We Talked To Char Edwards About Fashion, Creativity And Breaking Into The Industry
The One and Only Char
Everyone is someone in LA. But in LA, there is only one Char... and Char’s been busy. From working on iconic music videos like Migos’ “T-Shirt” and “Walk It Like I Talk It”, to breaking Instagram with her cosplay-inspired handcrafted costumes, she’s a fashion badass who’s worked with everyone from Wiz Khalifa to Travis Scott and everyone in between. We had to fly out to Cali to catch up with her on the set of her lookbook shoot for her new collection, Upstreet Kid, and chat about life at the forefront of music, fashion and culture.
It’s so nice to grab you for this interview Char, how are you? How have you been with everything going on right now?
I’m great! Feeling really positive and focusing. Have been getting a lot done, starting to work back on productions, and everything is falling together perfectly.
Tell us, how did you get started styling for celebrities and artists?
It started when I was in college. I went to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and there I was studying to be a doctor, but obviously went a completely different route. It’s funny because when I first started college I had no interest in fashion or modeling whatsoever and by my second semester there were photographers and brands that wanted me to shoot with them and that’s where the interest started.
I landed my first real job with 2 Chainz and I found this out while I was in class. I actually left the class and got on the road to Atlanta and things popped off from there.
I decided that I couldn’t just model though, and it’s interesting how I got into the fashion world. I was a model in an ASAP Rocky and French Montana video and the stylist on set by the name of Rasheeda Ameera asked me to work for her. I don’t know why but I’m glad she did. She taught me everything and 5 years later here I am.
Dang! That’s crazy. Why did you choose to move to LA? :
I actually came to LA for a birthday party and decided to just stay here! I didn’t go back home. My family and friends were very confused but my mom and sister ended up moving here a few months later.
Who are your biggest style influences?
People often compare me to anime characters, so I subconsciously probably get my influence from that. I have two older brothers and growing up all I watched was anime.
Tell us your favorite celebrity story:
Oh my, there’s so many. I work with celebrities on almost a daily basis so I have so many stories.
I wouldn’t say this is my favorite celebrity story but it definitely is one of the funniest. I had this chest rig when the bulletproof vests was poppin’ again and I lowkey had a hand in that resurgence, but that’s another story. I set it down while I was working with Migos. By the end of the day my chest rig vanished, but everything that was inside it was left on the table, so imagine my confusion. 20 minutes later, I get a FaceTime call from Takeoff, and this man has my vest on and he’s on a jet going to a different country! I never got it back! (pictured at far left, Takeoff, with Char’s vest)
With almost 100k followers, you’re clearly big poppin’ on social media, do you think having a strong social media presence is necessary for a successful career?
I don’t think it’s necessary if you put the work in real life. A lot of my friends who are killing it in the industry actually don’t have that many followers on social media. I think followers are more of a validation thing and can be helpful for sponsorships or being seen by people who have never seen you before but other than that it doesn’t mean anything.
You’ve started your collection Upstreet Kid. How did this come about and what’s your inspiration behind it?
I’ve been making and selling clothes for about a year but not really on a serious level and I also didn’t have a name for my brand. Upstreet Kid came to me during quarantine where I had to figure out fast how to support myself without working on set. Quarantine was kind of the best thing to happen to me. Upstreet Kid flourished and is now my main source of income.
The name came from growing up in Pittsburgh. There’s this area in Squirrel Hill that we call Upstreet and every weekend I and my friends would walk there and call ourselves the Upstreet Kids.
You’ve been doing so much, what’s next in the long term? Any cool projects or collabs?
It’s crazy because I never plan anything. Things just happen. I could say, “I want to work with Kid Cudi” and the next week it will happen. For long term, definitely working on growing my brand and continuing to work on set. We just wrapped up a project with Rich Brian that was really dope and been collaborating a lot with Taylor Gang so who knows who I’ll work with next week.
What would you say to someone looking to break into the fashion and creative world?
You have to just go for it. There’s no formula or a specific way that you’ll “break into the creative world” because everyone’s path is different. I never heard the same story of how someone got to where they are... they just believed in themselves and fully committed their whole being into their craft.
Wow, I felt that. Well, since we’re getting serious, as a black female creative, how do you feel the world is changing with respect to acknowledging blackness in society and in the creative world?
I feel like we are definitely being seen and heard from companies and society now because of the BLM movement and supporting the black creatives movement. Of course, it’s probably due to companies wanting to ‘save face’ but at the end of the day we’re getting the recognition and support that we need from our own people as well as “outsiders”. Society has been eating off our ideas and inventions forever and it’s time that we take it back and I do feel like people are starting to relearn history and recognize our contributions.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Make sure you check out my brand @UpstreetKid!