A Luxe insider with CEO of L.A. Plus apparel, Leslie Ables…
Who was Leslie as a child?
I was a very eclectic, peculiar, and courageous child. I had a very unique sense of the world in terms of esthetics. My sense of fashion as a kid was so off center, but no one could convince me otherwise; they still can’t.
As a child I remember going shopping with my granny in downtown LA. She was very eclectic as well and would allow me to pick out anything I wanted from the fashion district. I would come home to my family and they would be like “That’s the ugliest dress I’ve ever seen” but to me they were beautiful. Thankfully I was so convinced by my sense of fashion that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. That was me as a kid.
What inspired your sense of fashion?
In seventh grade I went to school in west LA. We lived in poverty basically and didn’t have money for school clothes, so I had to be very creative with my dressing–you know, add a cuff here one day and a safety pin the next. It was necessary to do something different so it wouldn’t look like I was wearing the same thing every day. What came out of that was people would say “oh that’s so cute what you have on” while, in reality, I was really doing it out of necessity. That’s when I knew I really had something. Then I start saving my lunch money because, after being exposed to the compliments, I realized people admired what I was doing. So I used the money to buy cheap clothes that I knew I could dress up.
What do you desire from creating?
Lately my focus has shifted a little bit. Now that I’m aware I can create, I can style, and that I have a good fashion sense–okay cool. However, since I’ve had my son and gotten older I’ve put on some additional weight. Unsurprisingly, I recognized there’s a real gap in the fashion world. I still want to dress how I dressed before, but I cannot because it’s simply not available to me. So today that’s my purpose-driven vision. I have a lot of confidence in myself as a curvy, plus-size woman and I want to instill that same confidence into every woman that wears clothes from L.A. Plus.
What do you believe your perspective will do for the community surrounding you?
Change it bit by bit. My goal is to empower every woman I come into contact with. Obviously we’re a brand so we do pop-up shops, fashion shows, speaking engagements, etc. These opportunities allow me to connect with my customers verbally and emotionally. I get to say to them ‘I don’t care who you were yesterday, doesn’t matter who you’ll be tomorrow, but for today you are valuable and beautiful. Now, let me put something beautiful on you!
Talk to me about the voice in your head constantly updating you on where you are in your movement.
That voice that speaks to me is God. I have to keep hold and stay close to it every single day to keep myself grounded, centered, and focus. It’s important because there’s always different influences that can sometimes be powerful, so I have to keep that voice front and center. What keeps me together is prayer and meditation. I’m not perfect in it, but I still try no matter where I am.
Rather I’m in my car going to a meeting, or pulling orders I find myself in the moment and I’ll say “Oh thank you Father that you have given me Stewart over this company,” I usually become emotional. I feel that gratefulness and I connect myself to my higher being. That space is where I get refueled with passion. As I give thanks, He gives passion.
What’s your BIG NEXT?
My next thing is going to be a trend from the 80’s. Remember when one would cut the sleeves of a sweat shirt so It could fall off the shoulder? Just like that. It’ll be different tops and dresses too, but for the most part I’m obsessed with off the shoulder.
Where are you taking fashion?
To a reality where the plus-size dress is better than the sample sizes of today. At least that’s my vision here at LAPlusgirl.com
If you had to present an ‘I AM’ speech in one sentence, who are you?
I am a God-fearing, purpose-driven, curvy boss!
Where is L.A. Plus today?
LA Plus today is emerging and evolving into it’s destiny.