Interview with clothing designer Sharan Ehman AKA Toxic Vision
It is very likely that you have seen Sharon Ehman on the internet already, her clothes and her style have caused quite a stir in the world of metal recently. She creates her own clothing line, known as Toxic Vision So far this completely self taught designer has clothed Iced Earth, Dimmu Borgir and Morbid Angel and will no doubt be able to add more classic acts to her list of clients in the near future. Here is what she has to say on the Canadian metal scene, her love of metal and to new designers trying to break into fashion.
How does the metal scene in Canada compare to the UK?
Sharon: Well, we still have a lot of metalheads but here it seems like everybody comes together in one place at one time. Heavy metal as a genre is different, people can still appreciate other bands, they’re not like “Oh I only listen to one thing, fuck everything else”.
Your style is definitely metal, how has your music taste influenced what you do with fashion
Sharon: Pretty much my whole company is based on what I’m listening to. Music in general is kind of why I started my company, it was just a way to express, or to even become part of what you love, you know?
Would you put fashion first or music?
Sharon: I would probably say music first because the fashion wouldn’t be there without the music!
How long has it taken you to perfect your work?
Sharon: I started sewing when I was thirteen with a sewing machine, so I was pretty young. And I started Toxic Vision when I was seventeen so I’ve been doing it for quite a while. But when I first began of course I was not very good! I thought it was good at the time but now I look back and I’m like “holy shit, people bought that!?” I feel bad! [laughs]. It’s a matter of doing it every day and just getting advanced and thinking of new things and even better cuts and that kind of stuff.
You’ve definitely inspired a lot of people to start doing similar things and sell their stuff on the internet. Is there any advice you’d like to give to these people?
Sharon: My biggest advice is to just do what *you* wanna do, do what you love. Do your own thing, it’s hard to break into a market where somebody is already doing what you’re planning on doing what you’re already doing so just find your little niche and run with it. Try new things and try your hardest, put everything that you have into it.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Sharon: A lot of Watain, I was most excited to see them. And Ghost, I’ve been exposing as many people as I can to that band, I love them!
Are there any good Canadian bands that international metal fans may not know of?
Sharon: My top three of Canada would be Skullfist, Cauldron, Striker – they’re new wave of heavy metal. I think Canada is in a good spot right now for metal being popular and it’s starting to bring lots of smaller bands or bands just starting out are going to that style of music so that’s cool, because I like that [smiles].
Do you have a fashion icon?
Sharon: Not really, I don’t really follow fashion designers or that kind of thing. My fashion icons are more like Alice Cooper and that kind of thing, I always make sure that I’m doing what I want to be doing and not influenced by other people’s designs. I just get my inspiration in other places.
Can you take us through a typical Toxic Vision day?
Sharon: Usually I wake up around seven in the morning, go through my gym routine and then just work all day. It doesn’t even feel like work though, I never feel like I’m overworked or tired or that I have to do something. It’s just all my own schedule and I don’t even realise I’ve been sitting there for over six hours studding a jacket, it just what I do and I listen to music while I’m working.