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Black Light: Local designer uses creations to promote sustainability in hopes of leaving her mark on the fashion industry

Using bold and flamboyant styles, Cierra Boyd is creating a legacy of her own in world of fashion.

CLEVELAND — We’ve all the heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” But for 25-year-old Cierra Boyd, it’s not just a saying; she’s made a living out of it.

Boyd is the owner of Friskmegood Inc, a clothing line dedicated to mixing bold and flamboyant designs with upcycling and sustainability.

“It’s basically using materials, that have already been produced, already been created, already made their mark on fast fashion in the industry,” explains Boyd.

With limited access to shopping, Boyd began creating clothes while studying retail merchandising and fashion product development at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. After graduating, she returned home to Cleveland, but felt lost and was in search of a way to reconnect with her creative roots. Knowing she wanted to create a brand of her own, Boyd turning to music for inspiration.

“Make sure you frisk me good, check my __ and my ___,” read the lyrics from Rihanna’s 2010 hit, “Rockstar 101.” Hearing those lyrics, inspiration stuck, and the Friskmegood brand was born.

“At the beginning, it really didn’t mean anything to me at all. I was just like ‘oh, frisk me good, that’s cute.’ But now, it’s brought like a whole new meaning to my world,” Boyd explains.

It’s a world where her dreams have come to fruition. Her creations, specifically her signature sneaker corsets have been featured in Nylon Magazine and Hype Bae. They’ve even been worn by celebrities including Slick Woods and most recently Dream Doll in the “Going Up” video with N.O.R.E and DJ Khaled.

It was an idea she got after watching VICE and seeing a man turn sneakers into gasmasks. She put her theory to the test during Fashion Mania 2K19, a local sustainability fashion competition. Tasked with creating a design without fabric, she set out to turn a pair of Nike sneakers into a top. After adding studs and her own flare to the sneakers, her design was complete.

“I put it on, and I was like, this really don’t look right as a top. It’s something off about it,” she recalls. “So, I moved it down a little and I was like oh, this could be like a cute corset.”

Boyd took second place in the competition and hasn’t stopped designing since. As the sole driving force behind the Friskmegood brand, Boyd set out to find new ways to connect with potential clients.

“I don’t have an assistant, I don’t have no sewers…It is all me from the social media to the designs to  …literally, every aspect is me,” said Boyd.

With the help of resale app, Depop, Boyd was able to expand the audience for her brand. She’s been able to create a noteworthy career for herself.

“I really found a community that accepted me and actually appreciated my work and they were also like willing to like buy it which was a huge confidence booster for me.”

Even with her success, Boyd knows how important it is to value her clients and not cut corners.

“I always wrap it with care, always give a sticker, always give a pin an always give a thank you note. I just want people to feel like they are truly appreciated when they receive a package from me,” she explains of her process to ship creations to her clients.

While working to expand her brand, Cierra also has plans to release a book that will introduce readers to 50 notable Black Fashion Designers.  

“That’s just one of my goals, is to educate people on the history of Black fashion and definitely giving recognition to those people that did lead the way for us.”

Black Light is a series created by 3News Digital Reporter Kierra Cotton aimed at exposing the hidden talent within Northeast Ohio’s Black community. 

If you'd like to suggest a feature to Kierra, you can connect with her via email at kcotton@wkyc.com or via Twitter.