A black and white portrait of designer Marina Leight next to a runway image of her designs for Kornit Fashion Week

Instructor Marina Leight Shows at Kornit Fashion Week in LA

Designer and FIDM Fashion Design Instructor Marina Leight recently showed a capsule collection at the first-ever Kornit Fashion Week in downtown Los Angeles. Kornit, a global innovation leader in FashionTech developing the technologies that fuel the on-demand manufacturing revolution, featured designers such as Oliver Tolentino, Jen Rade, Threeasfour, and Ungaro, among others. We chatted with the Fashion Illustration instructor, who designs sustainable ready to wear, made to order, jewelry, and eyewear under Marina Leight Atelier, to learn more about her unique background, zero-waste philosophy, and being back on the runway.

Tell us about the capsule collection you showed at Kornit Fashion Week: I showed a collection entitled, “Tides,” and it’s based off a day at sea. I was raised half the year on the San Juan Islands and the other half on a fishing vessel in Alaska, so it’s inspired by a day out on the ocean. The colors are pulled from summer in Alaska, which is still kind of hazy blue and misty and deep navy with lots of pops of orange, which come from the survival suits and the buoys. My prints were developed for Kornit and they’re all ocean tides and the swirling of water behind the [boat] propellers. 

A model stands on the runway in a printed dress inspired by the ocean designed by Marina Leight

How did it feel to be in the company of designers again after so much time at home because of the pandemic? It felt really fabulous. As a creative, my world never really slowed down that much. A lot of the designers I work closely with in LA, we all just continued to create big things at home and figured out ways to continue to collaborate. It was nice to be back on a larger scale, but the creative process never ended. 

A menswear model stands on the runway in a navy shirt with a net overlay and navy pants designed by Marina Leight

Can you tell us more about your zero-waste design philosophy? I used to own a design agency and a factory and just hurt my soul to see how much waste there was in manufacturing especially from the cutting service, so I decided even if it takes longer and is more work I’d make a point of repurposing everything we use so all of our byproducts from the cutting service we chop it up and turn into dog beds and we donate to local shelters. I use a lot of repurposed materials. Anything I buy new is ethically sourced and biodegradable or recycled deadstock. 

A model walks the runway in an ocean-inspired shirt and pants accessorized with an orange life vest on the shoulder

Learn more online at marinaleight.com and on Instagram @marinaleightatelier.

Categories:  Fashion Design Alumni Faculty