Detective by day, fashion designer by night
Christine Johnson, founder of the label Prophetic Embellishment, has definitely had an unconventional route into fashion. Despite having had fashionable ambitions since she was a teen, her parents pushed her to study criminal justice and she would spend her college nights trying to teach herself the basics of sewing and styling. However, this has not stopped Christine from trying to break into the industry. Here to speak about her beautiful latest collection, Reveur and her ambitions for the future, is an interview with Christine Johnson.
Where does the name Prophetic Embellishment come from?
Coming up with the name wasn't easy. I had to really think about what I want my brand to stand for and the mark I want to make in the fashion industry. I knew that I wanted to be a designer that stood the test of time, like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Over 100 years since the initiation of their brand and they still hold the torch. Their pieces are prophetic, and that's what I want. I want my designs to be prophetic, and when I have my fabric, that's my naked canvas, I use it to create my vision. It becomes a prophetic embellishment. That’s how I came up with the name.
Who is a typical Prophetic Embellishment wearer?
I design for everybody. But in terms of characteristics, it is someone who does not want to conform to a particular style. My styles are versatile and won't always be conventional. It'll be individuals who wear what they want, even if it's different, and make their pieces hit regardless. In the future, I would also like to expand to design for men and children.
What’s one of your favorite pieces from your collection?
My favorite piece would be the biker coat. It was my original vision for my collection and the first piece I made. That piece is the foundation of the collection.
How did you get into fashion?
I already had a fascination for fashion at a young age. As a teen, I would go to the mall with my friends, and when they went to H&M, I would gravitate more towards brands like Burberry. I had a strong appreciation for quality and materials, and would look at the design of garments and think about how I could improve them.
Did you study fashion design?
No unfortunately I never had the opportunity to study fashion design. My family did not think that was the right route to take coming out of High School. So I went to university in the US and majored in Criminal Justice. When I came home from studying, I would teach myself the basics of sewing and tailoring.
Was it difficult juggling the two?
It was definitely difficult - the two don't mesh. I was battling getting good grades at university and then coming home to work on my passion, fashion design. I often joked with my friends and described myself as a detective by day and fashion designer by night.
If you could have any celebrity, dead or alive, wear your pieces, who would you want it to be?
It would definitely be Oprah Winfrey. She embodies a strong, successful woman. Aside from that I would say Brittany Byrd as she's authentic, does what she wants and is a true style icon.
What helps you find inspiration for your designs?
So far, they come from within. They are concurrent with my mood.
You also do styling and modelling, how did you get involved in these sectors?
Originally, I wanted to style models, but didn't have the resources to get professional models. I would just ask other people if I could style them, but often something would come up and it would fall through. But I didn’t want to be stagnant, so I started to use myself as a model.
How do you think social media has impacted the fashion industry?
I think it has its pros and cons. These days you have to be very active on social media as it plays such an important role in terms of marketing yourself as a designer. However, I personally feel that it is corrupting the fashion industry. Taking a look at the prestigious fashion designers, they worked hard to get where they are, they didn’t have social media as a resource. That's why they're still around today and their pieces are still prominent, because they had to put the work in in real life. Social media has made becoming a fashion designer easier and I don't like that, because what comes easy, won’t last.
I would say my top three are Coco Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Rei Kawakubo.