CLEVELAND, Ohio — The work of Cleveland designer and artist Cierra Boyd has been featured in various national publications, including Nylon and Vogue. Now she’s taking her work to television on HBOMax’s “The Hype.” The first episode of the series drops at 3 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. The show, in its second season, features designers proving that their cutting-edge streetwear designs are worthy of “the hype.”
Boyd creates futuristic streetwear under the brand name “Frisk Me Good.” She is known for her sneaker garments — wearable items, such as dresses and bikinis — that are crafted from actual sneakers. Her work bridges the gap between creativity and sustainability. For her post-modern creations, she deconstructs the sneakers, then reconstructs them into a new, wearable presentation.
“I officially started my clothing line in 2017 after graduating from Ohio University,” she says. “There my love of fashion pushed me to pursue a retail merchandising and fashion product development major.
“After graduating I was tired of waiting and wanting to make my dreams of becoming a fashion designer a reality,” she says. “So, I started working with materials I had around my house because I couldn’t afford to buy fabrics.”
Serendipity came knocking during a Cleveland design competition in 2018. For Fashion Mania 2k19, Boyd faced three challenges. The hardest was to create a garment without fabric. “I was stumped,” she recalls. “I did not know what to do. I had everything done with the other two challenges, but it was getting down to the wire.”
“Luckily, one night I was watching ‘Vice’ while I was designing. An episode came on about a guy who made a mask out of sneakers. I was like, wait, what if I made a top out of sneakers?” she says. “So, I tried to make a top and it didn’t look right. I moved it down a little and I was like, ‘Oh, well this is kind of cute as a corset.’”
Boyd won second place in the competition.
So, she rolled with her success and posted garments on the social e-commerce site Depop. “People bought it,” she says. “I was super surprised, but it also gave me confidence. At the time I really didn’t know how to feel about it, but I just put it out there anyway to see how people responded. The response was overwhelming. So, I never stopped making them.”
Today Boyd uses various sneakers – Nike, Converse, Vans, Puma and even off-brand, generic shoes – for her garments.
On “The Hype” she will appear with diverse designers from all over the country as they showcase their streetwear designs and unique stories. They will tackle timed challenges to create ready-to-wear pieces that balance art and commerce while remaining authentic to their vision. Three judges — Grammy-nominated rapper Offset, celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte, and progressive designer Bephie Birkett – will offer constructive feedback to the designers about their concepts.
The winner will get a $150,000 cash prize and have their designs sold on StockX, a platform for trading and consuming current culture.