretty dope collection. I love to see what creative minds are going to do next. With the motto of “A Crime for All Seasons”, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Hellz Bellz!