The name Carly Cushnie has a lot of weight in the fashion world. She has expanded her presence significantly since the launch of her business, Cushnie (formerly Cushnie et Ochs), in 2008, thanks to her clean-lined, minimalistic design aesthetic. Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez were just two of the celebrities that flocked to Cushnie’s designs because of their purposeful cuts, delicate pleating and draping, and monochromatic colour schemes. From Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus to Harvey Nichols and Net-a-Porter, the brand had stockists all over the world. It also received numerous CFDA nominations and daytime TV placements. In the early 2010s, a Cushnie original was impossible to avoid.
Carly had discovered through Cushnie an attitude to femininity that pays homage to Vera Wang, Donna Karen, and Diane von Furstenberg: delicate yet immensely bold and dynamic. However, the London-born designer closed the doors to her own brand in 2020, startling the business. Carly is relieved as fashion prepares for another New York Fashion Week without the brand, which formerly served as an anchor presentation.
Designers frequently discuss burnout as a result of putting out several collections each year, handling press requests and retail fulfillments, and occasionally even developing diffusion lines. You might feel the effects of it all. When designers release themselves from the constraints of the conventional fashion calendar, they can feel more creatively free. Carly concurred. She now appears to be genuinely happy to be in a new environment that values boundless curiosity. The opportunity to enter new spheres and collaborate with creatives that think and operate differently has been tremendously exciting.
She currently works in a variety of fields, including parenthood, design consultancy, and collaborations on artisanal jewellery capsule collections. She claims that she can complete numerous projects using the knowledge she has gained from her nine years of collection design. The author continued, “And it energises me because it’s always doing something unique and exciting, sometimes even something that slightly frightens me.
If you look at her Instagram, you’ll see that she surrounds herself with beauty and is still just as stylish as ever. She is experimenting with content creation by creating style movies about Black-owned businesses and transitional clothing, as well as sharing her exquisite sense of interior design with the public.
“Whether it’s fashion or interiors or anything else, I love to create and explore and delve into something new,” she wrote in the caption of a picture of an interior design project she shared on Instagram in April. The TriBeCa apartment made Carly’s entrance into the interior design industry known, and it was even highlighted in Elle Decor. The apartment is rich in pink hues and delicate linen and bouclé materials. . She claims that it has given her “a type of incredible freedom and encouraged me in a new way to think beyond the box.” It has given me sort of an immense freedom to be able to take on projects that I actually enjoy and want to get into.
Carly is also looking into other areas of fashion design. Carly is launching a five-piece capsule collection in partnership with Chelsey Bartrum’s ethical jewellery company Starling, based in Los Angeles, that was inspired by the fusion of eastern and western cultures and the meeting of the water and the sky.
She claims that “[Bartrum and I] drew influence from a variety of sources.” “Since Chelsey lives in California and I’m located in New York, it was just the meeting of both coasts,” said Chelsey. Carly’s altered mental state served as inspiration for the designs, according to Bartrum. She claims that “Starling” put a lot of emphasis on expressing energy and independence in the collection they worked on together.
But Cushnie’s admirers continue to believe she will one day work in the field of fashion design. Carly is secretive, but she assures us that she is still interested in clothes. I have a couple small things coming out in the fall, but I can’t really say much more than that,” she jokes. “I’m still working on a project in the performing arts as well as in the fashion and interior design industries.The journey was enjoyable.”