Rolling out and Lexus are highlighting Black creative expression with the launch of a three-part series for the Lexus RX called “The Edge of Black Creativity” which will celebrate Black creatives who use superior craftsmanship, creativity, technology and materials to reimagine a new world.
When she was younger, Chelsey Carter was sure that painting was the path for her, until her high school art teacher saw her unique style and urged her to consider fashion design. After some convincing, she applied and was accepted to The Art Institute in Chicago. Carter focuses on the abstract for inspiration for her designs. Her brand, Alex Carter, which she launched in 2015, is unisex, catering to customers who are fashion-forward risk takers. Her goal is to exude sensuality in her clothing without having to bare it all.
How would you describe your craftsmanship?
My craftsmanship, I believe, is a direct reflection of how far I’ve come as an artist. To me, it is your experience that you share, and it grows as you grow. I keep my creative edge by reimagining classics. We are extremely inspired and knee-deep into upcycling and sustainability. With that, we take classic silhouettes and reimagine them with the textiles that we are choosing to upcycle. Our creative edge lives at the intersection of reimagining classics.
What is your hope for Black creatives in the community?
My hope for all Black creatives and the Black community as a whole is to just continue to stand tall and firm, and realize that we are the nucleus of all things cool, all things new, and all things righteous as it relates to creatives, as well as art. The more that I think we know, the more we can remain in our power, and continue to make the world spin as we know we can.
What are some characteristics that you try to apply in your work?
The characteristic that I try to embed in my work is authenticity as it relates to the concept, land development, or storytelling. We love to properly articulate what it is that we’re doing and why. The why is usually the propeller for every collection and everything that we do, and I always try to tap back into my heritage in some capacity, my culture, or just what I’m overall feeling at the moment because those things are the driving force and what resonates with my audience. I realized that and I learned that in school. There’s power in being able to do that. I keep my audience and my supporters at the very forefront of the brand and everything that we release. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow with my audience, so they understand and have been very grateful resonating with what it is that we offer. I also believe that if it is from a very sincere space, people will naturally gravitate toward it, which is why storytelling is extremely important for us. The people that support me want to buy into the messaging that we have and the stories that we’re telling.
What makes a business successful?
I believe that the best brands and business owners tap into their audience and their supporters and find out what it is that they would like and then they develop a model of an item that best serves them. I often think about the items that I want in my wardrobe and that I would like to be seen in and I make those items. I’m grateful and lucky enough that it resonates with my supporters, and they also want to wear it too, but it has to serve me as well as my audience. I try to merge the two, between my needs and my supporter’s needs.
What is your superpower?
I don’t think I speak for myself when I say that Black creatives feel like their art is a superpower. If I’m good at something, and then I know a creative down the road who’s good at something, we all get together. We’re all great at what we do. It just creates this mega space and community of extremely good artists that just so happens to be Black and who are killing it in their own right.