I’ve been surrounded by fashion since the day I was born.
My mother was a top fashion illustrator whose studio was always filled with models and racks full of the latest fashions.
When I was 5, my father brought home an antique matador suit on his return from a trip to Spain. It fascinated me. The intricate embroidery, all the curious tailoring details hidden inside of it, and how it was constructed in such a defined way.
When I tried it on, I felt immediately transformed. Confident. And very very cool.
The intent of my design work is to bring that feeling.
Whether it’s custom made or ready-to-wear, my job, via clothing, is to enable the wearer to feel like the very best version of themselves.
I’ve had decades of experience in virtually every facet of clothing design.
I’ve created custom made clothing for some of the world’s most iconic performers, started and lead a denim business, a ready to wear brand, a line of handbags, a mass market fashion lifestyle brand and created a TV infomercial fashion product.
I studied fashion at Otis Parsons in L.A. and Parsons in Paris
Immediately after graduation I was hired to design outfits for Madonna in a series of Japanese TV commercials. Madonna also chose one of those custom-made outfits for her ‘You Can Dance’ album cover, and a replica of it was made for her figure in the Hollywood Wax Museum.
Following that, I designed a huge Vegas production show residency for my stepmother, Suzanne Somers. We’ve closely collaborated since on countless pieces for TV and live shows, red carpet appearances and award shows. We actively work together today.
I continued doing custom clothing for a diverse range of artists, including:
Madonna: Who’s That Girl tour
David Lee Roth: Skyscraper tour and videos
Barry Manilow: Multiple tours and Vegas residencies (we’ve continued working together since that first tour and I am currently designing his 2022 Vegas residency)
Nancy Kerrigan: Multiple ice shows and competition looks
In between costuming jobs, I launched Leslie Hamel Jeans, a line of ultra-high end up-cycled denim. When Madonna appeared on the cover of People Magazine’s Best and Worst Dressed issue, the business really took off and my jeans sold in all the top stores worldwide.
My jeans have been featured in museum fashion exhibitions, Christie’s Pop Culture auction, fashion magazines, news publications and TV shows.
My next venture was Leslie Hamel Atelier, a ready to wear brand in addition to the denim business.
8 years into the business, my daughter was born and I made the decision to focus on her.
When she started pre-school, I launched a line of handbags and resumed doing custom clothing for performers alongside 2 seasons of a weekly TV series with Suzanne in a new custom-made outfit every week.
We then partnered on a line of loungewear for TV’s Home Shopping Network. The loungewear was a huge hit and I ran with it, quickly expanding the business into a complete head-to-toe fashion & lifestyle brand encompassing every category of apparel and accessories. From loungewear to evening wear, footwear, eyewear, handbags, belts, bedding & home decor items. I also took over the design of Suzanne’s jewelry collection.
I developed 10 collections per year in both fashion and jewelry and styled the presentations on live TV.
I created the 3 Way Poncho, an ‘As seen on TV’ infomercial product sold direct-to-consumer on TV as well as in all major mass retail stores throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe.
In a fun turn of events, my dream for 3 Way Poncho came true when it was spoofed on Saturday Night Live and The Ellen Show.
Inspiration keeps coming and I love what I do.