LEIGH RUDD BIOGRAPHY
Screenwriter – Fashion Forecaster - Author
I have been in the fashion business for my entire life, first as an international fashion forecaster, now an author and screenwriter.
Back in the 1970’s and ‘80’s I was the CEO and founder of the trade fashion publishing company IM International – the original fashion forecasting company. Since then scores of similar companies have sprung up ... many of them my mentees. Actually it was a new concept that I developed which quickly became a vibrant business segment of the larger fashion industry.
Living in London during the “Swinging Sixties” I soaked up the youth quake fashion from the streets of Chelsea that soon rocked the world. It was actually a state-of-mind; a creative revolution in the pop culture of fashion and music unlike anything seen before or since. I began sketching ideas of how the youth quake trends of London could translate for the American market which was behind Europe by a couple of years. It was then and there that I developed a trade publication … the IM Fashion Trend Report … which soon sold around the world to elite designers and major retailers. And that was the cornerstone of my fashion forecasting company for twenty years.
Most recently I have put that experience to work with an adult coloring book about my years in London. It is called Fashion Trends: the London Look of the 60’s. I wanted to share the inspiration of those years with at least 100 images to color and a brief story of how I started as a fashion forecaster.
Since I am truly happiest when I am pioneering a new project I decided to write a TV Pilot and Series about those glamorous and crazy years from 1968 through the 70’s as a fashion forecaster during those flamboyant years of disco, roller skating through Times Square, Studio 54, going through the Fashion Collections with fake Press Passes, traveling throughout Europe and Japan as fashion spies to immerse ourselves in the cultural world … in order to predict money-making trends for a trillion dollar industry. Bu the way our clients – manufacturers, designers and major retailers -- made multi-millions with our trends so everyone was happy. I have just finished the one hour dark comedy Pilot called Fashion Sharks -- a light-hearted fashion caper about Jordan Parker, 23, whose only focus is becoming a fashion icon. Jordan possesses the unique ability to scan newspaper headlines and financial graphs and predict how cultural change will affect fashion two years out. However, she bristles when people casually refer to her as a “Fashion Psychic”. “What I do isn’t psychic. What I do, involves all of the senses and I correlate it with what is going on in the world. It’s very specific and exacting and no one else can do what I do.” Jordan gambles that her cutting edge thinking will solidify her standing in the fashion industry – even if it means going about it in an unconventional manner. “Fashion doesn’t just ‘happen’ it evolves. The consumers look to designers to tell them what to wear. The designers look to me.” Jordan Parker, 23, is the founder of the fledgling company – Fashion Sharks. It’s bold, exciting and cutting edge – problem is, no one knows the founder or the company exists. And Jordan is determined to change that.
Jordan understands that in order to put Fashion Sharks on the map, it demands strategic and creative thinking. “It’s not good enough to simply think outside of the box – we have to build a new box.” Fashion Sharks not only needs funding to keep the lights on but needs to acquire clients. David questions how they will do this when all they have at their disposal is Sable’s rolodex from Vogue? Jordan replies, “Smoke and mirrors.”
This show is not only about exposing the underbelly of the fashion world starting in the late 60’s but witnessing how one woman turns fashion on its head by becoming an invaluable commodity to world renowned designers and retailers alike. All the while she pushes the envelope with every relationship she has – from her colleagues to her lover, to fashion icons. She is a flame that burns bright – but get too close and someone is bound to get burned.
My career started early. Fashion began for me when I was a ten-year-old child designing wardrobes for paper dolls. In my spare time I would conjure up trailblazing creations: hair décor out of sequins and braided ribbons; patchwork skirts from thrift shop outfits cut up and sewn back together; little cocktail hats made of old felt, plumes and glitz; also belts and bags made with feathers and brooches; and wool jackets I’d decorate with huge old-fashioned buttons and outrageous trims. Family and friends made fun until they noticed these creations would be featured a year later in some fashion magazine. Well, you get the idea. It was the quirky beginning of a life-long fashion journey.”
FASHION SHARKS Drama One-Hour Pilot. Based-on-truth, a female-driven Mad Men in the fashion world during the New York 1970's. A talented but troubled self-proclaimed "fashion visionary" bursts onto the fashion scene from the London "Swinging Sixties" ... and turns the fashion industry on its head. Mad Men meets Empire.