Once in a while there are those illuminating distractions that emerge and take our breath away. Sew Sketchy does just that and will leave fashion enthusiasts all over the world in stitches.
Take the humor of the late Joan Rivers, the hidden sass of Babe Walker and combine that with the carefree commentary from Man Repeller and out comes Sew Sketchy.
Beyond Words was able to get some face time with the gifted creator (who prefers to remain anonymous) as well as discuss the inspiration around her hilarious brainchild.
Seemingly, Sew Sketchy is like Man Repeller and Babe Walker blended into a fashion sketch. How was her sassy persona birthed?
SS: That’s the most amazing compliment I’ve ever heard. They’re both amazing writers with the best sense of humor, so to be mentioned next to those names is pretty surreal.
Sew Sketchy is a satire and a complete exaggeration of the New York fashion girl. Most of Sew’s commentaries are from my friends, people in the Garment District or me (shamefully).
Through and through, I’m a fashion designer from New York City and I’ve been working in the industry since I was 15 years old. While I studied at Parsons School of Design, I started drawing this character.
Sew Sketchy says ridiculous things because I’m surrounded by an industry that is ridiculous, which I find amusing.
She’s over the top, borderline inappropriate and on the cusp of sometimes offending people by her obnoxious attitude – which is why she’s so loved and funny (or at least my mom thinks she’s funny).
As inspiring, fun and exhilarating as the fashion industry can be, it’s also equally exhausting and hard. The best way to cope with that is through laughter. Sew is a cross between the insanity of the business and my intense passion for it.
How would you describe Sew Sketchy’s personality?
SS: Sew Sketchy is a fashionista chain smoker with a really sassy attitude who loves kale and Bergdorf Goodman.
How did you develop the name “Sew Sketchy”?
SS: Parsons was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. We, “Parsons kids” are not the “normal” college students.
Seven days a week, for four years, we’d always be sewing in school until two in the morning, on four hours of sleep, barely eating, hydrating ourselves with coffee, making jokes all night long (just to keep us going) while we’re slaving over our work.
In the workroom, I would always make jokes with the word “sew” (as in “so”) like “this is sew much work” or “I’m under sew much pressure.”
Then as I was drawing, I’d always say that my girls look “sew sketchy” because they’re always in huge sunnies and look like they’re up to no good! And it just clicked.
When did you decide that she needed to be unleashed?
SS: I created an Instagram about three years ago, to have a space where I can see all of my drawings. I did not intend for Sew Sketchy to become a “thing.” But then, she became my outlet to express life in the fashion industry.
All of my friends are struggling designers, artists or people in the fashion industry and my intention was to make them laugh and shed some light on everyone’s struggles. I think laughing and smiling solves all our problems.
What are your inspirations as you craft this character in different settings?
SS: I can’t really explain where my inspiration comes from if we’re talking about her outfits. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I’m doing.
I’m mostly listening to music, talking on the phone or watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (on repeat) and when I’m done I just go “oh this is interesting…” When I draw her everything is subconscious and unplanned.
Fashionably speaking, who are Sew Sketchy’s favorite designers?
SS: Anything that is on the rack at Bergdorf Goodman and anything that is hanging in Anna Dello Russo’s closet.
Who would Sew Sketchy die to meet?
SS: She would literally die to meet Coco Chanel and Andy Warhol. But she would live to meet Donatella Versace and Valentino Garavani.
What credo does Sew Sketchy live by?
SS: Sew Sketchy has many mantras in life. Some are…
- It’s better to arrive fashionably late than to arrive ugly.
- Never do lines, the ones you wait on nor the ones you put up your nose.
- Only eat low cal or no cal.
- Never leave the house without mascara.
- If he doesn’t foot the bill on the first date then never call him again.
For fashionistas and art enthusiasts alike, why is Sew Sketchy so great for them?
SS: I think Sew Sketchy is great for anyone who has a sense of humor and appreciates fashion illustration.
What’s next in store for Sew Sketchy?
SS: That question is kind of like asking a fisherman what he’s going to catch today. I haven’t got a clue.