This featured STYLE MAVEN is indeed every bit of Black Girl Magic and my first encounter with her work was an image posted on Instagram of her creation of the pink Magnolia’s jacket. (Deep sigh) WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL GARMENT? So, I clicked the link to discover more pieces, then there she was, CHELSEY CARTER, the designer of ALEX AND CARTER. I thought to myself, I must meet her especially when we’re literally one degree of separation.
And unbeknownst to me, earlier this year, we were booked to speak on the same panel at NIKE CHICAGO in celebration of the Cortez sneaker. Instantly, she was a sweetheart and I was even more intrigued so I contacted her for a feature on the blog and here we are!
Get into this dope Row A Seat 1 x Chelsey Carter interview below, but first, check out Chelsey’s genius way of explaining to her consumers and the fashion industry how she was inspired to design her latest capsule collection… CLASS IS IN SESSION!
learning: knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field or scholarly application.
As I set down and sketched the designs for this collection, there was a sense of overwhelming power and reflection on my future coupled with my past. Professionally, I have been granted the opportunity to share my talents with the world, obtain as much knowledge as humanly possible and to take pride being a lifetime student. The direction of this capsule release illustrates risks while embracing the freedoms of youth. All of which represents the mentality, environment and the never-ending outpour of learning.
Class is in Session.
Row A Seat 1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Chelsey Carter of Alex and Carter: I fell in love with fashion once I realized how passionate I was about the lack of clothing for long-armed girls like myself and figuring out ways around it. I would say I’ve always had a different type of style, as said by my family and friends throughout the years.
Row A Seat 1: My personal style is dope because…
CC: It is simple and classic. I try to always incorporate a design of mine in my personal style. I see them as conversation starters, once it starts, I can let whoever is inquiring that the piece is mine and they are available for purchase. Direct marketing is not dead, people have just co-dependent on social media.
Row A Seat 1: Name some designers you admire. Why?
CC: I admire the Balmain brand because he is into design motifs and 3-dimensional designing. He also enjoys marrying fabrics that are not typical together. Challenging yourself is the key to success in designing. There are more but we would be here all day!
Row A Seat 1: Explain the genesis of your career. How will your legacy help the youth?
CC: The start of my career began with an innovative idea that I was/have been incredibly passionate about to give women the support, an avenue to travel in being/feeling sexy without showing every centimeter of skin on their bodies. I hope my brand can benefit the youth by simply following your dreams, through the hate, envy, copycats, hard times and insecurities. I pray my brand gives back by way of expression in self-belief.
The last thing I googled was… Vegan recipes, I just recently decided to become vegan again so I am constantly on google trying to find new things and having ingredient questions answered by the “Google gods.”
I am currently listening to… Little Dragon and Jay-Z. Weird combination, but I like to listen to things on my own time rather than feeding into the hype of when everyone else is.
Name one person you’d like to meet… Issa Rae.
My favorite place to go fabric shopping is… Outside of Chicago if I can! Rainbow Fabrics right now though.
The best thing about me is… That I am a product of the support and love from those around me.
The garments or collections I create are… Cohesive and unique. The garments are well thought out and they always have a conceptual point of view. They are specifically made, which is why they are generally named after people or an idea since 2011.
My 2018 will be… Filled with forward movement, growth, expansion and more things!
What inspires me is… The ability I have nurtured in gaining confidence in myself as a designer and standing behind the things I create. My inspiration comes from the power of continuously obtaining knowledge. I am inspired by knowing I know nothing at all.
The dopest advice I’ve received was… ”If the grass appears greener on the other side, water your own grass.”