UK Based designer Chelsea Bravo is not one for taking the easy way out.
When creating clothing for women, design ideas are fluid and vast. But crafting dynamic menswear comes with the sort of challenge that, she says, fuels her creativity. Her approach to design paid off after she was selected to appear in an advertisement for Squarespace’s “You Should” campaign, which aired during last year’s Golden Globes.
We caught up with the young artist to talk about her plans for her 2-year-old eponymous label, which she creates with a focus on silhouette and playful embellishments.
You’ve been praised for the construction, shape, and silhouette of your designs. Describe your aesthetic.
My design aesthetic is based around fluidity and open shape with a focus on how the body moves and feels within the garment, mixed in with creative details and applications. I love texture and to incorporate artistic references within my work which is seen through the use of applique.
Do you have plans to make your clothing available in the U.S. market?
Yes I do have plans to make Chelsea Bravo available in the U.S. I will be looking out for boutiques this year when I visit New York. However, we do ship worldwide when orders are placed on our website.
What has been your greatest accomplishment for your brand thus far?
The greatest accomplishment for the brand thus far is successfully showcasing at London Collections: Men both seasons in 2015 and being flown out to shoot and film a campaign with Squarespace back in December, which is due to launch early this year.
What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced in creating a brand of menswear, or a brand of contemporary clothing in general?
I wouldn’t call them obstacles because I’ve overcome them, but the challenges designing for a menswear collection I would say is getting the balance right. Especially for a brand such as ours that is pushing menswear forward and playing around with its conventions. You have to know whether you’re taking something too far but at the same time not playing it safe. But this is the part I enjoy most!
Do you have any plans to create women’s clothing in the future?
Yes, I do want to create for women also and I am in thoughts about making the brand unisex or having a unisex line. Women can buy and wear items from the collection as it stands. I wore an entire outfit from the Concourse collection at Afropunk last summer. Our Red Felt Face Jumpsuit has also been worn by blogger Slumflower as well as other pieces during London Fashion Week. I encourage women to get involved!
There are photos of you wearing some pieces from your menswear collection. Is menswear a regular part of your personal style? Describe your personal style?
I wouldn’t say menswear is a part of my personal style unless I’m wearing pieces from Chelsea Bravo. I would say menswear definitely influences my personally style. I love open oversized silhouettes, clean cuts and clothes that just feel easy and comfortable to wear. I dislike anything clinging to my body- unless I’m partying! And even then it has to feel good on the skin, be breathable and comfortable.
If you had to describe London style/fashion for women and men how would you sum it up?
Clean shapes and lines. A lot of grey, a lot of black and a lot of navy.
You were born in New York City but you grew up in London and you’re still based there. Do you ever see yourself living here and working in New York?
I’m in thoughts about where I will be based ultimately and I don’t know yet. I think London is more directional and fashion forward than New York, I feel it will always be one step ahead and I don’t know if I want to be out of sync with the zeitgeist. I think I will be travelling between the two and doing things in both cities for some time before making a decision.