Interviewed by: Cindy Jean
Every year Stevenson University hosts a fashion show, showcasing the work of the senior designers. One of the designers that will have her work displayed is senior Antrice Sykes. Antrice also has her own online store selling garments for the average plus sized women.
Why did you become a designer?
Answer: I started designing when I was about 8 years old. I started sewing around that same age when I attended the sew fabulous sewing school. I went to Poly for high school and studied independent art study in robotics. After Poly I attended college park for engineering. After that I ended up not feeling fulfilled so I used that old passion from sewing to go back to school for it here at Stevenson.
What are your muses/ influences/ inspiration?
Answer: Iris Van Harpen is my favorite designer. I also love Alexander Mcqueen, and Valentino.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
Answer: I do have my own online store, http://Allurebound.com. I sell lingerie, costume and fetish wear made out of rubber. Making a career out of fashion was always something I was interested in; I use to make costumes for myself and it became expensive so I decided to open up an online store to sell my products.
What is your brand? & how has your brand evolved?
Answer: My brand is Allurebound.com. I started it in officially in 2017. I started off with a simple ready to wear essentials collection of latex garments, I wanted it really easy and form fitting for the average plus sized woman. The name Allure Bound came from me trying to figure out what attraction would draw people to my garments and I didn’t want it to be very obvious so I decided on the word allure. A is also the first letter of my name so it fit perfectly. The way I came up with the bound part of my company was I decided that I wanted to go more towards the fetish route. Bound which to me is like you are capturing an idea/embodying an idea so that’s how bound came into play.
What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
Answer: A designer needs to be good at mathematics and problem solving because you will run into problems. A designer will also need to be creative, have time management skills as well as a drive.
What challenges have you faced as a designer?
Answer: I struggle with trying to budget for myself because I always want to buy material. Another challenge I face is when artist block happens and I have to remind myself to make things from within and not try to compare myself/compete with other designers.
Has there been a specific thing that you can label as your biggest challenge thus far?
Answer: My greatest challenge thus far is my depression and anxiety. I am also my biggest critique sometimes but I do have an amazing support system that helps me deal with that.
Describe your creative process?
Answer: My creative process consist of me starting off with either research or trying to find a part of the body that I want to exaggerate. I can take the shoulders or hips and focus on that part to make it more appealing. Being curvy, sometimes people want to take away attention from some parts of their body and drive it somewhere else. I also play around with shape and angles in my designing creative process.
How do you stay up to date with fashion?
Answer: I love WGSN and Gerber technology. Those two platforms are what help me stay up to date with fashion as well as following blogs.
Tell me about your senior collection?
Answer: This year we were assigned a theme which was transgression and that’s like breaking of normal rules and things that are out of the norm. I decided to use elements that were a bit extreme to the extent of inflatable’s as well as transparency. The main theme I took from transgression was a virus that transforms the host into a reformed copy. Changing from your original self into the copy is the worst thing you can do because you don’t want to become a copy or copy someone else. With that being said I decided to surround my collection around cells and viruses.
How long have you been working on your senior collection?
Answer: I am currently working on several collections at the same time. I am half way done with my senior collection. The pattern making and construction process is pretty much done. The design process changes frequently. In total I have 5 pieces and they are all women’s evening wear.
As a designer, how do you know when a collection or piece is complete?
Answer: When it comes to my pieces I am never fully satisfied with them or my collection because I can always make something better or improve in different areas.
What words or inspiration do you live by and how does that contribute to your work ethics?
Answer: Stay humble and give back to the community. I would also say that cherishing what I have is also what I live by because by cherish what I have and using what I am given even if it isn’t a lot I can make it my own and that contributes to my work ethics.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year/after graduation?
Answer: After graduation/ by the end of the year I want to make several different lines. Currently I am doing more latex but I want to get into active wear. I also want to continue teaching and learning as well. Learning is always a process and keeping up with technology is really important. Lastly I want to continue to grow my business.