Exclusive! Christian Siriano: “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Interesting”
“Everyone should have a little piece of fashion … it should never be taken seriously!” The Project Runway alumn on designing sponges, being a crazy cleaner and fashion for the masses.
-April Daniels Hussar
Fresh off the set of AM New York, Christian Siriano called us from his NYC office to chat about his latest project … designing a new line of limited-edition sponges for 3M’s O-Cel-O, inspired by his Spring 2011 collection.
Yes, sponges. Behold: “Muse” and “Leopard”($2.95 a pair, Target) ..
So … sponges! What inspired you to go into kitchenware?
I took it as more of a graphic design project, like oh, this is something that me and my team can work on! I thought it was just kind of fun and lighthearted — it’s not supposed to be serious. It’s supposed to be a fun thing. I think, why not? I’m a huge fan of interior decorating, interior design, home … I’m very meticulous with my house. It was just a fun project to do that was cute.
Do you like washing dishes?
No I don’t, actually! I use sponges more for cleaning, like kitchen cleaning because I’m like … crazy cleaning! I don’t actually wash dishes. I have a dishwasher.
What’s your favorite household store?
I love everything — from Williams Sonoma to Target. It just depends on what I’m doing. That’s why doing something like this project is really great. You know, I have a $10,000 piece of furniture in my home but then I can also have a $50 little chair that I found in New York at a flea market.
I love that you’re this incredibly successful designer, beloved by celebs, sold in SAKS … and yet you do all these really cool collaborations to bring design and your aesthetic to the masses.
That’s important to me; I love this kind of designer collection. I loved this idea [because] I came from a different place. People knew me at the beginning of my career as more of a fun personality. [The sponge project] was really about connecting to all those different types of fans. I have that fan who’s maybe a little older, a little sophisticated, she’s shopping at Neiman’s, and Saks, but then I also have this very young, fashionista girl who can maybe only afford a shoe at Payless or a dress at Seigel. Why alienate them?
Everyone should have a little piece of fashion and things that are exciting. It should never be taken so seriously! It should always be fun and lighthearted.
Why “leopard” and “muse”? How did you pick – did you look at your latest collection and think “Oooh, this would be a cool sponge!”…