TRacy by Tracy Belben
Tracy Belben was an unemployed architectural designer who needed a creative outlet between sifting through job listings. She began making experimental jewelry from random household items and over time, her handmade creations evolved into the luxurious collection known as TRacy (pronounced Tee-Racy).
Tracy’s work has been featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) and Refinery29 + Simon Malls "The Shopping Block" Event, IHateBlonde (Blog), Vogue Italia, and Staples websites. Her work was sold in NYC at Patricia Field Boutique, owned by legendary “Sex and The City” & “Devil Wears Prada” stylist Patricia Field.
Each piece is meticulously handcrafted, by the artist herself, in her home studio in Massachusetts (USA).
1. What promoted your career in Fashion Design?
I was drawn to the fashion industry because it pushes me to think outside of the box, experiment with the limits of a material, and it is a means of artistic expression. My love for making people feel confident, stunning, and strong is what motivated me to pursue my own line.
2. Which designer would you like the opportunity to collaborate with?
I am deeply inspired by hardworking creatives and their journeys, so I would love to collaborate with a talented designer or fashion house - especially Maison Margiela, Gareth Pugh, and Thierry Mugler.
Collaborating directly with clients is as rewarding as working with other design professionals. Helping people achieve their dream vision for a special night or for everyday wear is exciting. The collaborative process always leads toward innovation and exploration of new techniques used to create future designs.
3. Who inspires you the most in fashion?
Not really a "who", but a "what" is my answer to this. My past experience in architecture has influenced how I approach a project. I use these techniques, but apply them to the human body. Something as soft as a silhouette paired with the toughness of metal, met with the science and art of architecture, results in a truly a unique and special art form.
4. How do you balance creativity with commerce?
This is something that many people struggle with in creative industries. As a designer, do you create first and hope people will buy it or do you research then create? I am lucky to have a partner who fully supports my product and is able to advise me on business strategies; most designers do not have this.
There are days I want to take action on idea for gorgeous red carpet dress, then I realize the cost of time and materials. I think to myself, is now the best time to take on this project? It is a balancing act that takes a long time to master, but pays off in the end.
5. What kind of feedback have you been receiving on your latest collection?
People love the uniqueness, quality, and comfort of my designs. With all the feedback, we decided to focus on two separate collections – Designer Red Carpet Collection and a Ready to Wear line, where Everyone Can Own a Piece of the Runway.
Each line has its own demographic. In NYC, for example, the more elaborate pieces will fly off the shelves and our small pieces are quickly overlooked. Whereas in Boston, our large shoulder pieces and gorgeous dresses draw interest from crowds, but our ready to wear line is what clients actually purchase.
6. Where do you see you / your brand in 5 years time?
I see our Designer Red Carpet line on celebrities such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga. I would love to be featured in a magazine showing celebrity looks at an awards show or in a photo shoot. I know when we accomplish this, more and more people will recognize my work.
"For the Ready to Wear Line, we are aiming to be in boutiques worldwide. We fit a clientele that is in every city and to be able to sell to them directly would be a huge accomplishment for us"