Not going anywhere cool this holiday season? Fear not, my marooned friends. This week our Indie Designer Feature takes us to France with an interview with ViviFromage!
How did your interest in fashion begin? I’ve always been interested in fashion (even when I was a kid, meaning my Barbie doll was of course a total fashionista! hehe) but I was pretty frustrated until I discovered DIY designers, about 3 or 4 years ago. I mean, unless you’re rich enough to buy haute couture clothes, you have to buy your clothes at the mall ; these clothes can be cute but they can’t be regarded as unique clothes. The first DIY item I saw was an incredibly awesome Tsunami Bomb corset, made by Suzie aka Dropdeaddiy. I immediately thought : “Wow, this is really interesting, I wish I was able to make this kind of stuff!”
What motivated you to start selling your designs and what were your expectations when you started? I started sewing just for fun, in order to make clothes for myself. But my hobby quickly became a time (and money!) consuming activity. So I started selling stuff on ebay to make money in order to buy more fabric and better machines (including a serger)… I suppose it’s a vicious circle 🙂
Do you have any formal training in fashion, art or design? Nope, I taught myself.
Is Vivifromage your primary job? Actually I was a full time student until last June (I got my master’s degree in comparative literature)
I don’t really know what I want to do as a living, so I suppose Vivifromage is my primary job right now!
How many people are behind the scenes at Vivifromage? Vivifromage is a one-girl operation : I design, sew, model, list on ebay and ship all the clothes I sell.
What are some of the best and worst aspects of being an independent designer? Being an independent designer means you’re your own boss. You can work when you want, and that’s a good point 🙂
However it can be really hard to manage everything : you have to sew, you have to deal with your customers, you have to wait at the post office, then you can sleep knowing you will be as busy the next day.
What does Vivifromage mean, and where did the name come from? Vivi [vee-vee] is my nickname (my first name is Virginie), and “fromage” means “cheese” in French. My boyfriend often calls me “Vivifromage” because I looooove cheese. Pretty cheesy isn’t it? 😉
Where do you get inspiration for your designs? I love music and I’m often inspired by various artists. I’m a huge fan of FRUiTS too (and mainly anything related to Japan) and I think it is visible in some of my designs. My last (but not the least!) inspiration is other DIY designers’ work (most of the ones I adore are mentioned in my“me” page!)
How would you describe your designs? I try to make unique, feminine and wearable clothes. I want to be eclectic so that every girl, no matter her “style”, can like my work.
Any advice for aspiring designers? Take your time, do your best, and don’t get discouraged if people don’t buy your stuff.
Do you have any interesting hobbies (outside of sewing/designing)? Hmm I’m lame but I love to cook! Cooking is a very creative hobby too! Outside of sewing, I spend most of my time listening to music or watching old horror movies 🙂
Check out Vivi’s designs on Ebay – ViviFromage
or say hello via myspace – www.myspace.com/vivifromage