UNconventional by FTC is a series exploring creators, designers and artists expressing unique, thought-provoking perspectives of socio-cultural and global significance through their craft. These creators stray away from the conventions and norms of everyday ideas and give them a new meaning through their otherworldly creativity.
With a growing conversation around sustainability in fashion, and questions being raised about the environmental impact of high fashion, there’s no surprise that designers alike are grappling to figure out more environmentally-viable methods of creation and production. The one designer who has taken an intriguing route when it comes to her designs, is Cierra Boyd of FRISKMEGOOD.
Boyd began making clothes while studying retail merchandising and fashion product development at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. After graduating, she returned to Cleveland, but lost her way and was looking for ways to reconnect with her creative roots. Boyd wanted to create his own brand, so she turned to music for inspiration.
With a name inspired by Rihanna’s Rockstar (...make sure you frisk me good…), the brand was created in 2017, when Boyd found massive success in creating corsets made out of used sneakers. She was preparing for a design competition, where one of her challenges was to create a piece without using any fabric. One night when watching Vice while she was designing and an episode came on about a guy who made a mask out of sneakers, Boyd had an epiphany – she decided to make a top out of sneakers. When the top didn’t look right, she moved it down a bit, and voilà! She created her first sneaker corset.
For the same competition, Boyd took a trip to the thrift store and picked up a black pair of Nikes that she added chains and spikes to before transforming into a corset. After winning second place in the competition, she put the corset on Depop, a platform for selling second hand products, and sold it immediately.
Cierra Boyd via Nylon Mag
Since then, Boyd’s Ohio-based brand, FRISKMEGOOD, has had a meteoric rise to success. The futuristic yet vintage pieces capture the essence of sustainable high fashion, in a rare case of street-meets-timeless haute couture. Using materials that have already been produced, created, and have established their position in the industry’s fast fashion, her bold, dramatic pieces have a unique flair of their own.
Her corsets are made from kicks like the New Balance 495's, reflective Nike AF1's, and Vans as well, each of which are one of a kind and have been upcycled and handmade. The corsets themselves manage to incorporate most parts of the shoe, and give off an avant-garde aesthetic, that not only makes you want to cop them as soon as possible, but also makes you wonder – ”Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”
And while corsets have also been criticised for not being accommodating towards plus-sized women, FRISKMEGOOD counters this by creating pieces to cater to the inclusive needs of customers, by designing handmade and upcycled bodysuits in larger sizing as well.
That’s not all, either – Boyd has further expanded the product line to go beyond sneaker corsets; think edgy co-ord sets, slinky dresses, and pop culture inspired sweatshirts – all upcycled, no less. Some of the brand’s most iconic pieces now also include the Space Jam Chap Set, a music festival-friendly co-ord set designed from a vintage sleeping bag featuring characters from the iconic ‘90s film, Space Jam, a Keith Haring-inspired sweatshirt with a patch that was hand-tufted, and a personal favourite, the Upcycled Smiley Patchwork Dress, hand made using recycled socks and also reversible.
Boyd has also recently delved into the world of creating bags with shoes – and it's exactly what you'd think. Featuring chunky chains and a sneaker as the body, the bags are a statement addition to any streetwear wardrobe, and form a distinct silhouette that borders on inimitable.
Each editorial-esque piece is created using materials Cierra Boyd found from her attic, local thrift stores, and even places like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Her handmade creations carry a distinctive, inventive touch and succeed in being not only cost-effective and sustainable, but also manage to marry streetwear with a timeless silhouette to bring the concept of decorative corsetry into the 21st century.
Head onto FRISKMEGOOD's website to get your hands on the remarkable, sustainable pieces that have the internet in awe.