Monday, June 20, 2011

Sylvia Heisel: Some Random Thoughts







so here go some random thoughts…..

i can't believe i still do this…..i'm not sure i still love or understand "fashion" but i still love designing and making clothes…..

my business has gone through a lot of different stages and identities in all these years….

20 years ago i was a young hip downtown NY designer…..no money, lots of press, very creative small company designer fashion…..then downtown got claustrophobic and being poor stopped being okay and i moved uptown and my clothes lost a lot of their creative edge and became more commercial and i made money…..then i ran the business sort-of on autopilot and renovated an apartment in manhattan and a really rural home in the Catskills….then i fell in love and married an artist…..then the economy crashed and i stopped making money……….now my business is a lot smaller and i've moved back downtown with my artist husband and i'm trying to be as creative as possible and make beautiful clothes and places and events and whatever else inspires me….

the bridal came about because someone (Robert Taylor) in the bridal business approached me about doing it….i don't understand the bridal business at all but the dresses are a lot of fun to design….sort-of like decorating giant cupcakes….

the apartment was incredibly much fun to do and has inspired us to pursue a lot of great new projects….it came about because we were renting an apartment in a very fancy new construction apartment building and everything was falling apart and the management fixed nothing….at a certain point almost everything had been put in storage because of leaks and nails that came through walls and other stuff and we knew were leaving at the end of our lease (4 months later ) and it just seemed like a fun thing to do…it took about a month to complete, cost very little (lots of tape, some fabric and a little paint) and we removed everything when we left….NY Magazine seeing it was random lucky break….

from that my husband and i have started doing other temporary design projects….Scott is a sculptor who was a bartender at Studio 54, an owner of nightclubs in NY and LA, and an assistant to event florist Robert Isabel at other times in his life…..we both have a love of crazy over-the-top stuff and like making things….

we're especially interested in making things and places that are temporary and made from recycled or recyclable materials….also what i've become very interested in with clothes….

fashion is really strange right now and i have a really hard time wrapping my brain around it…..to me, a lot of what the world thinks of as fashion is luxury product and very conservative and even more of it is just stuff that celebrities wear…..and a lot of what we all wear (myself included) is very function and comfort driven and not particularly creative….

these days i'm much more interested in making clothes that are either a part of other larger creative projects or are more conceptual and less functional as ready-to-wear clothing…..



the thing about couture and me is I love creating one-offs and special pieces but I hate working directly with the customer…..the moment it becomes about dressing mrs. cinderella for the ball and can i make the dress match the diamond earrings the emperor just bought her and haggling about the $'s  i'm miserable…..i like creating creative couture stuff more than dressing the rich and famous in luxury goods…..


Sylvia Heisel website here.






6 comments:

  1. I love reading about your business experiences. I'm going to have to interview you for my business-related book! You're a perfect example of how things change.

    "to me, a lot of what the world thinks of as fashion is luxury product and very conservative and even more of it is just stuff that celebrities wear…..and a lot of what we all wear (myself included) is very function and comfort driven and not particularly creative…." -- I SO agree with this!

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  3. Hi Wendy,
    I'd be honored....
    xxxSylvia

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