Designer: Cheryl Eve Acosta & Tattuage
Show: Nolcha Media Lounge NYFW 9/8/2017
I find it hard to define fashion. We are so diverse and constantly evolving that being stylish should be about what speaks to you. Fashion is an expression that captures an emotion on a given day, time or era. The sentiment behind our wardrobe could be a rational and/or a practical decision and doesn’t need to be associated with expensive clothing. I think fashion should be about seeing objects for what they are; the stories behind them, their meaning and the connection they bring.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
Fashion chose me. Coming from a family with artistic tendencies shaped my destiny to pursue my passion for the arts and design. From a young age, people have always appreciated and connected with work, which helped me to continue creating. The grants, awards, scholarships, and press I have received through my journey motivated me to move forward.
Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
From age six, I have taught myself how to make jewelry until I reached the desire to further learn metallurgy. I pursued my BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from New Mexico State University (NMSU) followed by receiving my MFA in Jewelry & Metals from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
What are your inspirations for the designs you created for the Nolcha Media Lounge?
Throughout the years, I have created jewelry that is inspired by Cycle of Life capturing stages of marine life from birth to adaptation and fossilization of corals. My current collection called Ciclos speaks about the cycles we experience in our day to day life and the ripples it leaves behind. Water being an inhibitor to existence also becomes a lens for me to capture and wonder about the flowing tendencies of time and evolution.
How did you select the materials you used?
Each metal speaks to me differently. For this collection, I’m using a selection of fine silver, sterling silver, copper, brass, and gold to convey the timeless feel my designs evoke. Fine silver is a predominant use of material because of it’s purity, raw feel and modern look. Equally distinctive are the copper pieces that connect to the origin of life. With the use of glass, color is added to further give livelihood to some of the designs.
How durable are your products? Is it possible to increase?
You welcome My jewelry are art pieces to be treated as delicate objects representative to nautical ecosystems. The use of materials defines the longevity of any object and the care provided. Pure precious metals are more supple. My designs can be made in any metal for the more aggressive type personalities. However, the purity of my ingredients is what makes each designs unique and natural.
How can you encourage the customer to form an emotional attachment to your product, thereby discouraging disposal?
What drives people to buy my work is the natural connection it provides because of the inspiration and story behind each creation. My pieces are collectibles and most of my customers who purchase my jewelry instinctively bond with my creations. Each piece is handmade, most are one of a kind with some limited edition. That uniqueness is appealing in a mass-market environment.
What markets and demographic do you target?
The Cheryl Eve Acosta brand is affluent women who support the arts and aspire to wear unique fashion. They enjoy to travel and attend social events. Story telling is part of their way of life and they are able to express that through the CEA line. Most of our female clients are independent women with a bold personality. My TATTUAGE jewelry brand is a fun and dynamic concept that appeals to women too and who are comfortable going a step further with their accessories. They love to be unique and wear conversation pieces. They enjoy to experience new things in life are all about the uniqueness of their style and the ways they express themselves.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
I’m fascinated about the future and how technology is quickly shaping our DNA. Equally important to me is finding that meeting point between protecting our environment and surviving as species. The use of silver tones and bold designs allows me to communicate about our robotic future while recognizing our raw genetics with the use of pure metals.
What do you consider the most important facets of the fashion industry?
The whole spectrum of the fashion industry is equally important. However, finding sustainable production processes that are ethically sourced and made is indispensable. No one nor this planet should
How different is conception preparation in relation to F/W vs S/S garments/accessories?
I’m an artist and visionary and trends don’t define my body of work. What shapes my jewelry creations are based on inspiration beyond seasons, which is easier to do with the accessory side of fashion. Geography plays an important role in my design. One fits warmer weather/beach resort lovers to the everyday city life go getters.
How do you balance creativity with business?
Balance is a challenging lifestyle but a tangible one. I have different creative outlets that serve different niches. They all inform one another is their unique ways. My creative range feeds my imagination by creating fine art gallery pieces to designing runway one of a kind jewels.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
As a jewelry designer, actualizing an idea to its existence is mind blowing. I love the process and the journey it takes to get there. I also appreciate the emotions and connections that my jewelry brings to others.
What motivates you as a fashion designer?
What skills are important for a successful career in fashion design?
Being adaptable, innovative, driven, resilient, and fearless.
What Have You Done To Develop & Improve Your Skills?
I educate myself on a daily basis.
What do you think about work ethics and what kind of ethics you believe in following while working with fashion?
The fashion industry can be very demanding, harsh and unfair to designers, makers, models and so forth…. I look forward to the day when the fashion industry elevates and respects creativity and the workforce behind it. Mass market manufacturers and social media have also tarnished creative ownership one that should be respected.
How comfortable are you working hands with models and other designers?
Priceless opportunities come about when designers’ other creative backgrounds collaborate. I love working with models that own the runway and feel empowered with my jewelry.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
Continue to maintain my work-life balance.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?
Desire to learn every day.
Perseverance is your best friend.
Dreaming big is living.
Make your purpose in life be a positive journey.
Designer's Website: http://www.cheryleve.com/