I’m not a huge fan of reality television; many of the situations and reality stars that are presented I feel are gross exaggerations of the truth. I’ve always question whether the people on them would act the same in real life. This past season of Project Runway, native Detroiter and self-taught seamstress Char Glover was a contestant and finalist during the Fashion Week finale at Lincoln Center. Now of course I watched to support my fellow Detroit fashionista, and actually became a fan of Char’s. Having had the chance to meet and talk to her on a few different occasions, I can wholeheartedly say that the vibrant and humble person that she appeared to be on Project Runway, is who she indeed is in real life. While interviewing Char for the blog, I asked my typical questions but received much more from our brief conversation. Aside from her time on Project Runway end experience running a thriving fashion label Char, has a gift, story, and was humble enough to share both her successes and shortcomings. I was inspired and learned a lot from our brief conversation and know that you will too.
How would you describe your style?
“My own personal style is definitely comfortable. I HAVE to be comfortable. I don’t care what it is, that is one of the driving forces when I decide what to wear. Shoes I don’t mind, clothes they have to be super comfortable. And I don’t like to dress like anyone else. So I like to be different and comfortable.”
What caused you to stay in Michigan vs. L.A. or NY?
I actually liked in LA for a year and a half. One of the things that keep me here and the reason I haven’t moved back as soon as I would like to, is because there is a gap as far as fashion is concerned. There are a lot of things going on as far as the redevelopment of fashion here but, it’s an open market and that’s one of the reasons I’m staying. It’s a total open market.
I have this girl in my head that I call my fly girl, that I design for. I’m always thinking of what she would wear to a party or event. I don’t even have a face for her, but she is just that hot girl in the party that everyone is like WHERE did you get that jacket? So, that is usually my muse, I always try and design for the girl that is a showstopper. It’s kinda like ‘I know she just has on a sweatshirt, but I’ve never seen a sweatshirt like that.’
I think you are just in disbelief. When I got cast on the first episode when we were filmed the reaction was raw. We’re sitting there and she [Heidi] is saying names a with infamous Heidi pause. The one where she is slowly saying names and your stomach is literally at the bottom of your feet and you are just thinking “Please let her call me name.” You’ve prayed for that moment for her to call your name, and when she does, you are just in disbelief and you can’t believe it. You kind of feel like that for the first few weeks because of getting there and walking into the workroom that you’ve seen on tv and you just sort of have a moment. For the first week you are still in disbelief, it takes a minute for that high to wear off.
What did you learn about your design aesthetic and self from the experience?
I didn’t know I was that safe, I felt like I learned that I played it safe a lot when designing I saw that I needed to step outside of the box and believe in myself a bit more.
What the one thing you would tell someone who wanted to start a business or line?
Stop being scared, fear drives people more than they know. You also need to stop listening to people. People can only give you opinions from their perspective.You almost have to have a rebellious driving force behind you, almost like ‘I’m doing it not matter what nobody says.’ People can only give you what they have, if they aren’t going in that fields or direction, then they don’t see your vision like you do.
What is the biggest thing you have learned while in this crazy industry?
One thing that I’ve learned is that no opportunity ever goes wasted. You learn from other people, you have to pay your dues and hit your head. A lot of times people are so impatient. When you go through certain things and feel someone more have shortchanged you or not given you what you deserved, that is exactly what you needed at the time. That is your lesson. Those are the things that will strengthen you. A lot of time things that happen to us, happen for us.
I was working with fashion stylist Olori Swank and we did a custom piece for Keyshia Cole, this was one of our first big hits right when she started taking off. Long story short, Keyshia wanted this fabric made from scratch and I actually made the fabric from scratch, I went and dyed it, I took the picture she gave me, downloaded and made. Not only did she want the one dress, but she also wanted a second one in green. And not to mention and I only had 4 days to get it to NY. When Olori texted me we literally didn’t know if she would even be wearing the dress for her appearance on 106 and Park. The outfit got there but we still had no idea if she would actually wear it. 7;30 Keyshia was supposed to walk out on stage, Olori texted me at 7:19 and said Keyshia took the outfit off and decided to wear something else. But she end up changing again and put the outfit back on at like 7:29. I couldn’t tell anyone until literally when she stepped foot on stage, it was that last minute. Everything had to line up perfectly.
Any Final words?
Rock with me! I love interacting with people that support the movement!