INTERVIEW WITH WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER CHERITH B. OF CHERITH B. DESIGNS

Sheldon Barrocks had the opportunity to sit down with womenswear designer Cherith B. of Cherith B. Designs who released her new collection “Forward” at this year’s edition of Fashion Art Toronto. The line embodies the modern woman’s realization of all that she is, and the reinvention of who she is perceived to be.

Sheldon Barrocks: What initially drew you into the fashion industry?

Cherith B: I’ve always been a creative DIY kind of person, especially growing up. I was gifted with a sewing machines as a child and have always been good with them. Clothing design was somewhat always around me. My aunt used to make me outfits for church; she was a designer back in the day, as well as my grandmother back home in Trinidad.

My grandmother used to make wedding gowns in her village. So maybe designing was predestined for me because I don’t remember a definitive moment where I said, “I’m going to be a fashion designer”. I’ve always had an interest in the industry and the craft, and I think that curiosity got me to where I am now.

Sheldon: What was your inspiration behind this particular line?

Cherith: I tend to design around feeling or emotion. My inspiration tends to primarily come from intangible things. This collection was a representation of a forward progression. The choice of colour, and the palate or gradation of the colour, was to show there are so many sides to one thing. That it can start at one place and end being completely different while still being; so light purple to dark purple, but still purple.

Much like in our lives, we traditionally grow and evolve as woman through so much. We come out on the other side different but still at our core who we always were. Those different aspects – the strength of a woman, sensuality, bravery, playfulness – are all represented through the design of the garments, as well as the fabrics I chose to use.

Find your creative voice. Work on fine tuning it and then always listen to it. – Cherith B.

Sheldon: What message are you trying to communicate through your designs?

Cherith: I strive for my garments to be well-made, timeless, sophisticated, and romantic; wearable art. I don’t know that I want to send a message exactly. I want to be able to be a mouthpiece for others to be able to amplify the message they want to send. All the many parts of what make us amazing creatures as women. I want to amply those things.

Sheldon: What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d have for aspiring designers?

Cherith: I consider myself aspiring; I’m not where I want to be yet. But I would say find your creative voice. Work on fine tuning it and then always listen to it. I would also say a business partner is important. Designing is one thing, but at the end of the day the industry is a business; buying and selling commodities. If you don’t market and sell your product properly you won’t succeed. And it is very difficult to manage both the creative side as well as the business aspect by yourself.

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