Wednesday Fashion Feature: Style Stories - Lanie Alabana-Barcena, Hellz Bellz

Meet Lanie Alabanza-Barcena, creator of Hellz Bellz. Once upon a time, Lanie moved from San Diego to New York in pursuit of a career in fashion. She worked with urban apparel giants like Rocawear and Triple 5 Soul before she made her own vivid mark in the streetwear industry, with the help of her hubby, Bam Barcena.

Hellz Bellz quickly became one of the most sought after women's street brands, as it goes far beyond kitschy graphic tees. Lanie entered us into an edgy world of cut and sew pieces, unique collaborations and more.

Kiki got a chance to learn more about Hellz and Lanie, like where the inspiration for the brand came from, exciting collaborations and more: How did you come up with the concept behind Hellz Bellz?

Lanie: "Initially Hellz started as a hobbie. More so, as an outlet for my creativity and the need to clothe myself in designs I felt were lacking in the market and/or available to shoppers like me, who wanted edge and style to unite. "From there I started creating women's clothes for a specific woman; the more forward individual who felt that the same void I felt in the women's street contemporary market. "At the time, options provided for women were overly feminine and lacked the edge that I wanted. So changed my hobbie into a mission to defy all rules of conformity and any fashion entity that claims a woman's style cannot breach strength, individuality and feminine flair simultaneously". How do you differentiate yourself from other women's streetwear brands in the market?

Lanie: "I have great respect for all female street wear brands and I've made some amazing friendships with some of my counterparts. We all have our unique niche in the market. "Hellz offers fashion alternatives for the bold fashionista with edgy tops, jackets, denim and accessories, influenced by all things subversive and caters to the burgeoning class of rebellious youth".

Hellz fall 2009 your website, it states that Hellz represents "the bad girls, the book worms and the divas". Why do you think your brand appeals to such a wide audience?

Lanie: "Hellz has this appeal for the simple reason that we all have a little bit of these characteristic traits within least I know I do!

Beyoncé in Hellz Tell us about some of the exciting collaborations you've done since the brand launched in 2005.

Lanie: "I’ve been blessed to be able to collaborate with brands and artists that I'm a huge fan of, from Insa, to heritage brands like Stussy, Nooka watches and every girls dream - Hello Kitty. This year Hellz is celebrating its 5th year anniversary, which we’ve saved some of the heavy hitters for, like Vans. Hellz was fortunate enough to introduce and work with new styles, which is major coming from Vans.

We also collaborated with my favorite eyewear company, Mosley Tribes and worked with Casio watches as well.

Hellz x Mosley Tribes

There are many more to come throughout the year, including designers and artists who I admire and have followed through my career. Can you give our female readers a few style tips for Holiday 2010?

Lanie: I would say stick with a basic color palette and accentuate it with some great accessories.

See the latest in Hellz Bellz on by clicking HERE.