Designer Profile: *Fat Free by Cici

August 3rd, 2006

There’s a new way to drop some pounds, and it doesn’t require giving up cookies or going to the gym. Feel instantaneously lighter by sporting designer Aylin Gould’s brand-new weightless accessories line, *Fat Free by CiCi,  made of Italian lambskin, Swarovski crystals, 14K  Gold and Sterling Silver. The San Diego-based designer was preparing her handbag line (yes, she’s a busy gal), CiCi by Aylin, when she decided to add accessories.  Using leftover materials, she createdthe first pair of *Fat Free by CiCi earrings. Omiru had the chance to talk to Aylin about what makes her collection unique, the origin of the *Fat Free concept, and in which stores you can snag your *Fat Free goods.

ring

Omiru: How did
your interest in fashion design start?

Aylin:
Ever since I
was a little girl, I would play “dress up,” trying on my mom’s make-up and high
heel shoes.  I was raised a little more
strictly than most of my friends, and there
were a lot of outfits that I was not allowed to wear in high school.  I loved to sketch my own clothing designs,
dresses, tops, handbags, jeans…that I fantasized about wearing one day!

O: Why did you choose
to focus on accessories?

A:
“Accessorizing
is not the frosting on the cake….it’s the main ingredient!” I almost always base my outfits around my accessories…while
most girls put on accessories as the final touch.

O: What makes your
collection unique?

A:
My collection
is very unique in the sense of style, shape, and touch. The *Fat Free collection is so incredibly soft and light…so
fat free!

O: Each of your
accessories is virtually weightless. Was this feature accidental or was it
planned that way?

A:
By accident! I had been designing handbags for the past
few years.
  Realizing how competitive the
accessory market was really made me start brainstorming about other outlets or other
items to introduce.  *Fat Free was born on February
24th, 2006
, as I was getting
my handbags ready for a local trade show. 
Hoping to at least break even, I wanted to introduce something else to
sell.  I bought some plain beach
flip-flops and applied Swarovski crystals.   Surprisingly they turned out
super-cute!  I thought these would be a
guaranteed sale, unlike $450 handbags! 
This sparked a creative path, which led me to my leather scraps, which
are leftover pieces from my handbags.  I
started cutting different shapes and then started applying the leftover Swarovski Crystals to the leather cut-outs.  I then threw on some 14K gold earring hooks, and we
were “good to go!” 

O: How did you know you were on to something?

A: My first *Fat Free creation,
“Feathers”, was made with Turquoise Italian lambskin.  I first ran to my husband to get his honest
reaction.  He liked them a lot, even
though they were a bit flashy.  To be
honest, I was worried they might have been a little too “crafty.”  So that afternoon we took a walk through the Gaslamp district in downtown San Diego.  I
was wearing jeans, flip-flops, and a black tank top….with my new Turquoise
“feather” earrings.  The reaction we got
amazed us!  Men and women, young and old
were throwing compliments at my new piece of jewelry!
  From that day
on, everything just fell into place.
  The
company name, logo, marketing, trademarking, packaging, line sheets, store
sales, word of mouth sales…etc.
It was so nice to
see something positive out of our own company!

O: What are you
inspired by?

A:
I am inspired
by color and nature.  I love seeing all
the different color combinations in the sun-setting sky.

O: Design
philosophy?

A:
Without
accessories, fashion would be compromised. I always add a little bit of drama to fashion, using bold colors and mixing unexpected textures and shapes.

earringsO: If you were to add
a new accessory or product to your current line, what would it be?

A: I would add an
apparel line.  Lightweight, low calorie
blouses, tops, dresses, and more.  THE LOOK: modish and chic. THE FEEL: light weight, comfy yet sexy.

O: What is your
favorite piece?

A:
“Angel of Hearts”…in the MILK color!  I love the idea of having accessories that
work year round!  They add style and sass
to my summer tops and dresses while keeping my winter wardrobe looking
fresh!  I love adding light colored
accessories to heavier/darker clothing.

O: Where can we find *Fat Free accessories?

A: LF stores
(nation wide), Gracie’s Boutiques, JEP boutiques…and more!

O: Is your line
fairly affordable or does it break the bank?

A:
The fat free
collection is very affordable…all suggested retail prices are under $100!

O: If your house was
burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you
keep?

A: 
My mom’s gold locket that she used to wear
when she was in high school.  It has a
beautiful flower etched into the front of the locket.  Inside is a black
and white photo of her when she was in high school.  The locket is so special to me…I wear it all
the time!  I also love how it adds a nice
feminine touch to any outfit–even Jeans
and a T.

O: Last words?

A:   Well…I’m 100% Turkish, born in Santa
Barbara,
CA.  My nickname is “CiCi." I studied Art with an
emphasis in Interior Design at San Diego State University. 
I’ve worked in the corporate world of interior design for more than 8
years.  I’ve taken elements of home
design and combined them with fashion design! 
I’ve really been able to put a fresh creative twist on my designs through my previous experiences.

As for Fat
Free:……*Fat Free is loved by not only your simple “girl next door” but also
your more complicated fashion gal!  The
woman who wears Fat Free is outgoing, fun, attention seeking without being
obvious, sexy, and confident.  She’s a trendsetter!

See more *Fat Free by Cici accessories at FatFreeStyle.com.

Entry Filed under: Designer Profiles, Features

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