Behind the Scenes with Chai Vasquez I
Barneys/Harrods Girls: We LOVE C Label and can hardly BELIEVE that we’re actually talking to THE Chai Vasquez. Tell us a more about yourself. What were doing before you launched C Label?
Chai: Well, before C LABEL I was honing my skills with a select group of well-respected companies. Being that I started very young, I had to be a sponge and learn my craft the best I could. Once I felt that I had the knowledge and proper skills to launch C LABEL…well, you know the rest.
B/H Girls: Where are you from, and where are you living right now?
Chai: I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico but have lived in the US since I was 6 months old. I was fortunate enough to have some amazing parents that moved us around to expose us to other cultures and the beauty of this world. Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have lived in many places in the world but now I call L.A. my home where I am based today [although with the craft I can also call the world my home].
B/H Girls: What made you launch C Label? And when was it launched?
Chai: C LABEL was a dream that I had for years but was waiting for the right time to launch it. C LABEL launched in the Spring of 2003 as a very small boutique collection. Throughout the short lifespan of the collection we have been able to overcome the obstacles of maintaining the direction for it and wowing our audience with it. Starting a label from scratch is a tough ordeal but I was fortunate to find the right people to make it happen. Today I am lucky to be surrounded by a group of talented and hard working people. My partner Nick, my assistant Tommy, my right hand man Chris, and a bevy of other designers that inspire me too. That is what makes C LABEL what it is today.
B/H Girls: What is the concept behind C Label shoes? Is there a consistent theme to it?
Chai: C LABEL to me means freedom of expression and the allowance to break every rule in traditional shoe design. Just take a look at the unusual materials that I use in my designs and you will see what I speak of. After all, what would be the fun in design if you can’t be innovative right? Depending on my moods in the season, that is what it becomes. A set concept I have never had. All I have ever wanted was for my designs to remain classic, not dated. In other words, you will want to wear them season throughout season as they are neither too trendy nor will they go out of style in the forthcoming seasons.
[And then we had a lovely little tea break of scones, cakes, cookies and all the works]
Stay tune tomorrow for the rest of the interview about Chai's preferences, inspirations and the future of C Label.