Inga Lena, Fashion Designer and Creator of her own line, Inga-Lena

Having lived and traveled throughout Europe as a fashion model, she launched her own womenswear line out of NYC.
Discover Inga's Lists in Compell'd

Inga Lena is first and foremost a creative, and she takes exceptional pride in the womenswear she designs in her own line. She finds greatness in the power of daydreaming, as well as in trying new things--and we couldn’t agree more. Get to know her, below.


Tell us a little about yourself, what has inspired your career?

Well, I always loved to create. Even as a young kid, I loved to paint and experiment with all sorts of materials and textures. I had my first internship with a local designer at age 14, and it became clear that fashion design would be the ideal way to merge my talents and interests. It’s an artform where you are closely involved in people’s everyday lives. It’s a very intimate product, and it plays into the psychology of the wearer--which is something that always intrigued me. I love to know that my work can have an impact on a woman; giving her a stronger and higher self-esteem.

That’s fascinating. You’ve lived in Paris, London and Milan before moving to NYC. How would you describe your life in the different cities?

Hmm, it’s difficult to compare, since we tend to have different needs and interests at different stages of life. I will always remember Paris as a light and fun time. I was a bit of a social butterfly back then, and I wouldn't miss a party. Today, my priorities have shifted and I am much more focused on work.

A general difference might be the attitude of the people. People in the States can get very excited for new things, whether they are feasible or not. Meanwhile, Parisians tend to be more critical and rational. When building a business it is crucial to surround yourself with optimism and excitement even if some of that is daydreaming. You can only build something big if you allow yourself to dream a little. I think that if I had stayed in France or Germany that I would never have found the courage to start my own thing.

Love that. What would you say is your life philosophy?

Be true to you. Be authentic. I think the one thing I learned in life is that neither your path nor other people are predictable. The only thing you can truly rely on or influence is YOU and your way of looking at things. In retrospect, it was the moments that I tried to please others, eventually sacrificing myself, that turned out to be the moments of my greatest failure. People respect you more if you have your own view of things. Never be mainstream. Never be too comfortable and continue to challenge yourself.

“Never be mainstream. Never be too comfortable and continue to challenge yourself.”

What’s your last memorable dining experience? 

Hmm. So many. I am the most satisfied whenever I try something new. There are some places such as Estela or Frenchette that really try to experiment with food composition. Which to me, speaks to the heart of a creative but I also love my classics like Sant Ambroeus or Balthazar, etc..

“I am the most satisfied whenever I try something new.”

Where could you eat every day?

I love cozy hotels like the Bowery, Ludlow, and the Soho Grand. Not even for the food but for the quiet, relaxed ambience. To be honest, I believe I actually put ambience above food and service.

What’s next for you?

I’m trying to expand with international collaborations which means that there should be quite a bit of travel coming up.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Inga! We’re happy to be among the daydreamers you surround yourself with :)


Discover Inga's Lists in Compell'd
February 5, 2020

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