CHELSEA MULCARE SHOWCASES HER NEW BLEACH RANGE FROM SIO STUDIO
What is Sio Studio?
‘Sio studio is my own clothing brand on Depop which consists custom 1 of 1 pieces.’
How does it differ to other brands?
‘It’s different from other brands because it’s 1 of 1’s straight out of my imagination. That’s what I love about reworked vintage! When somebody decides to buy a piece it’s because they really love it and know that they obviously won’t be able to find the same thing elsewhere. Even if a fast fashion brand attempted a mass produced version (god forbid), it won’t and could never be the same because I guarantee the materials, the stitching and even simple things like the cuffs or zipper will never be the same.;
What made you decide to create Sio Studio?
‘I’ve always been attracted to vintage clothes. When I was younger with no money I found my home on eBay. Places like Zara and Topshop were just too expensive for my 14-year- old pocket money. So when I realised I could buy vintage jeans and tops on eBay for as little as 99p I became OBSESSED. That’s really what helped me develop a personal style. People would always ask me where did you get that? I loved being able to say I found it on eBay! It felt like I was striking gold in a treasure hunt every time I came across something I couldn’t ignore. I decided to start Sio Studio because it was the perfect combination of my own creativity and love for vintage. It was finding my own treasures and putting my touch on it to make them truly unique.’
Have you received any difficulties along the way?
‘Yes. At the moment, my biggest struggle is money and time. I am my own investor and work part time to support my passion. It’s hard when you have to work in order to put money in to your business and make it grow, but you also then don’t have the time you want to dedicate to it. My ideal situation would be to spend all day and everyday, sourcing, buying and sewing. But it just isn’t doable because I need the money for the materials, the labels and the packaging... it’s not until you start a business - specifically a fashion brand - you realise why independents and designer is so expensive. It’s not that they’re trying to exploit people and become rich, it’s because so much time and effort and money has already gone into that one garment so they have to make some sort of profit!’
Why do you think there’s a place in the market for custom reworked vintage clothing?
‘I believe there’s a place in the market for because I think that people are finally starting to value fashion and clothes again. We went through a phase of cheap clothing with the rise of fast fashion brands like misguided etc, but now people want more longevity. There’ll always be a place for reworked vintage because you are more likely to keep it forever out of fear that you’ll never own something like it again. What’s the most attractive is that this area of the market gives one of a kind and is sustainable’
Do you wear your own pieces?
‘Yes of course! I was actually wearing my own pieces long before they were “Sio Studio” pieces. That’s what made me just go for it. I would customise and make outfits and my friends always would say “you should sell this on Depop or something” or that they’d buy one if I made more.
What do you love about up-cycling garms and making them original?
It’s got to be seeing my idea come to life. I get way ahead of myself all the time, so even if I’ve just bought a pair of trousers and the fit is horrendously but the colour or pattern might be fire, I’m already thinking to myself how this would look so good as a corset two piece, then paired with some boots and maybe a couple gold chains... before you know it I’m then I’m already overly excited for the entire outfit that doesn’t even exist yet! I also love starting to up-cycle something and then it evolving into something totally different. Often, I’ve started out in one direction but by the time I have taken something apart or maybe cut it wrong or run out of fabric, I’ll have to go in a new direction to make it work so I end up with an original I hadn’t even planned. I think that’s pretty exciting.’
In time to come, what do you hope for Sio Studio?
‘At the moment, I’m focused on launching properly in the new near. I’ve been trying to get some money behind me so I’ve really just been customising and selling on Depop as I go. I am bursting to gather a whole new collection, do a proper shoot and launch a website. In the further future I hope to level up my work space and get a proper studio and showroom because at the moment I am just working from home... but that’s wayyy in the future! I’m very excited but also kinda scared.’
How will you continue to stand out in such a busy industry?
‘By just minding my business and being myself. It can be so intimidating because there are a lot of other people making clothes, customising things and selling them. But they will never be the same as me because they don’t have my mind... and vice versa. As long and I stay true to that, my ideas will attract the right clientele and stand out.’
Who would be your ideal fashion partnership?
‘I really don’t know who or what the dream collaboration would be. I haven’t even thought that far. It would definitely depend on people and personalities because that’s just what I am attracted to in my everyday life. I would love to collaborate with someone who I can connect with on a creative and mindful level and that doesn’t even have to be a well known brand. Just someone to bounce ideas off and just create something amazing.’
What is Sio Studios signature style?
I think the brands signature style is a laid back, a bit rough around the edges yet ‘babygirl’, femme fatale vibes. I’ve cropped a vintage Nike hoodie before and held it together with safety pins but I’ve also reworked Levi jeans into a diamanté lace-up corset... so it’s just a whole bunch of contradictions that somehow work lol.
It depends how big the project is too. If I’m just doing a dye, maybe a little crop or embellishment piece then I’ll just go for it, but if I’m going to spend a bit longer and unpick a piece completely and rework it into something totally brand new, then yes I will do a sketch and flat lays on illustrator.
Where do you think your creative nature has stemmed from?
‘I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed making things from when I was really little and pretty much knew by my GCSE’s that I only wanted a creative career. My mum taught me how to knit when I was 9 and then I taught myself how to use a sewing machine from YouTube tutorials (and a lot of trial and error) when I was 12. Drawing, sewing and painting etc. They were all just hobbies I chose to do in my spare time (before Instagram and Netflix came along…)’
What’s your style?
‘My style is ultimately quite laid back and comfy. It definitely changes with the seasons. In the winter I’m a tomboy 100%, but in summer I literally love a skin out crop top and mini skirt. At the moment I am so inspired by the 2000’s TV shows I use to watch when I was younger and how the female characters were styled. I’ve been watching re-runs of One on One, My Wife and Kids and That’s SO Raven for Sio Studio inspiration. I also love watching early 2000’s music videos. Ashanti meets 3LW is always the vibe I’m going for.’
Do you incorporate your own flair into the items you sell?
‘Yes. Everything I make is something I would wear myself. I don’t know it that’s a good thing or not as not everyone is going to have the same taste as me but you can never please everyone so I may as well make things that I love and represents my personality.’