It's the most anticipated trend of the coming season. Already gracing the runways of Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, and Saint Laurent; the humble collar (otherwise known as a choker or neckpiece) is the ultimate statement piece that oozes that fashion forward, minimalistic and bold aesthetic we all love.
From sunset hues, embellished jewels and luxurious leathers, there is no end the creativity and versatility of this lust worthy accessory. If you thought they were merely for goths and tumblr famous tweens, you couldn't be further from the truth.
Fashion writer Mirna Taslidza recently caught up with Bianca Cece, the founder and designer of Adelaide's newest and undoubtedly most lust worthy accessories label, Bianca Cece Designs. Think modern, minimalistic and bold designs, aligned with lavish leather and exclusive marbled hides, all handcrafted to create effortlessly cool, powerfully strong and utterly chic collars.
Tell us a bit about your self and how your accessories label was established?
Growing up I always had a creative nature. I studied art at school and went on to get my Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion design and Technology. I never really knew what I wanted out of it but subconsciously knew I would always love to have my own label, be it big or small. For the past Four years I had been throwing around design ideas and coming up with a concept but it wasn’t really until a year a go that I knew 100% what I wanted to show the world.
Have you always been interested in fashion? How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
I have always loved fashion. I think it's one of those things you’re either really into it, or your not. I guess that’s why I studied it. I have also been working as a Visual Merchandiser for Myer for the past four years, which has given me exposure to working with an abundant range of Australian fashion labels.
What inspired you to establish your label?
I love wearing minimalistic statement pieces so I wanted to create strong pieces that I could style casually or dress up. I mostly designed pieces that I would wear; I’m not really one to follow trends. I also have a love for leather and raw materials so to me it was a no brainer. I’m also very influenced by Scandinavian design.
Currently your label is a selection of collars and neckpieces, how did this come about?
I feel there is something powerful and fashion forward about wearing a collar, the feeling of being in control. It’s also quite contemporary and minimalistic which is where I believe fashion is at.
What is your favourite piece and why?
My black ‘Signature Collar’ would have to be my favourite. Its design is the combination of masculine vs minimalistic with a powerful edge. It’s the piece that represents my personality the most. It’s the power piece.
How long does it take to create one of your beautiful neckpieces?
I make my pieces in stages as apposed to one at a time so it’s really hard to put a time frame on it. The first step is binding the leather together which I then let set for 24 hours before I can go on to cutting. My ‘Axle Rose’ neckpiece would definitely take the longest, as it takes over an hour to cut and mould the layers of each rose as I do everything by hand.
What is your design process like?
Sometimes I begin with an idea and other times I start by buying and playing with the leather. I always stick to my masculine/modern/minimalistic aesthetic and work back from that, but an idea can come from anywhere really. I have also taught myself everything I know about working with leather, so there have been times where I’ve had an idea but haven’t really known how to execute it. It’s still a learning process for me.
Where do you hope to see the label in say, five years time?
I would love the label to grow and become one of the most on trend and sought after accessories labels in Australia. It would be awesome to see my pieces styled back on the catwalk with other Australian designers, and in editorials. Maybe even at Fashion Week. I would of course love it to become a full time job too.
How important has social media been in developing your brand and business?
Social media has been extremely important for brand awareness and growth. It’s so accessible and without it, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had so far. It’s also been important for me to wear and style my pieces, that’s how I sell it most.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own business?
To be honest I don’t know much about business, I’m really just a girl with and idea who believes in it enough to pursue it. My advice would be have a vision, be open to learning and don’t let failure stop you. Starting a business is a process and you get out of it what you put in. Most importantly believe in yourself.
You’ve just recently launched your label, do you have any exciting plans organized for 2015?
2015 will be about continuing to network and grow my brand and build more relationships in the industry. I also hope to add new designs in the near future.
All images provided by Bianca Cece.