In a sea of budding fashion designers, the most difficult task is creating a line that boldly stands out among the crowd. At the ripe age of 19, this Charlotte native has managed to surpass many of his older fashion counterparts. Kevin Carter attributes his initial development of his passion for theatrical productions to his beginnings at West Mecklenburg High School. During this time, he started his new line by being his own mannequin and wearing his unique garments, such as dying his own t-shirts and adorning them with extravagant accents and trimmings. After receiving negative and positive feedback from his designs, “KevinVain” decided to take his designs to another level.
In the winter of 2010, after creating several controversial garments, one of these being a lego jean vest, as well as modifying current pieces in his wardrobe, the clothing line of KevinVain was birthed. From there, KevinVain’s career has quickly catapulted him into being a well sought after fashion designer. Some of his edgy and controversial pieces were on exhibit at Charlotte’s Mint Museum and he is currently working on another clothing line to be released later this year.
We asked Kevin to divulge some of his secrets to success as well as his thoughts on fashion:
What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
What I love about being a fashion designer is the freedom of expressing myself with any medium I want and I love the fact that there is no right or wrong way to express your art.
How did you come up with the name Kevin Vain?
The name KevinVain is a play on words with Kevin ‘meaning me’ and Vain represents the tremendous liking and appreciation I have for nicely crafted garments. I don’t allow material things to run my life nor do I allow material things to determine how I act in life. KevinVain is my “Sasha Fierce” in that it allows me to utilize my theatrical attribute.
As a designer, what separates you from other designers?
The overall construction of my garments allows my designs to stand out. I don’t care for normal silhouette garments but I am haute couture designer and I specialize in intrinsic garments. As far as I know, I am the only haute couture designer in the Charlotte area. My pieces are created with art aesthetics and edginess.
Who is your dream celebrity to style?
I have two celebrities I would love to style. My first is Lady Gaga because of her appreciation for fashion. My second is to make a dress for Queen Elizabeth.
What was one of the highlights of your career so far?
My career highlight was at the age of sixteen and after only one year and a half of being a designer, I was asked by the Mint Museum to feature a few of my garments. The exhibit was called “And the Beat Goes On”. The only two American designers featured at this exhibit were Oscar de La Renta and KevinVain. That was a huge honor. The Mint Museum exhibited three of my garments for two years. At the end of the exhibit, they allowed me to host two sold out fashion shows. This was a great time to remember.
Any advice for those aspiring to be a fashion designer?
In life you are your biggest supporter. Things don’t always come easy and the beginning is always the hardest. Know that people are not always with you nor believe in your career. Master the art of human interaction. Never betray your creativity. Never let people tell you what to create. Always keep yourself first.
What can we expect from you in 2014?
The release of my Ready to Wear clothing line and a short five minute film every month this year.
We also have the debut of his latest five minute fashion film “KevinVain S.O.S.”. Watch it here.