Fashion Spotlight,

Designer Spotlight: Cristina Martinez of

8/19/2011 Whit and Whit 1 Comments

Meet Cristina Martinez, self-taught designer from Houston, TX, now studying Fashion Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her site Bow Tied Online showcases her designs and snapshots from her life. In our interview with Cristina she shares her inspirations and gives insight to those interested in picking up a needle to create their own clothing designs.


What made you want to start designing?

I have been sketching clothing since as far back as I can remember. It wasn't until someone really close to me encouraged me to try to bring my sketches to life, that I decided to get a sewing machine and actually start sewing and creating these pieces I had had on paper for years. I will forever be thankful for that person.

What made you decide to further you education and go to school after being self-taught for years?

I started to get inquires about pieces that were out of my comfort zone as far as things I felt good about making. I always try to push myself and face any challenge that comes my way but being self - taught is tough. I want to gain all the knowledge I can and I think school is the best way to do that right now. I just finished my first semester at AAU and I have already learned so much.

How do you get inspiration for the prints you create?

When I am drawing my prints I usually just let my hand move naturally and see what it does. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. I usually keep a mental picture of things that inspired me throughout the day or week and then when I start sketching they all come to mind and I just draw.

We notice that a lot of people inquire about purchasing your pieces. What was one of your most popular/most asked about items that you designed?

It used to be my "Bow Skirts." I cannot tell you how many Bow skirts I have made. More recently, everyone wants Maxi skirts and dresses and I love it because those are my favorite pieces to make.

What are the price points for some of your designed pieces?

All prices vary because most of my pieces are custom and created as they are ordered but my skirts/shorts usually range from 50-75, Dresses 60 - 90, tops $50-65, and clutches $50-80. Those are the things I get most inquiries about.

Describe your personal style.

My personal style is extremely feminine. I am all about romance and flow, lace and nudes. I tend to dress more "pretty" than "sexy." I wear a lot of loose fitting pieces and I HAVE to be comfortable or I don't wear it unless we are talking about Louboutin shoes. Those are far from comfy but usually I'll suck it up and wear them anyways because they are just THAT fabulous!

Who are your favorite celebrity fashion icons?

I'm sure its no secret but I love 99% of the things Rihanna wears. She has been a huge inspiration to many of my pieces. Also, the Olsen twins, Nicole Richie, Alexa Chung and Rachel Zoe.

What is the most exciting part of your process: searching for inspiration, sketching a new idea for a design, picking out fabric and other details, creating the piece or seeing the final vision completed and brought to life?

Definitely seeing the final piece come to life. To see something go from a sketch on paper to being able to put it on and wear it out- I love that! The only thing better than that is selling it and seeing a stranger in one of my pieces- That feeling is why I keep going!

We like your quote on your blog, "When life throws you scraps, make a dress." Do you believe that you can turn any bad situation into a positive one?

I never really thought about it like that but I guess in a sense I do. Making clothing has been my outlet. At times when life has let me down, my sewing machine has truly pulled me through. When I create, I don't think about anything else but the piece I am making.

Do you have any advice for up and coming designers?

I think above all....know your craft. Consume yourself with it and learn all that you can. There is nothing worse then limiting your creativeness because you don't know how to do something. Be a sponge and soak everything up! And of course, stay true to yourself no matter how big you make it. This alone, will take you far.


Visit to see more of Cristina's original designs. Special thanks to Chanel for informing us about Cristina and reaching out to her!

You Might Also Like

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more.
    Ralph Lauren