I am Kelli Martin.

Fashion is my art.

Fashion Designer


“I am a fashion designer by title, but would consider myself more of a creative designer. I draw much of my inspiration from the streets and overall ‘themes’ and much less from trends or what is ‘in fashion.’ ”

Where to See Kelli Martin


"Typically my garments reflect a decade in time, a specific subculture, or a character. An example of that would be my 2014 collection for Alternative Fashion Week, as my entire show was based on Jessica Lange's characters from American Horror Story. That inspiration showcased a nod to 1960's fashion and Gothic culture."

"I enjoy each step of the design process from illustration concept to executing technical skills, and tend to lean heaving on unique detailing and unconventional fabrics. When designing, I typically start with a color story or overall "look" in mind, and the process spirals out of control from there."

"The initial concept is usually the most exciting part of the process for me because there are no boundaries and you never know what the outcome will be. "

"Every year when I present a collection I focus on executing a new technique or element to the line that represents me stepping outside of my own personal box. For instance, I am prone to tattered details and ‘hard’ looks, however, in 2015 I presented a line consisting of clean lines, bold colors, and much more feminine pieces. I felt super accomplished because this was a challenge for me and it resulted in additional skills added to my arsenal."

"Best advice I’ve been given: Measure twice, cut once."

"The moment that I saw Jem & the Holograms and Cyndi Lauper I knew I wanted to be a designer. "

"I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that allowed me to be myself, mix and match outfits and as I got older, she didn't question all the holes in my face or my psychotic clothing. This freedom of self-expression allowed me to explore so much at a young age and I learned early on that doing things on my own terms was going to require hard work. "

"While still in my teens I moved to Los Angeles with no thought of ever returning to Columbus. After college and many years of awesome opportunities, I realized I could do what I love anywhere and chose to return back to my roots. "

"Over the years I have discovered that if I want to fulfill my dreams of being a designer, I would have to create the world that I want to live in."

"What inspires me about the Columbus arts community is the collaboration and the creativity that is bursting at the seams...LITERALLY! When we share our knowledge, and help one another move forward, nothing but something positive can come from it. I left LA because of the superficiality of the industry and I am proud to be back in my hometown creating something awesome with other like-minded artists."

"Since Columbus is a city that really supports the arts, there are so many opportunities to find ways to collaborate on projects and find funding through organizations such as GCAC. The encouragement of the community really enables us artists to grow and explore our craft and development."

"Best advice I can give: To stay true to your roots and your cause because in the end that is all that will make you happy. Success doesn't always have to mean fame and fortune."

"Although it is not my most favorite overall design, I would have to say winning the "Innovation Challenge" on Project Runway was probably my most proud creation. I put a lot of thought into lining the garment, creating hook & eye closures, and creating a textured "fabric" out of hand dying the vacuum bags. I even burnt the tips of all my fingers burning the coffee filter bust! In the end, it looked like a REAL garment and is on display at my alma mater, FIDM"

"Traveling, people watching and fabric shopping is a great way for me to discover new ideas and get outside of my own head."

"Something most people don’t know about me: I enjoy basic algebra and I solve math problems for fun."

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