I met Miss Harvey while in college when we took Makeup For Stage and Screen. Although I was studying fashion and Shaquita “Catrice” costume design, we bonded over our shared love of style, fashion, and glamour. Fast forward to today, the Cleveland bred fashion designer has recently ventured into the world of entrepreneurship. After working as a fashion designer in NY, Catrice is now calling the shots with label A Bridge to London. AB2LNY is a specialty line of super adorable custom made circle skirts. Reminiscent of the 1950’s A Bridge to London transforms you to a time of serious dressing, which makes total sense if you know Shaquita! Her personal sense of style is so effortless. But enough with my introduction, meet Ms. Harvey for yourself!
Colour By Numbr: Hey girl, hey! What’s new?
A Bridge to London: I am currently working on a display of my clothing line in a boutique called Zulaika’s, located in Columbus, Ohio. It’s primarily geared towards the women of Islam, but all are most definitely welcome to shop in the boutique. I am also currently finishing my Spring/Summer collection, and a special showing of the collection here in New York City this summer.
CB#: How would you describe your own personal style?
A Bridge to London: I honestly would describe my personal style as modest, but edgy. I definitely wear a lot of “below the knee” skirts. Not because of religion, but because they make me feel pretty. But, I will throw on a cropped tee and a biker jacket, which definitely adds a roughness to my femininity. I’m really a 50’s girl at heart. I love full skirts and pearls, but I also love all things edgy paired with that. I think my personal style is fully projected in my clothing line, which makes it so easy to create.
CB#: Who or what are your fashion inspirations, what inspires you to create?
A Bridge to London: First, I’ll say, hands down, Diane von Furstenberg is a huge inspiration. She completely represents a woman of power but still has a beautiful heart. I also love that she built an empire on a single dress. Changing the colors, the patterns, the lengths. She presents her “wrap dress” every season, and I always smile in awe when I see her collections. They are so full of life, with endless possibilities. That’s my hope for A Bridge To London. One skirt, endless possibilities. But, when I create a collection, I often get inspired by me. I pretty much think about the elements that I want in a skirt, and I create that. The 50’s also has a huge influence on the clothing line itself. It’s the lifestyle they lived. Nothing but pure glamour. In and outside the house. I pull inspiration from many different things around the city also. The checkered printed skirt from my Fall/Winter ’14 collection was inspired by a 1960’s painting that I ran into at the MOMA about three weeks before my show. Imagine that lol. This skirt became my best seller.
A Bridge to London: My master plan for the moment would have to be promoting my line more. I want the world to know about A Bridge To London, NY and why women of all ages and sizes should have it. I have many, many things to conquer before the ultimate mission is accomplished, which is to open my very first boutique in London, England. That’s where I’m going with it.
CB#: Any advice for other creative spirits who wish to go against the 9-5 grain?
A Bridge to London: I am definitely still learning about the business and how to be my own boss, but if I had to give any advice, I would say to stay focused and really work hard for what you want. It takes courage to express yourself creatively in such a critical world. So, if you focus on your craft and trust that you have the spunk, you will most definitely succeed. Creators make the world go round. And the best of us struggle to make a mark, so that the 9-5 grain is no longer necessary.
CB#: Do you have a personal motto/mantra that you live by?
A Bridge to London: Honestly, it’s these exact words “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. Wisdom to know the difference.” It’s easy to get caught in the “why’s” of life, but things will always work out the way they should. I find that, when I say this prayer, it makes some of the most difficult times, seem like a walk in the park.
CB#:If you could design a skirt for anyone dead or alive who would it be, and what would you put him or her in?
A Bridge to London: DVF, of course! I admire her so much and her wearing one of my skirts would be an absolute dream come true. I was inspired by a suede camel colored wrap dress from her Fall 2013 collection. When I saw it, it gave me such a warm and fuzzy feeling, and I said to myself, “This lady is a genius”. Lol. So, I would dress her in an ombre suede circle skirt, that I would make specifically for her, and myself too, of course.
CB#: What is one thing unrelated to fashion about you, that most people don’t know?
A Bridge to London: I have epilepsy. It’s something that some people know about me, but most don’t. I wasn’t very accepting of it in the past, but now, I embrace it. I realized that I am so blessed to have the opportunity to do and experience things that some others living with epilepsy may not be able to. I still deal with the struggles everyday, but I am happy. I am happy to do what I love and dreamed about my whole life. I want to be that person to tell others it’s okay to follow your dreams. My artistic vision is a product of my epilepsy. Every skirt made, represents a different feeling.
CB#: Any last words?
A Bridge to London: Yes. Please visitcatstales.squarespace.com and @abridgetolondonny to see the collections. I hope you love them! Thanks Kori Fields for this fabulous interview for Colour By Number. I am truly honored to do it. Thank you so much!