The Next Big Thing: Toddie Christian
Toddie moved to New York 4 years ago with the hopes of making a splash in the fashion industry. A self-taught designer, he landed two competitive internships - one at MAO PR, a public relations company located in the Meatpacking District and another with the famed celebrity designers, The Blonds New York.
During these internships, Christian learned the ropes of the fashion industry. He was given the opportunity to meet several important stylists and editors within the fashion industry as well as a first hand look into what it takes to produce fashion shows during New York Fashion Week.
Upon completion of these two internships, Christian decided to focus on turning his dreams into reality. He started bar tending and began to save money with the hopes of producing capsule collections that he could use to gain recognition within the fashion industry. His main focus being custom-made, one of a kind garments.
His latest collection showcases inspiration from fashion illustrations of the 1930's. Christian maintains simplicity and elegance as he creates the illusion of women with mile long legs, much like the illustrations he fell in love with from the 30's.
In order for Christian to make a statement in his Spring collection, he created elongated skirts, pants and trench coats, which can be worn by the everyday woman (upon hemming) or used in an editorial spread.
Always inspired by a woman's ability to transform herself, Christian often looks for fabrics that show off a woman's seductive side. He loves to use lingerie and body-conscious designs as inspiration. So much so, that Christian taught himself the art of corset building and studied lingerie design.
Christian is currently focusing on making appropriate career moves and believes hard work pays off. Up and coming in the New York fashion scene, Christian takes pride in how he uses real fabrics and all of his garments are professionally constructed. In a world that sacrifices quality for quantity, Christian is here to show the world that there is no substitute for taking your time and assembling perfection.
Who are the people that inspired you to follow your dreams?
My mother has always inspired me to keep going. She's a single mother of 4 boys. If that's not inspiring then I don't know what is.
Was there a turning point in your life that led to your current direction?
I had two serious internships that taught me a lot about the industry. I've always wanted to make a name for myself so I decided it was time to chase my dream. I'm chasing it everyday - designing clothes during the day and managing a bar in Brooklyn at night. It's not always the most glamorous life but it keeps me focused and humble.
How could you advise young people to learn from their failures?
It's my opinion that whenever you learn something, it's never a failure. If you can recognize your mistake and learn from it then you haven't failed. The key to success has always been perseverance. You're going to make mistakes but your mistakes are so necessary in order for you to grow as a person.
What plans do you have for your career that we would have never suspected?
I would love to design costumes for a motion picture or a Broadway production. Clothing is such an important component in telling a story and convincing the viewer to believe what's right in front of them. I am always in awe whenever someone tells a story with their costumes.
How do you plan to keep expanding your brand into more industries?
I think the key to expanding is to prepare yourself for opportunity while staying focused on what's in front of you. Opportunity always seems to find you in this city and when preparation meets opportunity, magic happens.
With so much going on in your life right now, how do you keep yourself humble and focused in this city?
I think this city has magical powers and turns certain people into robot monsters. It makes you humble and causes you to be extremely focused. This city has your dream hanging right in front of you but you have to be willing to go for it. Everything moves so fast in this city and it's like a game of double-dutch; you have to find your rhythm and jump in.
What is your biggest tip for entrepreneurs and aspiring fashion designers?
Go for it. You only live once so take the red pill and enjoy the party.
What techniques do you use to find out the latest trends for your collection?
I always do my best to separate myself from what's trending - or at least I try to. When I'm working on a collection, I'll flip through a magazine or two just to make sure that what I'm doing doesn't look like someone else.
Who is your collection targeted to?
My brand, as a whole, is targeted towards women who want custom-made, one-of-a-kind garments. I love sheer fabrics and anything that makes a woman embrace her more seductive side. I find the greatest pleasure in making a woman look her best in something that was made just for her.
What is the next step for your career?
I would love to gain some serious notoriety within the fashion industry. I want to be a household name. I want to be the next big thing. I want to be the toast of the town. But then again, doesn't everyone?
For more on Toddie Christian's designs, check out his website.
For more fashion go to highertheheel.blogspot.com
Michelle Maslanka | Elite.