Designer Interview – Caycee Black

A while back I was at the Design Museum in London and by chance met the very lovely American fashion designer Caycee Black.  Black designs everything from the buttons to the prints herself, and each print comes either from one of her photographs or paintings.

Did growing up in Texas influence your work?
CB – I think growing up in Texas and spending many summers at my grandparents’ farm gave me a love for nature. In my paintings I play with the juxtaposition how nature is found in the New York city environment.

How would you describe your style?
CB – My style is such a mix of vintage and my own pieces. I like playing with juxtaposition; the obvious bores me. If i wear my organza plaid noir painted dress I mix it with my gentleman’s jacket, colored leg, and vintage 80’s snow boots that could be on Napoleon Dynamite! My wardrobe is an accumulation of pieces I love on their own which I’ve collected from my line to my grandmother’s closet. I then take each piece and bring them together where they create their own story

How long did you study ballet for?
CB – I begged my mom to put me in lessons after seeing my first ballet at age 4. My mom was worried I would be bored but I sat on the edge of that velvet seat the whole time. I can still remember how magical it was to me. I decided when I was 14 not to attend Houston School of Performing arts and to continue my love of ballet as a hobby rather than a lifestyle. I still take adult classes every week at Joffrey School of Ballet’s adult program. It is truly my time to not think of anything else and always puts me in a good mood.

You also studied fine art?
CB – I took art classes every summer as a child as that was my other passion. I was quite shy as a child and that became my way to express myself and gave me comfort. I continued art classes through high school, where my senior year I built my art portfolio to be admitted into Parsons. I was attracted to Parsons as a fashion design school because art curriculum you are put through your first year before you are allowed to enter the fashion design program. I like this approach as it was the way I had envisioned myself designing clothes.

Did you go to Parsons in Paris or New York?
CB – I went to parsons New York for my BFA.

What are your favourite fabrics?
CB – Each season I love taking typically menswear fabrications and making them into feminine bodies. There is something great about this juxtaposition. For spring I took a menswear suiting fabric which is a silk/linen blend pinstripe from Italy and created a jumpsuit with surprising cut outs. This I paired with a coral bow tie blouse is my take on a suit for a woman. I like to play with mens looks in my own way. I had a tuxedo look for fall that was a tux blouse tucked into high waisted bubble shorts that have a cumberbun waistband.

Where do you live?
CB – I live in Green Point Brooklyn. I have a great view of Manhattan and the east river from my roof top.

Do you have pet?
Cb – Umm no I’m trying to responsible I consider my line my child as it is soo demanding! I’m kind of a crazy dog lover and will definitely be getting one when I can!

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