I’m really excited to share with you my wonderful little chat with another talented American designer, Christopher Straub – known from Project Runway! There is range of new limited-edition Yoplait cups inspired by Straub’s fashion designs, which will be available exclusively at U.S. Target stores through the end of this month. In addition to designing the limited-edition cups, Straub also created two original gowns, using Yoplait cups and lids that will be presented on Feb. 13th at New York Fashion Week Lincoln Center lobby. Sounds so cool! Check what questions I posed to the designer and how stylish and delicious answers I got!
Elena: What’s your approach to fashion and how was your vision translated into Yoplait’s limited edition cups?
Christopher: For me, style is about looking and feeling confident on the inside and the outside. When I create, I draw inspiration from the natural textures and images around me to help evoke that confident feeling in others. My partnership with Yoplait made that concept a reality and allowed me to combine my love of fashion with yogurt, bringing my designs to life on the product packaging. You can see my sketches and dress designs and a behind the scenes video here: www.yoplait.com/target
Elena: Fashion-meets-foodie collaborations are on-trend right now, starting from previous NYFW in Sept with many events relating food to fashion! Is it because they are both somehow ‘guilty pleasures’?
Christopher: I definitely think both food and fashion are a “guilty pleasure” for a lot of people. Working with Yoplait has been a wonderful experience that has allowed me to get really creative and combine my designs with the delicious flavors of Yoplait yogurt from both the Yoplait Original and Yoplait Light lines. This collaboration has allowed me to find the fashionista in each of the six Yoplait Signature Collection flavors (Strawberry, Harvest Peach and Orange Crème from Yoplait’s Original line and Blueberry Patch, Key Lime Pie and Strawberries ‘n Bananas from Yoplait’s Light line).
Elena: What was your initial response to this creative opportunity and how do you feel about it now?
Christopher: Being from Minnesota, I was so excited to work with a local brand on such a unique project. When we started our partnership, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do and after some brainstorming, we came up with the Yoplait Signature Collection. I am so proud of what I created and hope others feel as excited about it as I do!
Elena: Besides the cups, you also created two looks employing materials from Yoplait’s packaging. Does such a ‘challenge’ get you back to your Project Runway experience?
Christopher: Working with the Yoplait Signature Collection cups and lids was a bit nostalgic for me. I love working with unique textures and materials, so I was thrilled to design and hand-craft the two dresses using the product packaging.
Elena: What are your aspirations for the future?
Christopher: I’d love to continue designing product packaging, like the Yoplait cups, and being involved in anything that lets me create.
Elena: Can food be transformed into something fashionable and in what sense?
Christopher: I think it can! The Yoplait Signature Collection proves that. To me, fashion design is more than just designing clothing – it’s about translating real-life textures and lines into statement pieces, and Yoplait offered me the opportunity to do just that. I was able to find the personality in each flavor and bring it front and center through my designs. Now anyone walking through the dairy aisle, can feel an added excitement when getting their favorite yogurt with an added fashionable flair.
Elena: What are your favorite materials and fabrics that you are using as a designer?
Christopher: I prefer to work with unique materials like plastic and leather. Rigid fabrics let me create my signature silhouettes.
Elena: What are your signature silhouettes?
Elena: How much do you think you have evolved since Project Runway?
Christopher: I really credit Runway for giving me my design identity. Now, I look for different and unique ways to develop my designs while staying true to my signature style.
Elena: What are your sources of inspiration and your muses/style icons?
Christopher: I find my inspirations from the world around me. My house is on 4 acres of land and I’m never without the constant reminder that the natural world is beautiful.
Elena: We are all excited when fashion transcends boundaries and mingles with other fields and parts of our daily lives! Is there any other unconventional fashion mix that you would like to try?
Christopher: My dream job, right now, would be to design collectable toys that have a fashion influence. Like a line of dolls that are wearing runway-style looks inspired by the fashion trends of the moment.
Elena: Is New York Fashion Week your favorite time of the year?
Christopher: Being a designer, Fashion Week is always an exciting time for me! I’ve spent a lot of time in New York, so I feel a special connection to the city and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I’m excited to present the Yoplait Signature Collection this year at an exclusive event on Friday.