playing with Timeless designs: chARLIE bLACK of TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE

 
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NAME: Charlie Black

LOCATION: Oslo, Norway

WEBSITE & SOCIAL: www.toodamnexpensive.com/ & chrlieblck

HER PIECES ARE STRIKING AND TRANSFORMATIVE, PERFECT FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO CATCH THE EYE WHILE KEEPING COMFORT IN MIND. Using environmentalLY friendly fabrics, her designs are built to last wITHOUT KILLING THE PLANET. aFTER YEARS OF INDEPENDENT PRACTICE, SHE HAS DEVELOPED HER OWN VOICE IN THE FASHION WORLD; FOCUSING HEAVILY ON HER OWN STRENGTHS AND INTUITION. The inspiration of her pieces can be attributed to anything AND EVERYTHING IN the everyday; VARYING FROM architecture to geometric shapes. hER GOAL IS TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD IN HER CLOTHES, WITH THE MANTRA OF ‘LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD’ IN MIND.

mEET CHARLIE bLACK OF toO DAMN EXPENSIVE.

I had the pleasure of meeting charlie at last year’s COmmunity Fashion week in San Francisco where charlie was showcasing her designs.

so great to reconnect with you charlie! THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS INTERVIEW, I’M EXCITED TO SHARE MORE ABOUT YOUR STORY AND DESIGNS. tO START OFF, Can you tell me a little about your background and how you got into fashion designing?

“I spent many years trying to figure out what to do with my life in terms of occupation, I was restless and rootless and tried a lot of different jobs in different fields. So while trying to figure it out, I worked a lot, saved money and travelled (and partied) as much as I could.

It was on one of my travels, in Australia while soaking up the sun on Bondi Beach it just hit me: I am going to be a fashion designer! So then and there in that lightbulb moment I knew that I had finally figured it out. It was very strange that I spent so many years trying to figure this out, as fashion had always been one of my biggest passions (I would even buy garments over food sometimes) When I got back I started at the Esmod design school in Oslo and knew then from the beginning that I wanted to start my own brand when I was done!”

“My goal is to make people to feel good about themselves when wearing our clothes. Because I think if you feel better, you do better!”


iT CAN CERTAINLY BE DIFFICULT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO-IT WAS CERTAINLY A STRUGGLE FOR ME AS WELL. oFTEN TIMES, THINGS ARE CONNECTED TO YOUR LIFE PATH BUT YOU REALLY HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION AND SEE WHERE IT CONNECTS. tHEN, ITS THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT!

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?

“You are going to need a lot of patience!”

“It is a though business, even more so if you want to stay real and have your integrity intact in the end of the day. I met a designer who had already been in the industry for a few years while I went to design school and I remember she told me: If you can do something else, do that, unless you really want this. I think this industry is hard to understand.

If you are not in it, it is even hard to understand sometimes when you are in it too. There is a lot of things that don’t really makes sense, and it is still somewhat built on old systems and hierarchies.

That said, the rewarding moments and highs in the end makes it all worth while!”

that’s very true! When you are rewarded with seeing your designs, i’m sure it makes the difficulties worthwhile.

in regards to your style and designs, Do you have a favorite fashion era? (ex. 1960's, 1990's, 1800's, etc).

 “I dont think I have a favourite fashion era, I like to take different things from different eras and put them together.”

you’ve entered fashion design in the digital age. What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?

“It makes a lot of difference in many ways, when you think of fashion before and after social media. But I think the biggest thing is that you are able to interact directly with your customers!”

when bringing your designs to life, How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?

“My goal is to make people to feel good about themselves when wearing our clothes. Because I think if you feel better, you do better!”

“The sad thing about this is that I dont think people realize how many talented people the world never gets to see.”

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being a designer, everyone wonders where these visions come from or what inspires them. Where do you seek fashion inspiration?

“The simple answer is everywhere. I often get inspired of architecture and geometrical shapes. Most of the collection are made the same way, by taking geometrical shapes,

Often squares and place and wrap them around the body. I like the contrast of taking something so strict and make it organic and fluid. And I also always have in mind that the garment should be transformable, so you can use it different ways!”

You bring the everyday into your designs.

What's the most difficult part of working in fashion design?

That it is a though business to break in to. Talent alone is not enough, you will have to be prepared to work very hard. And there is a lot of pitfalls on the way. The sad thing about this is that I dont think people realize how much talented people the world never get to see."

The advice I would give is dont assume that people are smarter than you just because they try to tell you that they are. And remember that people dont usually have your best interest at heart, they have theirs. So just trust yourself and march on! :)”

You always have to trust yourself first. Especially in a creative career or one where you have to independently value your work.

What are your aspirations for the next year (or beyond)?

“There is a few projects in the works. One of them is that we may also start a shoeline! And I loooove shoes! But nothing is ready yet, we are just in the starting phase of finding a good manufacturer, and that can take time. But I am very excited about this!

And in general I just look forward to meet and find more of the Too Damn Expensive crowd :)”

“My goal is to make people to feel good about themselves when wearing our clothes. Because I think if you feel better, you do better!”

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