Cyncir Highlights Their Black Nonbinary Femme Journey in DEBUT Collection
While attending Southwest Career and Technical Academy, a magnet high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, Cyncir won a scholarship to attend FIDM. “I took that as the biggest sign from the universe and FIDM was the only college I applied to.” That bet paid off, and Cyncir is now prepping their “Weaponized Femininity” collection to be shown at this year’s annual DEBUT Runway Show event, livestreaming on March 31, 2023, at 2:30 PM PT. The designer is now pursuing a B.A. after completing their A.A. in Fashion Design in 2022. Their collection “is a mix of hard and soft. Masculine energy and feminine energy blended together both in fabric and silhouette.” We checked in with them to learn more.
Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a Pisces. That’s the first and most important thing to know. Kidding. Growing up I was always very sure of myself. I’d be making paper dolls in class and running around recess saying “I’m just a tom-girl!” when boys would try to make fun of me acting “girly.” I used fashion as an escape for a while but now it’s also become my armor. I’ve been a designer, artist, and performer since 2nd grade. I taught myself how to sew in 6th grade and I’m grateful that my mother and the community around me in Vegas nurtured and supported me to get to where I am now.
Tell us about your DEBUT collection. My collection “Weaponized Femininity” is about my journey as a Black nonbinary femme. My intention is to show how I got to where I am currently in my journey while also paying homage to the Black femmes who walked before me, paving the way for me to even be able to exist as loudly as I do.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? You’ll see lots of broad and angular structures but done in a delicate soft manner. I hope that makes sense.
What is your point of view as a designer? I like to blend the bliss and elation of fantasy with the harshness of reality, whether that be with silhouette, fabric choice, color, or theme because that’s the common theme of every chapter of my life so far. I created a fantasy world I reside in and as a designer, I hope to bring that to life. Much of my aesthetic, while driven by my communities and the women who raised me, is also driven by the community I created as a child with my imaginary characters and my dolls as a safe space for myself.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? I don’t know the exact emotion I want to be felt. I hope they feel the love and light that went into making it but I really just hold on to the hope that the people who get it, get it and they feel the feeling when they feel it. That seems like a very abstract thought but I hope to create a feeling that’s indescribable. Something that can only come from a fantasy.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? When I was a child, cartoons and dolls were what got me into fashion design. From Bratz to Monster High, the feeling from the fantasy they created inspired me. Being from Vegas, I was always inspired by showgirls, drag queens, and performers. I was a performer when I was younger and I am currently a drag artist and performer. On top of that, I am a product of ballroom so most of the way I carry myself and present things as an artist/designer is due to some of the foundation I found in the ballroom community when I was younger.
What is a lesson you've learned as you've been working on your collection? I’m learning a lot of lessons about myself during this process. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. For me, the most consistent lesson has been to trust your intuition and your talent. You know what you want even when you don’t think you do and you can do things you never thought you could do (you may just need a little guidance; don’t be scared to ask).
Tell us about your path to FIDM. My high school had a fashion program and they really tried their best to get us as industry-ready as possible with the resources we had. Whenever I asked about options to study fashion after high school FIDM was always the first one presented. In my junior year of high school, I won a scholarship to FIDM while competing in the state fashion design competition while I was in FCCLA.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? FIDM is helping me realize the type of designer I want to be and the kind of change I want to make to our industry once I establish my own brand/fashion house. They’ve provided lots of opportunities to learn hands-on from people in the industry along with teaching the skills and how to best use the tools and resources to reach my goal.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? When I started this program my ballroom mother told me to “lean in.” Lean into who you are. Live in that authentically. Truth and authenticity will be your biggest advantage, both when getting into this program and while navigating life outside of FIDM.
Anything else you'd like to share? I just want to thank my mother, my friends, my family, and some of my teachers for believing in me to get to this point and for continuing to believe in me as I move forward. I feel like Tinker Bell and their belief in me is keeping me alive.
Categories: Design Fashion Design Student