by MIKE CHAIKEN
Harmony Corbett describes herself as someone who has always been creative and always knew she wanted a career where that creativity could find form.
But, Corbett, who is the driving force behind the clothing brand Candy Rock Couture, said she just didn’t know how she would put that creativity to work.
After high school, Corbett said she joined the Army, traveled the world, and gave herself time to shake out her opportunities.
Along the way, Corbett said she collected handbags. A lot of handbags. About 200, she said.
“When I first got out I thought I wanted to be a handbag designer,” said Corbett.
However, the rules of the world intervened.
“I first tried to go to FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology,” said Corbett. “But they told me I need a portfolio to get in. I thought this is crazy. I’m going to college to learn how to become a designer so how would I have a portfolio?”
“Then I saw a commercial for Katherine Gibbs School, asking have you ever thought about fashion design? So I went to orientation and loved the school,” said Corbett.
“As soon as I touched my first piece of fabric I knew that’s why I wanted to do the rest of my life,” said Corbett.
At school, Corbett said, “I was always outside of the box. They all said my style looked like Betsey Johnson and believe it or not I didn’t even know who she was at the time. Then I looked her up and said OMG. She designs just like me… (M)y nickname in school was Betsey.”
Eventually, this journey led to the launch of Candy Rock Couture, Corbett’s Brooklyn-based one woman custom and one of a kind clothing line.
Corbett showed her latest collection at Society Fashion Week in New York City this past September. It was a mélange of influences that electrified the runway at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Corbett described her look as “Punk Rock meets Barbie on acid.”
Asked about the influences that shaped her eye-catching aesthetic, Corbett said, “My influences are in general a staple of candy, the rock industry, rap, candy colored palettes, the ’80’s, N.Y. underground, graffiti, Japan, the rave scene, Barbie, rainbows, and glitter.”
“However, I also do get influenced sometimes by what’s around me,” said Corbett.
Corbett said Candy Rock Couture reflects her own inner self. “Most of my garments were created by what mood I was in at the time. That’s why they are usually loud and colorful.”
Not everything though is glitter and rainbows, Corbett said. “I did go through extreme tragedies for two years and it was reflective in my clothing. Instead of the usual loud, colorful, happy tones and prints, I made a collection of dark, mysterious, goth fabrics and colors.”
“It was ironically one of the best and fastest selling collections ever; and I was listed as part of the Top 10 in (New York Fashion Week),” Corbett said.
When she creates one of her looks, Corbett said, “Most of the time I see fabric I like that really stands out and speaks to me and instantly I start to visualize what I’m going to do with it… then I start sketching on the train while looking at the fabric every so often.”
“Once I get home I start to fine tune the sketch,” said Corbett. “Usually for about a week or so; I usually sketch about five to 10 different ideas and then I take a day to pick out the final one.”
Corbett said she sets then spends a day cutting the fabric to her patterns. “Then the next day I start sewing.”
“I don’t have to envision (who will wear my clothes),” said Corbett of her customer. “I see my niche market and customers wearing Candy-Rock Couture because I’m so blessed and happy to create clothing for my own community of fellow Alternative/ Harajuku/ Kawaii/ Streetwear babes.”
For more information about Candy Rock Couture, visit its website www.CANDYROCKCOUTURE.com.
Candy Rock Couture is also on social media at www.facebook.com/candyrockhottie and
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN