Cindy Leewood is a Cambodian-American designer who seeks inspiration from her Khmer upbringings. To introduce her audience to Khmer culture, she uses her experiences and knowledge of growing up in Cambodia and the rich history of woven textiles. From a young age,she realized how different each culture looks. When she moved to the United States at age 16, the differences were comforting because it reminded her of her family and highlighted the contrast with how she was raised. “Embracing the old and breathing in new life” is her strategy for carrying on the traditions of her heritage while also telling a story that includes her American life - a connection many Cambodian-Americans have growing up in two cultural environments. With her new line, she focuses on formal wear to represent her culture while respecting the values that come with them. Western formal wear has always been expensive and used in professional settings. Khmer textiles are held in such high regard it is as valuable as gold which makes it easily translatable to formal events. Therefore, Cindy focuses her collection of formal wear to be relevant to a western setting and khmer setting for her target audience. Providing versatility within the garment and bridging the gap between cultures.
Her work was featured in the Coalesce Fall 2022 show where she showcased a formal line of khmer inspired designs and shared khmer accessories. Through an internship with Dara Bridal and her job as a bridal stylist at The White Room, Cindy has developed excellent skills for alternating and creating beautiful custom gowns. She hopes to continue sharing her culture and offer her expertise in tailor-made and formal clothing. She is interested in opportunities that include formal and dresswear experience.