Chelsea Paskvan

Editor's note: Through this week, Fashionably Cleveland is paying homage to up-and-coming local designers. Each story subject is a graduating senior at Kent State University, and each story is written by another KSU student. Keep an eye out for these emerging fashion designers - you'll surely be hearing more about them in the future.

Growing up in Huntington Beach, Calif., senior fashion design major Chelsea Paskvan was born with a scientist’s eye and a sophisticate’s sense of beauty. Moving east and attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Paskvan taught fashion design and construction before bringing her talent to Kent, Ohio, and spreading it across the globe. 

“I did not always know I would be a fashion designer,” Paskvan said, “But I knew I was destined to engineer solutions to society’s problems.”

These inventive solutions propelled Paskvan’s achievement in both chemistry and fashion. 

“Ultimately, my passion and the customers’ demands for my garments and accessories determined my destiny in design," she said.

Paskvan began her foray into the field of fashion as a child, creating her own classic, intelligent garments that she says “worked better” – a clear representation of her scientist’s eye. Drawing inspiration from both Albert Einstein and Coco Chanel, Paskvan is now determined to make her customers' lives “a little easier and more beautiful.” 

Beyond having a mind full of creative solutions and ideas of beauty, Paskvan has displayed her talents as a small business owner and dedicated student at Kent State University. Her senior collection was inspired by the notion that the essence of a woman’s beauty can be described in two colors – black and nude. In addition, her heroes, like Coco Chanel, encouraged her to design clothing that allows the woman, rather than the dress she’s wearing, to become the icon. 

“As Coco Chanel remarked, ‘As women became more important, fashion became less so.’ This truth inspired me to create a line of lifestyle pieces that embody the spirit of Coco’s first little black dress, combining what is timelessly chic, currently fashionable and enormously comfortable,” said Paskvan. “Each piece is designed to travel and transform with the wearer, providing her with effortless and endless styling options to revive even the most lengthy of excursions."

Paskvan describes her aesthetic as “classic with a wink.” She designs her garments with the customer in mind, allowing them the freedom to enjoy beautiful clothing without having to think about it. Paskvan wants her clothing to be timeless and effortless, as well as appreciated and enjoyed by the wearer.

Using Coco Chanel’s marketing strategies, business tactics and design innovations for reference, Paskvan proves to be an inspired, talented and driven young designer. Upon graduating, she aspires to design for Chanel “or at least build a company she would approve of.” 

It appears that Paskvan is well on her way, as she plans on continuing sales of her jewelry line, Chevan, at select boutiques in the Hamptons and Manhattan, as well as designing accessories and apparel.

“My favorite current designers are the designers I worked with at Magaschoni [in Manhattan] and Kent’s New York Studio, whose confidence and generosity have taught me what it means to be successful in the fashion industry,” Paskvan said.

With the determination and entrepreneurial qualities of her idols, it seems that Chelsea Paskvan is well on her way to accomplishing all of her goals and then some. 

Paskvan concluded with this: “Geoffrey Beene once said, ‘I think the next fashion revolution shall come from the chemist too. When the chemist works with the artist, there will be a revolution and it shall serve society.’ I will be that revolution.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010