FSSA Senior Makes Break Into Fashion World
by Danielle Levitin
Short bleach blonde hair bouncing as she walks, her colorful extravagant layered outfits standing out in the dull Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) hallways. She scrolls chronically through Pinterest searching for inspiration, trying to discern what’s becoming popular in the fashion world, and mentally creating her own unique twists on the trends she notices are arising.
Cydney Sherman, a senior art major at FSSA, has her own clothing line can be found at cydn3yyy.com and in store at the vintage shop Rogue, located in lower Manhattan. Her clothes range from tank tops to slip dresses and corsets, with printed graphic designs that she self creates and prints onto the clothes. The style of clothes she sells is colorful, playful, and a new take on some ’90s and 2000s ideas.
“I use graphics for all of my pieces, and they can be good basics or statement pieces. I love to use things I like and reinvent it in my own style” she says.
Cydney became very successful with her work, having been featured in the New York Times and other publications, and her clothes were worn by various celebrities, including Halsey, Willow Smith and Olivia Rodrigo. Her designing career began during the COVID lockdown, where she was screen printing simple designs onto T-shirts and selling them on Depop. What started out as an effective way to make some money very quickly grew, with Cydney getting more customers than she originally expected. However, she eventually grew bored with screen printing because of its lack of color, and the feeling that her designs didn’t accurately represent her enough. So she decided to take a big leap.
“I did something more true to me,” she says. “I took my graphic designs that I already had and I started printing them digitally onto shirts. I saved up all my money from my Depop and got myself a nice printer,” she said.
From there, she began to grow her brand by creating content on social media, as well as reaching out to influencers and celebrities, sending them her clothes in exchange for them posting her clothing and tagging her social media. This assisted in growing her quantity of customers, and her sales grew.
Cydney talks about how she uses social media, specifically Pinterest, as her main source for inspiration behind her new designs. She says that she saves pictures, fashion ideas or trends that she likes, and works on how to put her own distinctive style onto them. For example she said she noticed people were buying vintage slip dresses from thrift stores so, because it was an upcoming trend and because she liked that style of dresses, she decided to buy a bunch and print her designs onto them, to sell as a new item to her customers. Considering her demographic range from ages 13 to 25, incorporating trends she was seeing on social media was a big hit with her clientele.
Behind her booming business, Cydney is still a 17-year-old girl. She miraculously manages to balance her work life, school life and social life.
“It’s all about getting on a good schedule, which was very tricky for me at first. It’s all about balance. I go to sleep very early and then on the weekends I get up insanely early. I go to my studio and I just get all the work that I need to get done for the day and for the week, and I’ll try to get ahead of my orders,” Cydney said.
She says that to be able to keep up a busy schedule it’s important to find the right people that support you and are understanding of your other commitments. Nevertheless, she says she always makes time for her friends during her bustling everyday life, because they’re very important to her and she tries to not overwork herself. She also invests a lot of her free time into her personal style, describing it as colorful with lots of new and old pieces. She says that her style will frequently change, but she stays forever inspired by her favorite brands and designers, those being Hysteric Glamour, Unif, Miss Sixty, Vivienne Westwood, Cop Copine, Marc Jacobs, John Fleuvog vintage pieces from thrift shops.
Within her work, she receives the most help from two people, her twin sister Dylan and her mentor, Emma Rogue.
“I have my sister, she’s my biggest supporter and she always helps me work and get on top of my orders and I really trust no one else with my business and to help me work as much as her,” she said.
She then goes on to talk about Emma Rogue, another successful New York designer, and Cydney’s primary mentor. Emma owns the store that carries Cydney’s clothing and she is one of Cydney’s biggest inspirations.
“I’m just very inspired by how she has taken her social media and turned it into a real-life store and she has so many connections with people and my business just wouldn’t be what it is today without her,” she added.
Cydney says that she has made many connections through being social and not being afraid to reach out to others, and was even invited to a New York Fashion Week party this year.
Cydney’s plan is to continue to be a business owner, where she creates and produces more of her unique designs and ideas. She also hopes to find a way to make her clothing more affordable in the near future. She plans to further master her craft, saying she feels there’s still so much she doesn’t know how to do, and she really wants to refine her skills.
She says that she wants to stay in the city and hopes to attend FIT or Pratt for college and major in fashion design in order to really reach her creative goals. Her advice to others that are interested in fashion is to be confident in what you’re doing, staying true to yourself, and being authentic.