By Daniel G. Hall
When BELLA was looking for something creative, fun, and fabulous for our Fall Fashion Week party with Nicky Hilton, we took one look at Chic Sketch and knew it was going to be a hit!
Chic Sketch is the brainchild of Jordan Edelson – an award-winning “Forbes 30 Under 30” entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of the groundbreaking and globally recognized mobile digital agency Appetizer Mobile – and his wife, Emily Brickel Edelson, a published fashion illustrator who was named one of “Fashion’s Best Illustrators” by Who What Wear. In fact, Emily’s sketches are so sought after, she has been commissioned to sketch for New York City fashion publicists, famous musicians, celebrities, and editors at various glossy magazines.
The best part of Chic Sketch is how easy it is to use – simply upload a photo of your best look of the day and receive a custom sketch by Emily. No two sketches are alike because each is made to order based on your Outfit of the Day (OOTD), resulting in an original work of art created just for you.
We connected with Emily to share her artist’s vision with BELLA readers…
What inspired Chic Sketch?
As a fashion illustrator, I would often sketch live at events in the fashion industry, including launch parties, trunk shows, fashion shows, and press events. When Jordan would come to support me, he noticed the tremendous impact the sketches had on the people receiving them. As the owner of the notable digital agency Appetizer Mobile, Jordan said to me, “We need to make this into an app and share it with people across the world!” So we did.
What is the best advice you received when starting your company?
This is the first combined company my husband and I own, but we both have been entrepreneurs for the last 6+ years. I don’t think we really got advice when starting this company; we just went for it. We each understood the markets in fashion and in mobile apps, and so based on our experience, we just kind of knew the time was right to launch something like this! The best piece of advice I have gotten, though, is to follow your instincts and always stay true to your vision. There are many other brands out there, but it is important to stay true to what makes your business unique.
What makes Chic Sketch unique in a world of thousands of apps?
There is no other company like Chic Sketch. We are the first company in the world that turns real people into fashion sketches by hand in minutes. I think our connection to digital trends is what has truly set us apart from the beginning. Leveraging the power of social media, all Chic Sketches are immediately ready for Instagram and other outlets. We incorporate this technology in the live sketching events while working with major brands in the industry.
Every artist has a certain style. What drew you to pursue fashion sketches?
I have always gravitated toward fashion, ever since I was young. In elementary school, before I even knew what fashion illustration was, I would constantly design garments and draw fashion catalogs. I graduated from FIT with a degree in fashion merchandising management, but I always snuck in art and design classes along the way. I am inspired by the runway shows each season and by old Hollywood glam, as well as other fashion illustrators and their art. My style when drawing is creating something flirty, glamorous, and chic that always flatters the subject.
When did you realize that there was a niche in the market for your talent?
I kind of fell into it. After my first fashion collection did not get the orders needed, I had no idea what to do, but I did know that drawing and designing were my passions. I was lost, so I found a mentor to help me get over my creative block. She told me to just draw something; draw anything – and I drew her as a gift. She loved it and put my art on her new meditation album, and as a New York Times bestselling author, it was all history from there! I never knew that illustration was something I could make a career out of, but I think when you trust your instincts and follow your passion, doors open up. I started putting my art on Instagram and people began to notice, and that’s when I realized this could be my full-time job.
What makes someone “sketch-worthy”?
Being “sketch-worthy” is an attitude, an ambiance, and a look. It is about being fierce in your OOTD and striking a pose. I think everyone can be sketch-worthy, especially if they love fashion and own their inner vixen.
What is your dream project?
We love collaborating with amazing brands, and in the nine short months that our company has been in business, we have had the amazing opportunity to work with many of our dream clients, including the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), Cartier, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Furla, and many more. Collaborating with Who What Wear to choose the best New York Fashion Week street-style looks was a dream come true. Getting the chance to illustrate front row at some of the top fashion shows during Fashion Week in the last two seasons is something I always dreamed of doing. Also, to be named one of “Fashion’s Best Illustrators” by Who What Wear and to be named one of “Today’s Most Interesting Fashion Apps” by Spanish Vogue was beyond incredible. We are just at the beginning and have so many exciting ideas ahead for brand collaborations. Some of our dream projects include collaborating with Fashion Week in a big way, sketching on site at the Met Ball and at the Oscars, and working more closely with Vogue. We want to have the opportunity to inspire our customers with what is possible when combining fashion and technology.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
Honestly, it is seeing the reaction on people’s faces when I show them their sketch. The emotion that comes out of some people is unreal, and if I can brighten someone’s day and make them feel worthy and beautiful, I think it’s a job well done.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is what is on the inside. The most beautiful women in the world actually look far from beautiful if they have a bad attitude or if they come off as being pretentious. I think beauty is an inner glow, a confidence and a fire within that shows the world who they are with grace and charisma.