Ariel Swedroe Weinberg doesn’t know she’s gifted. Matter of fact, she doesn’t even realize she’s bordering on sheer genius; perhaps savant status. The eleven-year old, who proudly chirps: “I’m about to turn twelve,” when I interviewed her for the blog, doesn’t just like to sew, she happens to be really, really good at it.
She started stitching at the tender age of seven at Design Lab Miami, where her mentor, Angie Cohen, helped Ariel realize her passion for fashion. Four years later, Ariel doesn’t just drape, make patterns and sew, she’s created her very own fashion line called “Swedroe art to wear by Ariel.”
Apparently, being creative and beyond talented runs in the family. Ariel’s grandfather, renowned architect and artist, Robert Swedore, is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. As an ode to his art, Ariel incorporates his famous collages and designs into her fashions, scanning and laser-printing them onto fabrics she uses to make blouses, skirts, tops, pants and dresses.
The result? A lively, whimsical, provocative, futuristic inspired fashion line. When I first met Ariel, I was surprised at how someone so young and so reserved could make things with such big personality. Once we started chatting about her designs, though, she lit up like a runway during New York Fashion Week. She told me in a very mature, matter-of-fact manner: “My inspiration comes from the world around me.” When I pressed her on her answer (to see if it was rehearsed or not,) she tells me point blank of magazines, blogs and social media accounts she follows, all centering around pop culture and designers she draws creativity from.
Even though Ariel has parents that care and a support system many young professionals (twice her age) could only dream of, there’s something special about her. She’s not a cookie cutter Miami Beach kid. In fact, she’s quite the opposite, with a quirky, warm, artistic and straight-forward disposition.
When choosing my outfit for the blog, I was especially hard on Ariel, sending my selections back a few times, asking for alterations; more specifically, for a longer skirt that I would feel comfortable and glamorous in and boy, did she deliver (without complaint or hesitation.) We built our blog photos and storyline around a fabulous two-piece ensemble she made with rich blues, greens and a striking space-age pattern (pictured in the blog.) It was perfect for a lot of reasons.
On the heels of our meeting, the world got its first up-close look at Pluto and Earth 2 surprised a lot of us “earthlings” (all thanks to NASA.) What’s more, Ariel showed me her latest idea, using electrical thread and LED lights to create a flashing vest, explaining her love of incorporating technology into her fashions to make them dimensional, kinetic-like.
Styling/Co-Producer/Assist: Jackie Kay
blog ideas: Jackiekay211@yahoo.com
Editor: Matthew Auerbach