For some little girls, dressing up expresses who they are. Different dresses, tiaras, and shoes allow us to play up a character they hope to become someday. For up-and-coming fashion designer Ciara Chyanne, playing dress up was more than just playtime; it was her entryway into a passion that would fuel her future. "When I was little, I loved to piece together my outfits even after my mom would plan them out for me," says Chyanne.
Playing with clothes allowed Chyanne to express herself freely and obtain some independence at such a profound age. Her mother, however, wasn't too fond of her daughter choosing what she wanted to wear. "My mother would tell me, 'You're just a child, and you have to wear what I tell you to," said Chyanne. However, her mother had no idea this was the beginning of her young daughter's passion for the fashion industry and rebellious spirit which would lead to self discovery. "I wanted to have control over my image, and picking my outfit was that for me," says Chyanne.
Her mother's disapproval did not stop her from wanting to take charge of her style. In her teenage years, Chyanne continued to explore different styles and created designs in her room. Eventually, her mother understood this was more than a phase and helped her start her clothing brand, investing $500. "Once my mom realized how much I loved fashion, she started giving me the room to grow and become who I wanted to be," said the fashion designer.
The brand did reasonably well, helping her save enough money to buy a sewing machine in college. Her hunger for design grew stronger as she curated and sold dresses on her college campus. The birth of Chyanne's confidence blossomed through entrepreneurship, giving her the drive to seek jobs in the fashion industry.
After years of trial and error, Chyanne finally had her breakthrough with "Making The Cut" season 3. However, she was cut after two episodes, but she kept pushing. Her work was recently showcased at Black In Fashion NYFW Discovery Showroom, featuring various energetic pieces, from an electric yellow trench coat to a snake print skirt.
Nonetheless, the foundation of her work stems from the women rooted in her childhood, "My grandmother is an interior designer. She helped me develop that eye for color, texture, and silhouette. Those are the things I focus on when it comes to my designs," says Chyanne. The women in Chyanne's life have made her the influential designer she is today. Every piece is a physical embodiment of her story. "My clothing says that you can be a powerful woman and still be intentional with life— just like my mother and grandmother showed me."