While browsing Etsy, like I normally do, I came across a wonderful special occasion and bridal shop! Schone, owned by Rebecca Schoneveld Cheek in Brooklyn, New York. This lovely lady has some most wonderful pieces that I am just drooling over. I love the simple lines, and the classic looks she has going. So elegant! I got to do a little interview with Rebecca herself to get some insight into what is Schone! Enjoy!
A: How would you describe your aesthetic/style as well as your designs?
R: I love classic, timeless style- things that look good no matter the decade. I also love clothes that make you *feel* something- be that romantic and bohemian, glamorous and fabulous, or perhaps just chic and low-key… I try to design clothes that don’t wear the wearer, but allow her personality and natural beauty shine through. A high level of quality in craftsmanship, materials, and fit are also very key to my designs. Since a lot of them are so minimal, finding the exact right proportions is also really important to me.
So in a few words? I’d say my style is about balance, elegance, and emotion. When a woman puts on one of my dresses and says “OOOOHH!” and then her friends say “Aww! It’s so YOU!” I know I’ve done my job :)
A: How and when did you get your start in fashion?
R: I started sewing when I was maybe 4 years old- literally sooner than my foot could reach the pedal (my mom rigged it up on a box for me- and then stood nervously very near by). I remember my first dress was this little floral number with yellow ducks on the straps… My mom was always making things for my sister and me, and I just loved every aspect of it since I can remember. I made my own and some friends’ prom dresses, did tons of reconstruction of thrift store clothes, and even ran a little business making skirts and whatnot for classmates- I wish Etsy existed back then! So I started considering a career in fashion more seriously when I was about 16 and ended up choosing to study fashion design in college (I first went to Drexel in Philadelphia and then transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology). I worked small jobs in the industry even before college started and continued to work at various companies in NY’s Garment District for the last decade or so. Although I’m a natural born entrepreneur so the way I get to work now is simply the best!
A: Are there any designers you look up to or like to follow?
R: I really love seeing what other Etsy bridal and contemporary designers are doing. I feel like independent designers have so much more of a finger on the pulse of what hip, modern women want than corporate giants do. We’re able to respond faster to customers’ desires than big companies can, and we’re more able to take risks- I think better, more exciting design really does result!
Of course, I do always look at the runways and also like finding European bridal designers for a fresh perspective. I love Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra, Alice Temperly, Jenny Packham, Erin Fetherston, Elie Saab, Delphine Manivet- I guess I could go on and on! I think it’s good to be aware of what is happening out there and see what really works well, but also to continue to trust my own instincts and let fabrics and form speak to me much louder than trends and outward pressure.
A: What are your favorite fibers to work with?
R: Soft silk fabrics are my staple- you just can’t beat how silk feels! Cotton-silk blends and cotton are also lovely and can make for a wonderful, light gown. But I’m also just heart-sick in love with really good quality laces. I love the dimension instant awe-factor they add to a design. I also have been having fun collecting vintage embroideries, laces, and other handwork that I hope to start incorporating into some one-of-a-kind dresses… So many project ideas, so little time!
A: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
R: My husband and I often talk about moving back to California (I lived there as a kid, he grew up there), although his career is in NY and I am in love with Brooklyn so we’ll see where we end up. We sure do love those redwoods and Pacific coast! but oh these brownstone streets and NY vibe is hard to get over… Anyway, no matter WHERE we live, I am positive I will be designing still. I feel like my business now is growing quite organically into my life-long dream business, so if it were totally up to me, 5 years from now I would be operating my bridal and party dress lines out of an adorable storefront space where I could gain more local visibility and create an atmosphere that truly reflects my style and vision. I would also love to have my lines carried in boutiques across the globe and to really establish a strong on-line presence and personality.
Oh and I also want to give my son at least one brother or sister AND be making sure to take time off to travel the world more with my family… Who says we can’t do it all?
A: Is there a certain personal style trend you are into at the moment?
R: Yes! I am SO happy that maxi dresses and skirts are so all over the place these days! I spent my younger years wishing I had gotten to live in an era when women wore long flowing dresses all the time, so the fact that it’s so in right now makes me very very happy :)
Thank you so much for sharing Rebecca, we LOVE your stuff! Keep creating :)
Ps. If you have any favorite Etsy sellers, comment with their name and they might end up here as well!