Exclusive Interview With The Co-Creators Of Bittersweet Design House

Posted 7/18/2008 by smartblackboy in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Art Star pham we are here with design sisters extraordinaire Martelle and Shaylyn Esposito. Who are the first in what will hopefully be a long line of interviews on this site. They are the co-creators of Bittersweet Design House.

Art Star: Whose idea was it to start Bittersweet?

Martelle Esposito: Shaylyn started embellishing tank tops for herself, along the lines of those she saw in Urban Outfitters for a high price. Then she started getting requests from friends at school, and soon she had her own little business going. About a year later, I really liked what she was doing and thought it might be fun to expand into a larger project, especially because I had always liked making jewelry in the past. Our mother also liked the idea, so for the summer we all worked on making handmade, hand-painted, hand-embellished, and reinvented pieces as well as exploring working with organic fabrics. After we had some pieces made, Shaylyn came up with the name Bittersweet for the company and accessories company that was emerging.

AS: When did both of you discover you were both really into fashion?

Shaylyn Esposito: We were born with it. Our mom went to fashion design school, and has great taste. We inherited her fashion genes and grew up in a household where we were aware of fashion.

AS: What made you go the eco-friendly route?

ME: We wanted to do something different and help society/the world in some way while pursuing our creative interests. With the problem of Climate Change and the need for Americans to become more aware of their consumption habits in order to live more sustainable lives, eco-friendly clothing seemed like an interesting avenue to look into. At the time we were looking into organic clothing two years ago, many of websites selling eco-friendly clothes had a very small selection or just an uninteresting selection. We decided that one of our long-term goals would be to make pieces that were interesting and eco-friendly as well as to provide at least some pieces that would be affordable for a lot of people. We wanted to have an internet store, and then eventually real stores. We wanted to make people want to purchase eco-friendly clothing because it was fun and affordable.

AS: Do both of you make all the items yourself or do you find other designers whose work you like?

SE: No, we find other designers, too.
ME: Eventually, we realized that in order to provide a large selection of interesting pieces and sustain an inventory; we would need to showcase the designs of many designers at once, while continuously contributing pieces to our own Bittersweet collection. And, over the past two years, we have been attending shows and searching the internet for such designers. In the process we found some pretty interesting stuff, including bags made from recycled tires and recycled wrappers. We also found some high quality eco-friendly clothing that was interesting and affordable.

On our website Bittersweet Design House, everything from the Bittersweet collections are ours. We made them, painted them, embellished them, reinvented them, or in the case of the bamboo t-shirts, had them made for us. All other collections on the website are from other artists and designers who make the pieces themselves, make them from recycled or eco-friendly materials, and/or make pieces that we just really loved.

AS: Who are some of your favorite designers?

SE: Badgley Mischka for dresses and Fendi for bags, but when I am actually shopping I look for more interesting pieces of clothing than a particular designer label. I am not really a designer freak.
ME: It depends on the season. But, I consistently enjoy the creations of John Galliano for Christian Dior.

AS: Where do you get your inspiration?

SE: I'm inspired by my environment, my mood, and my music. In order to work, I put on the radio, zone out, and just go.
ME: Everywhere. I have these creative moments when I look at different everyday objects or structures, and I think that I can incorporate what I have seen into something I make. When making jewelry, I just go to the bead store and pick out any beads that I think look interesting, either by shape or color. Then I experiment with putting the different beads together before ultimately deciding what to make.

AS: Change of topic. Ya'll recently took a trip to Europe together. How long were you there and where did you go?

ME: We went to Ireland and Italy for three and a half weeks.

AS: Did you check out any fashion across the pond?

SE: Of course we checked out the famous Via dei Condotti in Rome. But, what I enjoyed the most was talking with local artisans about their work and their stories, and even picked up a few business cards.
ME: Definitely. Even beyond designers and artisans, it's hard not to notice the differences in fashion between Americans, Irish, and Italians.

AS: I know both of you are very close as sisters, but is there ever any sibling rivalry?

SE: I mean we're sisters, so we do argue, but there's no real rivalry. We have always respected each other's work.
ME: I agree. And, when dealing with Bittersweet, we are not afraid to vocalize our opinions, but we are never really in competition with each other. We just want to make this the best it can be.

AS: Okay, Okay, but just between you and me, which one of you is the most fashionable?

SE: No comment.
ME: I think we have slightly different styles, so it depends who you ask.

AS: A little birdie told me that you are both single... is this true?

ME:Yes. Are you looking to set me up?

AS: Looking for anything particular in a guy (or girl)?

SE: First of all, I am looking for a guy. I am not really picky, but I do enjoy a goofball who just makes me laugh. And, if he was tall, dark, and handsome, too, that would just be great.
ME: I like boys. I am very picky. He has to be perfect. :) Actually, I would enjoy any guy that I can have a conversation with for more than 20 minutes. Then, there would have to be chemistry of course, too.

AS: That great. So you are both still very young 22 and 19, respectively.
What can we expect next from Bitter Sweet design?

SE: You'll have to wait and see, but I will give you a little heads up. We will be expanding the Bittersweet collection and are hoping to include more designers on the website.

We look forward to it! You can check out more from the Esposito sisters and purchase their one-of-a-kind pieces at www.bittersweetdesignhouse.com

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