Syracuse freshman Carly Fleischer never expected to start off her college career as an in-demand fashion designer. But with her tie-dyed and personally doodled designs popping up all over campus, Fleischer may want to consider a career change. Fleischer’s company, Kicks by Carly, sells brightly colored, hand painted, collage-like Vans and tie-dyed shirts. Zipped sits down with Fleischer to discuss the beginnings and future of Kicks by Carly.
I had done tie-dye before, but nothing serious. Painting shoes was the first thing that I did, and it started last semester. Around last September I was sitting in my room extremely bored, and I decided that I wanted to paint my shoes. The minute I finished my roommate immediately wanted a pair and when we stepped outside of the door it caught on like wild fire. Tie-dying started after a night at DJs. When I was coming home I must have written myself a note on my phone because the next day I found it. The note was made on November 16th at 1:49 in the morning and all it said was “Want to bleach a shirt”, so I did. I began selling the shirts over winter break.
What inspires your designs?
I don’t really follow any fashion designers or celebrities. However, I am always looking for new patterns and color schemes to use. I personally like wearing all black, but I also love bright colors. Anything that is outlined in black makes it look cleaner to me. Fades and ombres are also designs I like to wear.
What are a few of your favorite designs?
I made a University of Miami one that I love, the colors worked out really well on that pair. Since the first pair was made for myself and it was tailored to my liking, I really like that design. The first pair might also be my favorite because it was the design that started it all. I once did a rhinestone pair, which turned out really cool, but it was a pain to do.
How long does it take to make an order?
When I tie-dye a shirt it takes about an hour, and when I paint a shoe it takes 6-7 hours.
Did you start the company when you realized it was lucrative?
No, I almost immediately started the company after I started doing shoes. I only do this for fun. I love seeing people wear my designs and making them happy.