Today we are thrilled to bring you a fabulous emerging designer interview with designer Claudette Cooling of The Cool Line, an up and coming accessories brand based in the North East of England!
- Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your brand?
I’m Claudette Cooling, the founder and creative force behind The Cool Line. The Cool Line is an up and coming accessories brand, providing 100% statement silk scarves and stylish neoprene clutches. Launched in November 2015, we create innovative, attention grabbing designs that demand that all eyes on you feeling. Our accessories are bold, daring and make that definitive style statement within your wardrobe; accessories destined to never fall out of fashion. Based in North East England our brand is created by cool people for cool people.
- When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
I have always been creative, from being a small child I was always doing something, whether this be drawing on my parent’s walls (they never let me forget that one!) or creating “masterpieces” on my dad’s iMac G3 – a true vintage! I have always loved developing a concept from an idea or sketch to the finished article. I excelled in creative classes at school and knew I wanted to learn more! However, what really pushes me is the feeling you get when you see a customer or model wearing your design/product. There is no better feeling than seeing someone look absolutely stunning in something you have created!
- What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
I studied BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design at Cleveland College of Art and Design. This qualification supplied me with the ability and skill to create surface pattern designs for the fashion, interiors and gift markets. I thoroughly believe that my time spent at the newly named ‘Northern School of Art’ has stood me in excellent stead for a career in the creative industries. I’d say I fully realised my own personal style and design style within the last year of my degree, having the time to experiment and evolve as a creative and as a person really defined my personal style once I’d found it. Alongside educational grounding, I further developed my skills with industry experience and entering design competitions.
- How would you describe your style?
It is so important to find your own unique voice within the fashion industry in order to stand out. Style and in particular your own personal style is being confident in your style choices and yourself. Style is not just the clothing you wear, it’s the way you piece them together and the way in which you express yourself. I would define my style as refined, bold and classically cool!
- What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
As a designer, I design with a clean-cut, graphic edge; this graphic innovation and detailing is what sets myself and The Cool Line apart from the rest. A style distinctive yet incredibly detailed.
- What are you working on currently?
The newest addition to The Cool Line e-boutique are our Neoprene Clutches, a product which over the past couple of months has really evolved with what our customers want. From perfecting the making process to print decisions this has been the main focus recently. In addition to this, I have been lining up some pretty exciting collaborations for The Cool Line, so keep your eyes peeled for where we’ll be featured next!
- What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t be afraid if at first you only have a couple of things in your portfolio, like you it is going to grow, change and evolve. Enter competitions, put evidence of industry experience work you’ve been part of in there and fill it with things you are proud of. Most importantly, make sure YOU are happy with your portfolio, by all means get advice from whoever you can, but it’s YOU who has to be passionate about what’s in your portfolio.
- What would be your dream design gig?
There’s so many but a personal dream of mine is to see The Cool Line scarves featured in the scarf hall of fame, which is Liberty of London’s Scarf Hall.
- Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
Above all I hope to be happy and still love what I’m doing. I love every part of The Cool Line, it’s something I’ve created and been with through all of the highs and lows. I hope to keep expanding our product range as well as looking forward to a new collection this year.
- If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
Geometric, of course!