What is your role in Crysanthou?
I am self employed, I am currently the only person part of it, I am the founder, fashion designer and do everything for it.
Why did you decide to start your own brand?
I decided to start my own brand because my creative ideas would manifest through fashion design. Fashion design in my opinion is an unparalleled art form and gives people their own unique style, its a form of change, activism, ideas, culture and beliefs. My brand is alternative streetwear.
What A-levels are you doing/ did you do?
Art, English, Textiles and Media Studies (AS)
Your designs often have lots of graphic images, would you say you have particular themes eg. you have written about drugs and created a drugs hoodie?
At the moment I'm focusing on current and old school approaches to youth culture. The meaning behind the drugs hoodie was how unspoken about drugs are to us as teenagers and how the impact that each drug has on our minds is too overlooked and is overshadowed by their prohibition. Also not saying that drugs should be encouraged like they shouldn't be but as teenagers, most of us will face the option of taking them or not yet if we had prior knowledge or taught each other more we could collectively prevent a bad experience from happening to us or people we care about.
How do you go about transforming your designs on paper into clothes, do you make the clothes yourself or have a manufacturer?
I often see the clothes in my head and either draw them or design the garment as I pattern cut/sew, I go with my intuition of what I think would work or what I can add to make the design better. I was lucky to be taught pattern cutting and sewing and in the future I want to find a manufacturer.
Describe you work in 3 words.
Eclectic, profound, avant-garde
What do you get inspired by?
All sorts of things- the people around me inspire a lot and the different ways in which we all perceive the world. Taboo subjects inspire me and the discomfort of them not being talked about more cause I always question it. I think one of the reasons that the 60s magazines inspired me was the unity and freedom of that time, the fearlessness of those magazines at a controversial time.
Did you have a creative upbringing/ grow up in a creative household?
Yes, but more of in a way where I have had a lot of freedom growing up and choice, I've grown up open minded which helped my creativity.
Do you have any favourite designers? If so why?
I love designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney who are using their voice as designers in a sustainable way for a positive change in the world, it's important for fashion designers who are essentially creators to create a way of where fashion goes and to speak out about and help inequalities within the world and environmental problems.
Are you going to uni?
I'm taking a year out to focus on fashion design, fashion internships and charity work and going to other parts of the world but afterwards I think I will go to a university to study either fashion design further or maybe journalism or something english literature related.
What is your long term goal?
Fashion design and my brand will be something il always be doing as I love being in charge of what direction I go and what I do but I want to potentially work towards a job in editorial or journalism in a fashion magazine or in human rights.
What would your advice be to other teens who want to start a fashion brand?
There's so much I wish someone could tell me then I started but I think always trust your intuition on what to do and be fearless about it and let it guide you by what feels right. Yes it's good to get opinions from other people to see things from different perspectives but always decide for yourself and what you really think, you have to trust and look up to yourself and your ideas more than anyone. Also it's okay not know everything as soon as you start, I would make myself so anxious when I couldn't do something but by learning everything slowly over the past year or two, it led me to where I am now and just trust the pace you're going at and the mistakes you make as it is happening for you to learn from it and will help you so much more in the long run which you will only see later on so just keep going. Create what you want in your life, no one else can except you and believe what you want to be true for you.
Are there any other young designers that are up and coming that people should keep an eye out on?
Goldilox project is a new music artist and fashion management service founded by one of my good friends Louis (@parsleypalette) where they connect new young fashion designers alongside music artists, I am happy to be a part of this and I know good stuff is coming up.
For more check out: https://crysanthou.com/