Award-winning Legair Brand makes DMV debut Arthlene Legair Lawrence to be featured designer at Caribbean Style & Culture


by Janel St. John

When I met Arthlene Legair Lawrence in 2010, she was having her ‘ah ha’ moment. She had just reignited her passion for sewing after a 10-year drought, because her daughter needed a prom gown. That dress, and the attention it received, was the spark that would catapult her into her life’s purpose. Now, 7 years later, this proud mother of 3, has transformed into CEO of an award-wining, international fashion brand with a celebrity clientele!



The Legair Brand has been featured all over the world, headlining shows at Paris Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week New York, Atlanta Latina Fashion Week, Lipstick Monologues: The Couture Experience and Audi’s Annual Taste of Speed,  to name a few. Hollywood actress Tangi Miller wears her unique custom-made frocks,  and so does Kari Wells, a star on Bravo TV’s Married to Medicine and Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Not's.

Now Lawrence is making her very first appearance in the DMV (DC-MD-VA) area, as a featured designer at the 8th Annual Caribbean Culture & Style Fashion Showcase on June 17, 2017 at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Sponsored by KARIB NATION, the event culminates a four-day fashion, music and art showcase in celebration of June’s National Caribbean American Heritage Month. Models will rip the runway in designs from 12 designers from Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

Lawrence is the first designer featured from the Commonwealth of Dominica. She credits her upbringing on the Caribbean island with giving her designs - which are a mix European styles and African textiles - their avant-garde colour and flair. Growing up in a developing nation also cultivated a determination that money couldn’t buy. She would use it to propel her toward success in the fashion industry. Completely self-taught, Lawrence was inspired by the staunch resolve of her mother, who would sew their family’s clothes to save money.

Although she had been sewing for 30-years, Lawrence said she never thought of  it as a profession. Ten years ago, during that pivotal moment with her daughter, she was in nursing school. "I was sitting in chemistry class, and couldn't concentrate" she said. "So I designed three dresses, right there in class."




Humanitarian Of The Year by The Atlanta Latino Fashion Week

The Black Women In Jazz & The Arts Awards - 2016 Youth Empowerment Through Music Award

2015 Heroine in Heels Award

The Increase CDC Micro Entrepreneur Community Choice Award and The Micro Entrepreneur Retail Award

“I Am Fashion - Top Designer” from Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids








Many accolades later, Lawrence is passionate about encouraging people, especially young people, to follow their passion. A speaker and mentor, she founded the Laudat Institute of Fashion & Education (L.I.F.E)  and the Restore to Empower Non-Profit Organization. Both ventures provide mentoring and educational training programs for at-risk youth. She is also author of “I Know Where My Hope Comes From,” her journey through life and business, and as survivor of domestic violence.

The Atlanta-based designer earned her associates in Business Entrepreneurship at Columbus State College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Managemet. She is inspired by the over-the-top designs of Alexander McQueen, but also wants to cater to the professional woman. Excited about her first visit to the DMV, Lawrence said she is planning a few fashion show surprises. "Expect the unexpected!"



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Uptown Community and African Vibes

Capital Style and 614 

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