2010 seems to be a year of new beginnings, new achievements and new ventures. Whatever 2010 represents to you don't hesitate to make a start in following your dreams. You owe yourself that much, get up and do something!
With the controversies of the Dulce Camer 50 list behind us we move onto a new talent feature here on DC.
Alvine, a wardrobe specialist based in the Texas area speaks to us about fashion, image consultancy and her fashion range.
I love fashion, do you?
Follow her story right here.
Happy reading y'all!
DC: Hello Alvine, many thanks for talking to DC. How are you?
AA: I am doing well, thank you.
DC: If you were a colour, which would you be and why?
AA: Erm, I would be red because it is a very passionate colour and I am very passionate in all I do.
DC: The year is 2010. How do you forsee this year being to you and all your ventures?
AA: This year is what I call my setup year. So, I forsee myself continuing to be aggressive in seeking out new opportunities and expanding on existing ones to better establish my business. I know for a fact that this is a blessed year from God. That is what I claim and I am sticking to that- no matter what.
DC: Any new year's resolutions and do you keep them?
AA: I typically don't keep to them because they are forgotten around February/March. So, this year I decided to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) my resolution (US expression!). My resolution is form & focus. Basically, that means to maintain my form and keep my focus on my goals. Simple enough and I use it all the time- at the gym, with my work, and even driving.
DC: Let’s dive into some current issues first. Do you think the recession has played a part in bringing out the creativity in a lot of people?
AA: Actually I do. The recession has made people to go back to the basics and become more open minded to new things. It has also made people open up and be more creative.
DC: What is your opinion on president Obama being the first black president in the White House?
AA: I think it is a great thing because I appreciate what he stood for. I don’t see him as the first black president...I see him more as an international president because of his background. I think it is a great thing...the American mentality is taking a fresh step forwards.
DC: Why do you think he was elected in your opinion?
AA: I think his energy was just so positive in a time that America needed it. He did a great job tapping into what Americans needed.
DC: Do you think because he was elected, most of us have adopted the “yes we can” attitude from his campaign?
AA: I feel like Obama raised the bar for everybody and the story he had everyone can relate to.
DC: Ok, now back to fashion...tell us where this love of fashion came from? Your earliest memories!
AA: This love has always been there and it has been growing stronger and stronger by the minute!
From first grade, I remember not letting my mom dress me or do my hair. I wanted to do it all by myself. I also taught myself from an early age how to sew. I was always very keen on fashion from what they were wearing to how the clothes were sewn.
DC: You got a taste of corporate America and then decided to follow your passion, how did you ever make up your mind?
AA: Well you know (she laughs)..it was not something I really had to think about. This was my passion and I knew I had to go for it because I knew it made me happy. I just new and I trusted God.
DC: Where you not scared of the risk?
AA: No, I didn;t wake up one day to do this and I liked having the fear because it made me work hard.
DC: What did your parents say when you told them of your decision?
AA: (she laughs)...well you know how typical Cameroonian parents can be so I explained to them what my plans were and it definitely helped that they saw the drive in me. They want me to be stable and be happy. It is still a work in progress (she laughs)!
DC: So tell us exactly what you do.
AA: Basically, I am a wardrobe specialist. I not only deal with the high flyers, I also deal with everyday people. I do wardrobe consultation...tell them what to do to upgrade their style, what to donate etc. With the consultation, I try to enhance the person they already are by talking to them and understanding their style.
I also do personal shopping where I take people out to different shops and this is great because they can see how to shop and what to buy. It can take a few hours or it can be for a whole day. I also do business style workshop and this could be directed at corporate businesses.
DC: Was it then easy financially to set up your image consultancy business?
AA: Erm, it was easy financially because I had planned and saved for it. If I hadn’t done that, it would have been very challenging.
DC: How did you get clients?
AA: I started out with friends and family and word of mouth and I also advertised at my friend’s boutique. I also appeared on an early morning talk show and this helped me. When I am out and about, I make sure I am very put together and I always attempt to wear an item of clothing that will attract people to me so that they can come and talk to me.
DC: So, which well known celebrities would you love to style and why?
AA: Wow...okay! Rhianna, because she seems very open to style and what she goes for. I would also love to style Robert Pattison of Twilight and I feel like there is a lot you can do with him because he seems very versatile. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, they are adventurous too. I would also add Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama as well as Kanye West!!
DC: What is your must have item (s) of the season and why?
AA: Uhhh, anything gold. Gold accents on various items...on dresses...the bold shoulder dresses and jackets. I must warn that this is not for everybody though. To me this look is so strong and empowering and if you are shy or want to be someone else..this is the look to go for.
DC: Tell us about your fashion range...what is the concept?
AA: Erm, my first line was created in Cameroon and it was not planned but I found being in Cameroon at that very inspiring. It was a line where the average woman could wear and I was trying to push the idea of having American designs with African prints. It was an everyday line.
DC: How did you come up with the designs?
AA: I was in Cameroon for over a month so I had a lot of time. Whilst there I had some of my magazines and I took inspiration from there as well as from the vibrancy of the city I was staying in. The main idea was comfortability.
DC: Where are your garments made?
AA: They were designed and made in Cameroon.
DC: Where do you source fabrics?
AA: My goal is to do everything in Cameroon, from purchasing of fabrics to the sewing of the clothes.
DC: Where do you get your inspiration from?
AA: In life, I get my inspiration from my family. My brother and sister are both very dedicated and hardworking. In terms of fashion, it is from everything. I literally see everything in fashion and people always laugh when I say this!!
DC: Which fashion designers do you look up to?
AA: Erm, I really enjoy 3.1 Phillip Lim (an Asian American designer). I love his collection, it was breathtaking. Ozwald Boateng, I love the fitting of his suit and they way they look. Lanvin, I love the way he plays with volume especially in the spring/summer 2009 collection.
DC: If you were to be stranded on a desert island and you were allowed one fashion item, what would it be and why?
AA: My oversize hand bag (she laughs). Because I can stuff things into it!
DC: What is the key to success in your view?
AA: In my opinion, 3 things – believing in yourself, in what you know and never quit. If something does not work out the first time, reinvent yourself and start again. The third is giving glory to God for all successes and failures because it is all in His plan. To me, these 3 things are vital.
DC: And the key to making it in the fashion industry?
AA: The exact same things above! The fashion industry constantly changes so you have to always reinvent yourself.
DC: Before we wrap up, how can potential clients reading this interview get in contact with you or buy your fashion range?
AA: Well, they can call me on: 001 832 723 2108 or they can email me: email@example.com or they can text me or visit the website: www.catapultcouture.com and fill out the form on the website which gets emailed to me. I try to respond as soon as possible. They can also find me on Facebook: Alvine Ayim Catapult Couture
DC: By the way, why did you choose the name Catapult Couture?
AA: Catapult means to uplift, to upgrade so when you put that together with Couture which means one of a kind...it basically means I am uplifting the one of a kind you, which goes well with my clients.
DC: And that Alvine, is a wrap! Thanks again for the chat.
AA: Thank you!
See some Catapult images below!
Catapult Couture Designs
The Fashion Workshop
The Charity Fundraiser
The Engagement/Wedding Photo Shoot
The Fashion Photo Shoot
The Boutique Display