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Posted by on Oct 10, 2017

Emerging Designer Watch: Caroline Z.

Emerging Designer Watch: Caroline Z.

Caroline Z. was founded in 2015 by Caroline Elenowitz. Using luxury textiles and couture techniques, Caroline Z. creates cocktail dresses and evening gowns to fit any client. The brand’s goal is to strike a balance between heritage fashion and new technology, incorporating laser-cutting into their first collection. At Caroline Z., they want to create clothes that have a story and evoke an emotional response in the people who wear them.

IM: Today I’m talking with Caroline Ruth, the founder of Caroline Z. Caroline lives in New York and has developed a customized luxury evening wear brand called Caroline Z. Her designs are sophisticated, whimsical and centered around the woman who doesn’t mind being the center of attention. I’ve personally witnessed some of her designs and was very impressed with your clever business model and high profile designs. How did you get started in fashion design? Where did that drive come from?

CR: Honestly, I had a very unusual path to fashion. I always loved art and design while I was growing up, but I didn’t necessarily have an interest in making fashion a career. So I went to college to study English Literature. I then went to wok in PR, and while working in PR I met some people who were fashion designers, and some people who were just really interesting and kind of opened up the world of fashion to me. So I became really interested and I decided to go back to school at FIT to do a program they have for people who already have degrees. So after I finished at FIT I worked for another designer who specialized in luxury and ready-to-wear. Then I left with that experience to start my own business. I feel like this was kind of an unusual path because a lot of designers grow up exactly knowing that they were born to do this, and I feel like I kind of found my way later.

 

IM: Well, we’re glad you did! Some people never find their way, so you’re very lucky and blessed. Do you have a specific research process when you start a collection? How do you come to the conclusions to use certain fabrics, or come up with how you want to evolve each collection from the last?

CR: Well, part of it I find is just going out and looking at different fabrics. Touching them, feeling them, really anything that speaks to me. I do a lot of laser cutting, and those kind of fabrics are more specific due to the technological aspects. So I have to get samples and look at the fabric content because when I do my laser cutting I try and cut fabrics have a majority of synthetic so that it has these nice crisp melted edges as opposed to a burnt edge, which is what would happen with an organic fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IM: Talk about the ideal Caroline Z. woman, who are you designing for?

CR: I feel like my client is a woman who is very confident in herself and really wants to have something different. Someone who doesn’t mind being the center of attention and probably would prefer it. Somebody who has an appreciation for a piece that’s a little bit different, a little bit out there, but also compliments the body. A little bit edgy, but also can recognize classic style, design, and proportions as well. I like being a little experimental.

IM: Who stands out to you in the fashion industry? Is there any specific designers you really admire or are inspired by?

CR: I really love Iris Van Herpen’s work. I find that she is such a visionary and so experimental. I feel like some of her detractors or someone would say that her work isn’t practical, that you can’t really wear it. I think that’s true about a lot of designers, but that’s also what I really appreciate about her work. I fell like when I look at what she’s doing, I can only aspire to get to her level one day. I think she is a genius and she does so many interesting things with so many interesting materials. She kind of pushes the rest of us to think outside the box and to do things we wouldn’t otherwise try, so I really admire that.

IM: Great, I love her work too. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

CR: Well, I would really love to have my own bigger studio, where I could have more clients come in and could have more of my product on display. I think that I still like the start-up environment, so maybe I could have a boutique with smaller ready-to-wear pieces that I could sell as well as some accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IM: Where can someone purchase your designs now?

CR: Well right now you can only buy my dresses or the boleros from me if you come to my studio or one of my trunk shows in the New York area a few times a year. But I’m just about to launch my scarves which I’ve been developing for the new season. They’re going to be available to buy on my website.

IM: And what is your website?

CR: www.caroline-z.com, all prices are listed on the website and my email and all contact information to make an appointment to come see me. My studio is in the Garvin District, but I will commonly go to my clients home to bring special samples or do fittings. My goal is to provide the highest level of customer service.

IM: When is your next trunk show?

CR: My next trunk show is going to be October 28th. Anyone can sign up for my mailing list and will be notified of my trunk show schedule.

IM: Where can someone purchase your designs now?

CR: Well right now you can only buy my dresses or the boleros from me if you come to my studio or one of my trunk shows in the New York area a few times a year. But I’m just about to launch my scarves which I’ve been developing for the new season. They’re going to be available to buy on my website.

IM: And what is your website?

CR: www.caroline-z.com, all prices are listed on the website and my email and all contact information to make an appointment to come see me. My studio is in the Garvin District, but I will commonly go to my clients home to bring special samples or do fittings. My goal is to provide the highest level of customer service.

IM: When is your next trunk show?

CR: My next trunk show is going to be October 28th. Anyone can sign up for my mailing list and will be notified of my trunk show schedule.

Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more…

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