Graffiti artist turned fashion designer, Claw Money now designs clothes, footwear, and accessories for some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Kanye West, Rhianna, and Nicki Minaj. Currently, the designer is working on a mural at Andaz 5th Avenue for their TBD art exhibition, which features different artists who will paint their view of New York --today. The project is curated by the SA Studios Artist Collective and each piece will be photographed and turned into limited edition post cards ($5 at bar downstairs). Proceeds will be donated to charity. To view the artists at work and read about their experiences, visit www.andaz5thavenue.tumblr.com. Even more exciting, Andaz 5th Avenue guests will also receive a 15% discount on Claw Money’s entire clothing line during her residency. “Art is an integral part of Andaz 5th Avenue and we strive to find new ways to support art and design,” says Jonathan Frolich, General Manager of Andaz 5th Avenue. “We are excited to welcome Claw Money as our Artist in Residence, building upon our new tbd Art series and offering guests a unique opportunity to interact with this famous artist.”
How has your background as a graffiti artist helped you in your role as a fashion designer?
I was a young fashion design student when I first got into graffiti. If it helped me at all, it taught me that repetitive visuals leave a lasting impression. Also graffiti is all about working effectlively in hostile environments so it has made me extremely adaptable and that makes me better at navigating obstacles in business.
Tell me about the mural you are creating for Andaz 5th Avenue and why you were drawn to showcase at their tbd art exhibit.
The mural for the Andaz is all about the vibrancy of New York City and what better place to welcome people to my hometown than a hotel known for it's design and style. You also can't beat the location - it is really prime real estate.
Where do you find your inspiration for design?
I find inspiration from New York City- the people, the architecture, and the excitement. I love all things about the buzzing city, the traffic, the noisiness and the constant state of flux. I find it exhilarating.
You have designed clothing and accessories for some A-list celebrities. Who was your favorite to design for?
As much as it is validating to get celebs to wear your clothes, I really design for that individual who wants more than meets the eye in her wardrobe. My brand is all about empowerment and If I can make someone feel special and strong, then I have done my job.
What do you have on tap for Fashion Week?
Now that everything is up in Lincoln Center I feel a bit imposed upon and removed from the other events going on. I also have to run my business and attend to my baby boy. I will definitely check out Jeremy Scott's show, as that is usually the most fun but my party kinda overshadowed everything going on this week for me.
What are your next big projects?
I have a very exciting footwear collab with a very well established luxury brand releasing this Fall but that said, I can't talk about the details yet. Stay tuned.
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers, or just for fashionistas in general?
Fashion has been at a huge standstill for the past 10 plus years. It is time to change the retro looks and really innovate. My advice to all is to go big or go home.