Arriving 'fashionably late' to the designer world

February 16, 2010 3:23:58 PM PST
In the midst of Fashion Week in New York City, there are numerous tales of success in the industry. One fashion designer in particular didn't start chasing her dream until after age 40.

It's fitting that Eyewitness News caught up with Pamella Roland while she was hurrying. You have to ave a lot of hustle to make it in the fashion world, especially when you arrive from Grand Rapids, Michigan "fashionably late" at the age of 42.

"I'm a mother of three and my husband was traveling," she said. "I lived around the world with my children, and once they were older they settled down and I said to my husband, 'You made me travel the world and now you're going to make me stay here? I have so many dreams.'"

Her dreams always lingered on art and design and what looked good on.

"I think being from a Midwest town, fashion's not that important," she said. "I was always one of those people who would look at something and say, 'Oh, what is that?' and people would say 'I don't know.' I was just always very interested in that."

Eight years ago, she boldly went for it, and her work has succeeded steadily both in stores and on red carpets. But it's Fashion Week - time for the 51-year old to prove it, again

"I'm 51 now, but sometimes feel 90 and there's many ups and downs," she said. "A lot of characters you deal with...You better love working long hours. The pay isn't there. You hope eventually that you're successful enough and it pays off."

This year, Roland designed clothes with the city of Venice as her muse - a collection heavy on drama and mystery. Her 168 sketches moved from paper to reality, and after months of work, she showed off 45 to 55 looks at her fashion show. Roland had just 16 minutes to show the world that her fearlessness is plenty fashionable.

"Many times I just well up," she said. "But then you get over that very quickly and say, "I hope everyone loved it."

CLICK HERE for more on Pamella Roland's creations and designs.