You won’t find another Holchiline Alcy on this planet. And you’ll never find her unique designs on the pattern table of any another designer. Miami socialites and celebrities like Saskya Sky seek out the South Florida-based fashion designer for her modern and chic custom designs. This past spring, Miss Alcy graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from the prestigious Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She won’t put her thimble down. She’s got threads for days. Between fashion shows, fashion trade shows and conferences and coming up with new designs, the fashion designing Millennial has a whole lot more up her seams.
Kreyolicious: How did you come to be involved in fashion design.
Holchiline Alcy: I grew in a very artistic family. My father is a professional tailor and has been for over 30 years. He has altered clothes for many basketball players before I even came to the U.S. My brother is a paint artist by nature and my older sister has always been my competitor at sketching. In my teenage years, I picked up a few things from my dad while watching him sewing in his atelier. It was very intriguing for me to listen and watch my dad talk fashion to his clients while I picked up pins on the floor for him. In my junior year in high school, I made a red carabella [denim] dress for myself to perform the Lumane Casimir song for Haitian flag day at my former high School. Everyone were so shocked to see that dress. I think I almost got popular for it and all. In my senior year, many girls were coming to me to sketch their prom dresses.
After high school, I had my perfect plan written out from being a radiologist assistance to a physician. Nothing in my list said to be a fashion designer. I didn’t even know people could get a degree for that until one day I discovered The Project Runway show. It changed my life forever! I started researching about fashion schools and discovered that there are many different degrees in fashion. After my first semester in college as a medical student, I found myself daydreaming, sketching outfits in every one of my courses. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see myself studying my biggest enemy in college Anatomy and Physiology no mas! I was failing my classes as if I was the slowest kid in the school because I lost focus. I remember my classmate Kersaint, who I also graduated high school with, tell me to go check the fashion schools out because he couldn’t bear to see his A+ friend failing a college class like that. But I refused to because I was still willing to stick to my plan. After failing both Anatomy I and the lab, I cried my eyes out and swore to never set foot at that school again. A few days later, after I promised to my other friend Jocenta that I would go see the school, I found myself signing up for the semester that would begin in two weeks at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. The whole time I was so afraid to break the news to my dad who had so much faith that I was gonna be the physician in the family, but he actually took it way better than I imagined. Many other family members said I was wasting my intelligence in some art stuff, but my dad stood by me.
Kreyolicious: You have a very unique first name. Growing up, we don’t always appreciate what’s unique to us. What was it like for you?
Holchiline: Good question! Growing up, the deal was that everyone at school, church or any social gathering would call me Alcy (my last name) because they thought that was my first name or/And my first name was too weird to pronounced and everyone at home would call me Shune (only at home) because it was always a struggle for everyone including my aunts and cousins to get my name right. All these years I let it slide, blaming my parents for giving me such difficult name. But, after getting into fashion school I started asking people to call me by my first name, at least for the first few months. If you couldn’t, then we can’t be friends. No, I’m kidding. But, I really made it a thing because I wanted to start building my brand and it had to start within my circle. Many people have asked me to change my brand name to something more commercial. For my fans and customers, my answer to them is always this: “If you are too lazy to say my name then you can’t wear my designs. It’s simple. And trust me, later those same people come back and compliment me on how unique and powerful my name sound now. I remember a friend from work would joke around and say, “When I get to be your PR I’ll tell them ‘Don’t get half a Chiline. Get a whole Chiline for your money”. But anyways, that transition has been so great to me. I realized the moment I stopped hiding behind the cute little Alcy/Shune and recognize myself as this Holchiline woman is the moment I understood my purposes as a designer.
This concludes PART I of the interview with fashion designer Holchiline Alcy. Be sure to watch out for PART II.
CLICK HERE to keep up with Holchiline and to see her designs! Be sure to DM her if you’d like to commission her for a custom design.