Wednesday, February 4, 2009

designer q&a: priestess nyc

Cody Ross is the ballsy brains and talent behind the cult label Priestess NYC. The quirky womenswear label has become an overnight sensation since its launch in late 2007. Cody's unique creations have been worn by celebrities and models, donned by everyone from Bjork to Juliette Lewis.

Cody grew up in Dallas, Texas, and went on to earn a BSc from the London School of Economics as well as credentials in Pattern-Construction+Design from London's Central Saint Martins.

After working as a financial analyst in China for several years, he returned to the states and launched Priestess NYC. Cody currently designs and manages his line out of his West Village townhouse-cum-atelier in NYC.

What famous designers have influenced you, and how?
1. Bernhard Willhelm. For his ingenious pop references, his use of toys and video games to trash and freaky-minimalism, he has a swashbuckling approach to design, hands-down.
2. Jeremy Scott. He is King of exaggeration and visual-razzmatazz. I love his satirical and tong-and-cheek approach, especially his new stuff.
3. Rick Owens. For his subversive, sartorial style that is raw and refined, haunted and haute. I know he’s a super-star but he seems to always operate on the fringe. His goth-androgyny is weird and cool.
4. Walter Van Beirendonck. For his audacious shock-and-awe, fetish-fantasies, kaleidoscopic color-ways, crazy materials and total rejection of mainstream stuff. He’s the maverick risk-taker -- and always has been.
5. Marjan Pejoski/KTZ. Because he’s the master of unisex and conveys happy-absurdity in all his stuff.

Describe your Spring Collection in a Haiku:
Goth-glam punk girl stuff
Colorful kitschy soft screams

Silky-smooth yummy

What brands or designers are currently on your radar?
Georgy Baratashvili. . . Henrik Vibskov. . . Marjan Pejoski . . .Comme des Garcons . . .

If you were a letter of the alphabet, which would best describe you and why?
“Z” . . .because it’s the last one . .and ‘the best stuff comes at the end of the sequence.’

Outside of fashion what inspires you?
Mathematics. . .Japanese toys, David LaChapelle’s photography. . . I’m interested in finance and economic history. . .and all things kitsch.

In your eyes what makes a good collection?
A broad range of selection . . . ability to ‘transcend demographics’ . . .versatility.

E.T. or ALF?
Both are cool!

What do you enjoy most about being a fashion designer and having your own label?
Creative freedom.

What's your favorite piece of clothing you own?
Biker Jacket in silver-metallic finish.

What advice would you give to a designer just starting out?
Don’t spend beyond your means.

View the Priestess collection
in the store.

Read Cody's blog.

Visit the Priestess NYC Website.

Friend Priestess NYC on MySpace.

Friend Cody on Facebook.

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