1. For anyone who didn’t read any of the promo/information materials, can you give us a brief overview of what Electric Candy Couture is? Electric Candy Couture is my line of glowing & light-up wearable art. I laser cut and engrave acrylic components, and use stainless steel chains and rings to make jewelry, accessories, and costumes. I’m a huge fan of ancient mythology and lore, so I’ve poured a lot of that inspiration into my work, blending old world aesthetics with modern materials. The pieces fuse neon with Neolithic, to evoke an incredible other-worldliness. Two of my most popular pieces: I’ve designed Egyptian-style shoulder armor that lights up, and valkyrie-inspired halter tops that look like shimmering rainbow feathers. When people wear my stuff, jaws hit the floor all around them. It transports people into a fantasy. There’s nothing out there quite like it.
2. Can you tell us a little more about the whirlwind of events that led you to doing this with the fervor you’re currently pursuing it with? It’s been quite a ride, and it’s really picking up speed now. I tell the story in more detail on my Kickstarter, but I’ll sum it up quickly here: A few months after Electric Candy started, Superstorm Sandy hit New York City. The office building I worked in was severely damaged, and overnight, I was out of a job. So I decided to use this as an opportunity to jump full-throttle into ECC. Once I committed, doors just started opening. The universe is funny like that, and I’ve taken full advantage. I’ve worked around the clock since then, designing, developing, and finding new ways to take it further. This work is my passion – and it’s a delightful addiction.
3. Who is the most famous person you’ve gotten to wear your pieces? Speaking of doors opening! Not too long after I started, electronic music artist Kerli got in touch. She wanted to wear one of my pieces in a video or performance, and of course I was game. I reached out to her again right after I lost my job, and she offered to wear one of my pieces to the American Music Awards. That was quite a moment. When she tagged my shop in her pictures, I got hundreds of fans overnight.
4. What stops do you have planned for your work, independent of NYC in 2014? Roadtrip anywhere? I’m aiming to have a big presence on the festival circuit this year, but mostly through wholesaling my work to other vendors. I’m more or less a one-man operation at the moment, so I can only be in so many places! Right now, I’m designing displays and wholesale packages so smaller vendors can easily and affordably expand their offerings with my goods. Anyone interested in that can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. You cut things with lasers? How the heck does that work? Have you taken someone’s eye out yet? Ha! No, but watching the laser work is so fascinating. Technically you’re not supposed to, because it can damage your eyesight after a while (just like starting into the sun), but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Watching art take shape is always hypnotic. Watching my art take shape with lasers and rainbow acrylic? Whoa. I design and draft all my components in a CAD program, and then the laser is programmed to interpret the drawing so it knows which lines to cut through, and which to engrave. I load it with a sheet of acrylic, and a couple of hours later I have all these beautiful little pieces that I clean off and put together.
6. Have you thought about getting your pieces used in movies/music videos? Definitely! I’ve been approached by numerous people about these sorts of projects. So far most of it is still in the discussion phase, but there are some seriously exciting irons in those fires. I also love doing costume design, and creating a whole set of characters for a major production is a big dream of mine.
7. Do you have any supporters/backers/models you’d like to give a shout-out to/thanks for helping you along the way? Oh man, so many people have helped me along the way! I’m afraid of listing everyone in case I forget someone. So to sum up the incredible support I’ve had behind me… HUGE THANKS TO: all of my clients, the models and photographers who’ve donated their time and talent, friends who’ve helped me with my website and spread the word, and more or less anyone I’ve shown the work too. Everyone’s been so encouraging and supportive. I’ve been told I have a great concept and beautiful work, and it really makes me proud of everything I’ve created.
8. Where do you see your gear worn the most, what kind of party? I’ve been selling my stuff to the Burning Man crowd mostly, and people keep telling me they saw my work all over the playa this year – but it’s proving to have an even wider appeal. I’ve worn it out to nightclubs and other scenes a few times and it always gets an amazing reaction. With the explosion of the EDM scene in recent years, there’s also a massive growing market of young people going to raves and festivals who love my work. I’m picking up speed in that sphere, but its only just beginning.
9. Who would be your star/top choice celebrity endorsement? Tough choice. People keep telling me they could see my stuff on Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj, and I would love that. But the great thing about these pieces is that they compliment a lot of modern looks and styles artists are rocking on the stage and the red carpet. The larger pieces are also perfect for the live performances and film. So the sky’s the limit, really!
10. What relevant social medias/contact info should people use to get at you? Besides the Kickstarter of course You can head to my Kickstarter page to pick up some stunning pieces for 20% off, and support the next phase of Electric Candy Couture! I’ve also got an Etsy shop (though the discount is for Kickstarter donors ONLY), and a Facebook page where you can find more pictures of my work and vendor updates. Stop by, and say hi on Facebook. I always love meeting new Electric Candy lovers!