Today we’re going to take a slight break from our Fashion Week show reviews and Real Style shots to give you a bit of old school Breaking into Fashion goodness! We recently caught up with uber sunglass designer, Kerin Rose, creator of the industry’s hottest, most sought after shades:
If you don’t know who Kerin Rose is, you must not be reading the Fashion Bomb!! The 26-year-old Long Island native uses Swarovski crystals, spikes, chains, lace, studs and pearls to decorate sunglasses worn by Rihanna, Lady GaGa, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Fergie, Nicki Minaj, Estelle, Cassie, Jazmine Sullivan, and Kid Sister.
Kerin’s grind literally doesn’t stop, and she’s a heck of a multi-tasker! As she was hand making a series of sunglasses, she also talked to us on the phone, sharing her story and offering a bit of advice to you aspiring creatives. Ready?
The NYU alum always had a penchant for embellishments. She said, “I used to bedazzle all of my cell phones. I have my cell phones from 2000 when I was 17 and there are crystals all over them! I thought I was going to get a new phone and bought all these crystals for it. Turns out I didn’t get a new phone, so I had a bunch of leftover crystals. I broke the one pair of glasses I owned and said,’ Why don’t I bedazzle some glasses?’”
What happened seemingly by accident actually turned out to be her calling card. “I wore my glasses around and people kept asking me where I got them. People would scream at me from across the street asking about my sunglasses! When we talked, they’d ask me where they could get them. I told them I made them in my house, and they asked why I didn’t sell them.”
She continues, “I was about to go to school to get my Master’s, but was working at a boutique before I started school. The shop agreed to let me sell my shades there. I’d put four out and they’d be gone in days.” Her first celebrity client was Mariah Carey, whose stylist plucked Kerin’s Bizet sunglasses for the video “My Love.”
After Mariah, several other celebrities followed suit, most notably Rihanna who wore Kerin’s Barracuda Sunglasses for the internationally acclaimed video, ‘Run this Town”:
Of course Rose’s designs have spawned copycats who have started their own movements thanks to lower priced, yet strikingly similar frames. Kerin welcomes competition, but says, “I don’t mind if you’re going to do your own thing, but don’t do a shitty version of my thing. I don’t like people taking credit for my work.”
She adds, “ I pay super attention to the quality of work. My sunglasses may be expensive, but I use high quality supplies. And the people who have come out and done stuff don’t put the same care and energy into their work. The material is not great. It’s lower quality. I’ve seen and held the item in my hand. Do your thing, but give me some competition.”
For you future designers, she advises, “Stick to what you know. Do what you’re good at. There was a time when I was daydreaming about making T-shirts and they weren’t that great. Do you. I’m really good at playing with glitter, so I followed my talent.”
She continues, “Don’t limit yourself because it prevents great opportunities from coming your way. And if you’re going to do it, do it right or don’t do it at all.”
In conclusion, she offered a bit of unconventional advice. Be nice. She says, “If you’re a good person with good intentions then good things will come to you.” So true!
Purchase A-Morir by Kerin Rose sunglasses at www.a-morir.com or at select retailers like Karmaloop.com
Also stay tuned for her future projects, which include collaborations with graffiti artist Claw Money and Converse.
What do you think of today’s Breaking into Fashion subject?