( ENSPIRE Fashion ) Cupid Talks His Upcoming Collection and His Roots in the Fashion Industry
ENSPIRE Contributor: Julia Postell
Patrick Cupid is a bustling New York City native with a passionate Jamaican flare to him. Before he launched The Patrick Cupid brand in 2017, he developed a taste for fashion in multiple areas around the world, receiving formal training at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and Politecnico di Milano. From the London art scene to the cobblestone streets in Holland, Patrick Cupid embodies his travels in his fashion pieces.
He strives to make every individual who wears his brand feel proudly represented in who they are and where they come from. This has been especially important to him as he is passionate about his family roots in the Caribbean and his culturally diverse neighborhood in the Northeast Bronx.
What was your upbringing like, and how has that influenced your passion for fashion?
I am a native New Yorker from the Northeast Bronx. Growing up in the ’90s, I was exposed to several styles, sensibilities, and tastes. As a result, my upbringing is full of contradictions. My family originated from the Caribbean and owned a church in the south Bronx. My mother’s father, a Jamaican immigrant, owned a very successful construction company. He had several cars; my favorite was his red 57 Chevy.
We were also the first family of the Apostolic Church in the South Bronx owned by my grandmother’s family. Personal appearance was critical. The neighborhood was very diverse. West Indians, Italians, Latinos, Irish, Asians, and eastern Europeans all coexisted harmoniously. You could eat anything from Kosher to curry without giving it a second thought.
My mothers and aunts are independent women who celebrate their femininity, each a leader in their chosen profession. Fashion was all around me, and it was never about a trend. A good friend of my aunt Barbara would experiment with hairstyles. She ran the rainbow with hair colors long before pink and purple hair was mainstream.
Now I see the fruit of all these experiences in my brand Patrick Cupid. It is not just my love for designing beautifully crafted clothes; it has also affected my approach to design. So much research goes into every collection, and each concept focuses on individuality. As an adult, I have encountered many artists in my travels who influence my print style. When I design, I don’t think about just one woman. Instead, I focus on a common idea shared between many.
How has your experience in other foreign cities contributed to your overall vision and brand in fashion?
I furthered my appreciation for responsible design and clothing moves with the body in Italy. The London art scene made me want to express my ideas in color. Street art is everywhere, bright, and beautiful. There are so many expressions of it that resonate with me. Living in Holland taught me that fashion also needs to be sensible. Everything chic doesn’t have to revolve around a stiletto heel when you live on cobblestone streets.
I take a little from each place I go. There is a sophisticated sex appeal to how women in Mexico dress, which I’d say is conservative and powerful. I think of all the women I’ve met on my journeys when I design. What is it about their personality that speaks to me?
What was it like going to school for fashion and being surrounded by major competitors in the fashion industry? How did you keep yourself motivated?
I loved it! A few months ago, I was sitting in a Brasserie in Montmartre debating concepts of art with both recognized Artists and enthusiasts. I shared, and I learned. My experience in school was much like this.
Creatives need to exchange with each other. Artists vibrate on a different wavelength than others. We are very intuitive and often empathic. We have intense energy, always looking to connect; it is how we create. We can’t produce anything we are not in some way related to, and that is why our work is very personal—so being in a company is extraordinary. It charges your imagination, fuels motivation, and challenges you to innovate.
Now that school is long past, I look to exhibitions and galleries. I socialize with artists and creatives from all fields. Nature is also a source of inspiration that activates the mind. Above all, this is an Artist who interoperates social ideas found in the world around me through color and fabric. There is inspiration and motivation everywhere if you care to look.
The Patrick Cupid brand reflects this. My style is a culmination of street and luxury ideals.
How did you successfully launch your brand, and what is some advice you would give to someone pursuing a career in fashion?
Success comes after you launch and, thankfully, is still happening. It isn’t one aha moment; it’s several occurrences of good things. I started because I decided to stop waiting for the imaginary opportune time. My business partner told me I would have to jump off the cliff and see how it goes because if I continue to wait for money, I may never begin.
Weighing what I wanted against what I had. This is how I started and what I would advise anyone looking to start a business to do. The rest I learned along the way. As I move forward, I introduce more of the secrets in my bag. I love when people ask who does this or who does that, and the answer is, I do. If I make mistakes, I learn from them and listen when the professionals speak. Then, when I know something is right, I push to get it done. Now entering my fifth year in business, I am an Interim member of the C.F.D.A. (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and sell internationally.
Patrick Cupid is using his platform to create a modern way for people to dress themselves utilizing his original sense of style and passion for incorporating different backgrounds and cultures. Cupid’s fashion sense is embodied through his culmination of street and luxury ideals and is notably revolutionizing the fashion game through his incorporation of versatility in The Patrick Cupid brand.
The Spring – Summer 2023 collection will be available to pre-order online in November 2022 and to purchase in retail stores starting January 2023.
The following high-end boutique stores will carry his luxury designs: CityGirl Atelier (San Francisco), Felt (Chicago), EJ On Thames (Rhode Island), Sandy Glam Boutique (Rhode Island), De-Essentia (North Carolina), Shop Boutique (South Carolina), Affaire Estrangers Paris, Wolf And Badger (Britain).
For more information about Patrick Cupid
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