Spotlight on…Creatives

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Welcome to our new segment, “Spotlight On…”!
In our upcoming series of interviews, we will shine a spotlight on creatives to uncover what makes their personal brand so strong and, well, creative.

Meet Ella Sharp, who designs for an interesting niche in the fashion world – tango fashion – alongside of her womenswear label Ella Sharp.

The designer Ella Sharp

Here’s my interview with her:

Lisa Orban: Has creativity always been a central part of your personal brand? If not, when did it start to become more prominent in your life?

Ella Sharp: How does one describe creativity?  I have always created, starting as a child I just didn’t stop. My family were all trained in the creative industries and my husband too.  As a result I don’t really have a place at which my brand starts and I stop.

The one line I tend to draw is in Social Media, there are different levels of engagement with the brand audience, so usually I will post about inspiration, ideas and events on the Todo Trajeado Facebook page but obviously not my cats, they might however make it into Instagram depending on how artistic they are looking!

In the past five years I have focused on Todo Trajeado which is my Tango brand, recently though I have decided to reintroduce my  womenswear …which is a wider audience.  In general my customers want to engage with me either in Social Media or in person.  This takes time and has obvious limitations however is essential to product development and customer feedback.

LO: How do you express your creativity, as part of your personal brand, on a daily basis?

ES: A combination of Facebook and Instagram – sometimes Pinterest but that is more for collecting products (vintage posts) – we are developing the website at the moment.  Usually posts about my vintage inspiration come through Facebook but that is more to do with the sources.  When expressing primary research, i.e., my ideas, Instagram.  Usually it is the story behind the product development but I’m not always as good at doing this as I should be.

LO: Does being creative generally flow, or do you have to coax it out?

ES: It depends how tired I am, sounds mad but I have to have had the energy to look properly – if I’m developing new products these can take a long time to develop, prototype and refine.  Usually from initial idea to final delivery from the production unit about 6-12 months which is standard.

If I am creating the first, second or third sample these can often take two weeks solid work to arrive at the final outcome.  This reflects my attention to detail and subtlety of design.

I’m not High Street, I do recognise the skill required by those designers but my work evolves and thereby lasts.  I’m much more of a ‘slow’ fashion designer, I expect my pieces to be wearable for years not months.

LO: What would you say are some of your core values, and do you tend to turn to them in your creative work?

ES: My core values are the classic Mies van der Rohe quote “less is more” – everything has to have beauty (not always a use, I’m not so much of a purist!) – the less detail something has the more difficult it is to perfect.  I’m not interested in fast and disposable living, my design is the same.

LO: What or who inspires you?

ES: Hollywood images and films from the twenties to the fifties, cinematography, Turner, Mark Rothko, Christobel Balenciaga, Holbein, Tanturi (tango) D’Arienzo con Eschague (orchestra and singer)  – Monteverdi – a bit of a mix really!

LO: What advice would you have for someone who would like to express more creativity as part of their personal brand? Any specific advise for those initiating a creative career?

ES: Research, you need a wide knowledge of ideas, approaches and communication.  Ideas and creativity require input, exhibitions, film, dancing, music – go window shopping – those are my sources as that is my way to inspire myself – find yours.

Don’t rely on Social Media or the Internet for your research – brands need to differentiate themselves and communicating with your audience requires interesting content, not algorithms – don’t be afraid to be different, how different your products are depends on your market segment.


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