Today I would like to introduce everyone to a wonderful up and coming fashion designer, all around great person and someone I would call a friend, Joseph Singh. I met Joseph a couple of weeks ago at a Brands and Bloggers networking event held in NYC. I introduced my blog to him and he introduced his brand to me and I was immediately intrigued by his unique designs and his story.
Tell me about yourself/brand.
Joseph Singh is an emerging New York based fashion designer known for celebrating dark and mysterious themes. Joseph’s designs embody complexity in the form of extensive fabric treatments and manipulation .
Originally born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Joseph realized his true passion for fashion design while studying biological sciences at San Francisco State University (SFSU). In 2007, he enrolled at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in San Francisco and over the course of the following two years, he completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing at SFSU and associate’s degree at FIDM. The Joseph Singh brand was launched Spring 2014 in New York after the success of his senior thesis entitled “Dissipation.”
Joseph’s work has been featured in three major publications, various websites and blogs, will be featured on display at Parsons Paris during Paris Fashion Week and is a finalist in this year’s Made for Peroni Young Designers Awards.
1. Did you always want to be a designer?
My discovery for fashion began when I was about 12 years old. Honestly, it was the same time I fell in love with the Spice Girls. I would always grab am issue ‘Vogue’ and keep it under my bed, I don’t think, even until this day my parents know about that. I was always into clothes. I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion and it wasn’t until when I was at San Francisco State University when I realized I wanted to design.
2. What inspires your designs/What inspired your collection?
I am fascinated by the interaction between people and their surroundings, body versus space, the order and arrangement of things around me, and the contrast of opposite ideas. My work focuses on surface, with fabric as a starting point, and is primarily characterized by dark and mysterious themes. Seven years ago, I lost my grandfather—a man with whom I was incredibly close. Moving forward after my grandfather’s loss was not only painful but a struggle I have been dealing with for several years. In devising my senior thesis collection, I was inspired by his funeral, as well as my ensuing efforts of accepting his passing and allowing the hurt and pain of the loss to dissipate. Using advanced techniques such as laser-cutting, I was able to create a new way of pleating, and pushed that idea further throughout the process. As the collection evolved, it became this idea of dissipation and officially letting go. By symbolically letting traditional pleating go, I also was coming to terms with his being gone. Moving through the collection, the pieces become much softer and more delicate; eventually, it finishes with a full white gown. I know deep down that my grandfather is physically gone but his spirit remains. Always knowing that his spirit is guiding and protecting me, I will continue to move forward in life and in design.
The collection is incredibly personal and carries a strong emotional significance that precludes my assigning a formal title; I can’t summarize everything into anything other than “Untitled,” which eventually lead to the title “Dissipation.” Many emotions are represented with color throughout the clothing – the black represents dark moments of the funeral and the teal, sparse as it may be, was my grandfather’s favorite color. Whites and shine were added to reflect the positive moments that I reflected upon when remembering happier moments spent with him. Tons of images inspired me; in fact, I did have to leaf through actual photos of the funeral to try and relive that moment, which was extremely difficult and painful. Other images that I used for inspiration included caskets and images of people looking into the sky in somber thought. The collection is primarily based on my personal feelings and experience.
3. Have you designed for any celebrities?
Tallia Storm a Scottish R&B/Soul singer actually has worn pieces of collection at the Friars Foundation Annual Applause Award in 2013. I’m not going to say too much, but I do have a couple of things in works and I am hoping it all mends together soon. *PRAYING!!!*
4. When did people start taking notice of your designs?
People started taking notice of the collection after my thesis presentation. I really pushed to show the collection to as many people as I possibly could. I still feel that many have not seen it, I’m still pushing it for one more season.
5. What drives you to keep going with there being so many other fashion designers in the industry?
Self-motivation. Being Creative. My mind is always thinking of something new, something fresh, and something different.
6. What is your end goal?
End goal? There is no end goal. I guess you can say to have an established company with my own line out. Then again what’s after that right? I believe in goals, not end goal because there is always something right after.
7. What advice (if any) would you give to aspiring fashion designers?
Honestly, follow your dreams and push for what you believe it. Don’t worry about what others say, you do your thing.
Thank you so much Joseph for taking the time out to interview with me. If you would like to see more of Joseph’s designs or would like to get in contact with him he can be reached at: