Fashion Designer & SCAD Student Sydney Stewart
We got a chance to interview one of the best, upcoming fashion designers in Atlanta, the wonderful Sydney Stewart. Sydney has been a designer since she was young, however, she also specializes in make-up artistry, modeling (print & runway), hair dressing, and wardrobe styling, just to name a few. Read more about why this Metro Atlanta Fashion & Beauty Award Fashion Designer of the Year nominee is above from others in the fashion industry of Atlanta and what inspires her as a designer.
Travon: Hello, Sydney. Congratulations on your nomination for the Metro Atlanta Fashion and Beauty Awards in the fashion designer category. Was you a bit surprised that you got nominated?
Sydney: Hello. Thank you for that. It was truly an honor to have that feeling that people truly saw my work and believed in what I have done and what I am doing. I was extremely surprised. I loved the fact that people felt I deserved something like this. I just truly want to inspire others – “They call me inspirational and I call them my inspiration.” The award show was a quite a show. It was interesting and quite out there. I was not completely conformable in that environment. The people were great – just the show over all was an eventful night.
Travon: What is your biggest accomplishment that you have made so far as a designer?
Sydney: My biggest accomplishment I would have to say is just my features in magazines. Right now, my accomplishment is this client I am working for. He is quite well known and he wants me to make a garment for him to shoot & place in his home and he said when he has his parties and get together(s), it will create a nice vibe and get interest leading to more and bigger clients.
Travon: Not only are you a designer, but you’re also a stylist, a hairstylist, a make-up artist, and even a model. Because you are brilliant at what you do, how do you set apart from others in the fashion industry?
Sydney: I think I am set apart from others just because I do all of that. I offer more than one service. My goal in this industry is to never be an one hit wonder. I want to inspire others that you need to utilize your talents because if you don’t they start to fade and you'll never know an opportunity may occur and your skills are rusty.
Travon: Talk about your experience being a SCAD [Savannah College of Art & Design] student. What are some things that you love about the school and how is it like going to one of the top fashion schools in the nation?
Sydney: Being a student feels like I been there for ages. No, I love the experience and the environment. The fact that the faculty are industry workers helps a huge bunch. They can better equip you than someone who does not. I love how pressured they are to make sure you push yourself to the highest level possible to achieve your goals. Being at one of the top art schools in the nation is an amazing feeling. I got accepted here last and when I first read the letter, I was not as excited probably because I was down about getting the letter so late or maybe because the shock was taking so long to reach me, but I am truly blessed to be here and have professor(s) that believe in me so much that they want to see me achieved my goals and make it in the industry. I have more confidence in myself than ever before.
Travon: Who inspires you the most in your life?
Sydney: My moms mainly because she is the strongest woman I know. All the women who have been like a mother to me inspire me. They uplift me in ways they’ll never know – from my birth mom to my Auntie June, to mother McLaughlin, to mother Dana, to mother Evelyn, to so many more. Each woman in my life has been a true inspiration. My entire clan of brother(s) are my inspiration – they never let me feel like I fail. Alongside family, you all [her supporters, friends, etc.] inspire me. My quote for life is “they call me an inspiration, I call you my inspiration”.
Travon: How did you get started as a fashion designer?
Sydney: I started [designing] at 6 [years old]. Going back to my brother(s) while they were at football practice, I was always drawing – even before [the age of] 6, I always had some type of writing or color item in my hand. Art was first nature to me. As a child, playing alone let my mind wonder and be creative beyond belief.
Travon: What are some of your biggest fears in life and how are able to defeat them?
Sydney: My biggest fears are really just not being accepted but, conquering a fear is to not think of them as fear but, bumps in the road for God has not given me a spirit of fear, because in the eyes of my true supporters. I cannot fail and I will not fail.
Travon: Name some designers that you are truly inspired by within your work? Who amazes you the most and what designer do you feel that needs to be more exposed in the fashion industry (besides yourself, of course)?
Sydney: Casely Hayford hands down, my all time favorite duo. It is a father-son company expertise in menswear. I love menswear and that is where I want to be. Other upcoming designers I love are Khaelah Wallace, Elaine, and Welsey – yes, all SCAD students.
Travon: I remember meeting you for the first time at the Mogul Reality Show event back in the summer of 2013. You was the girl that everyone could not get enough of in the fashion industry of Atlanta. You have such an amazing persona that I can’t describe completely, because you just a god-given angel. Because of that, you have inspired me. What are your thoughts about those that meet you and become inspired by your craftsmanship and also a fan of your work?
Sydney: Thank you so much honey. That means so much. I owe it all to God. He has done great things for me. I appreciate them. It just warms my heart truly when I hear that, because I promise you if I die poor and broke, I would not care – my goal is not riches and fame but, to inspire those around me. I want to be like the greats and make a way for those who are coming – make it a tad easier than it [was/is] for me.
Travon: How was life going up in Brooklyn, New York? Which city do you like best: Atlanta, Savannah, or New York (based on experience)?
Sydney: It was nice from Brooklyn to Long Island. I would say childhood was rough but, good - very grateful. Opportunity wise, I accept and appreciate Atlanta but, New York still holds the key to my heart and London holds the key to my dreams.
Travon: Would you say that the fashion industry is somewhat racist towards blacks? What is your intake on this?
Sydney: It may appear that way since majority of the top designers are European or White America, but fashion is fashion black, white, Hispanic, Asian [because Asians are making their mark] and so will blacks hopefully I can be apart of that mark when the generation coming up does not feel the boundaries built up in this world.
Travon: Which magazine is your favorite magazine: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Instyle, Elle, W Magazine, or Vanity Fair? Which magazine would you not recommend fashionistas like ourselves to collect, but still is a good read?
Sydney: I like Vogue, Paper, Elegant Magazine. I’m big on smaller magazines. Their fashion and prints are so classically nice. I like Vogue for their September issue. All magazines are behind their print after the fashion weeks and after all fashions are released to the public.
Travon: Explain to me why you didn’t that the AGP Productions Fashion Show back in August didn’t go so well for you? What are you doing to make the next show better than the one before?
Sydney: The show did go well. Each year it always gets better. This year was a little messy – last year was better but, I don’t focus on the negatives. I focus on what I did and how to not do that again. Designers fell through that I know not to work with again as well as the host of the show. I won’t work with them again. Like every year, it is a learning experience. Just come to the next show and see how much better it will become.
Travon: What new projects are you working on in the near future?
Sydney: Just building my brand and getting my name out there and doing as many events I can do. My company will go full blown once I graduate in May/June.
*Some of Sydney's Designs From Her Collection*