Long it has been the uniform of over weight builders and Dads on Holiday, but the simple t-shirt is back. One Irish designer taking advantage of this fashion moment is 16-year-old Cameron Cavaliere.
Cavaliere has defied all odds, designing his own range of t-shirts entitled ‘The Silver Factory’ all in his time off school. “The original idea for me designing t-shirts came about when I was asked to create a line of t-shirts inspired by Gaga for this fan-blog,” Cavaliere explains. “I started to come up with designs that weren’t directly linked with her and I just decided to design some pieces for myself along with the others for the blog. Regarding the name ‘The Silver Factory’ – it came from my love of Warhol.”
Surrealist art is a huge inspiration for Cavaliere’s t-shirts and he uses his designs to “make fantasy a reality” These graphic t-shirts, screen printed by hand, feature gothic, monochrome images such as skulls and crosses.
The Silver Factory hasn’t just been making a stir in Irish fashion waters. Cavaliere’s designs have been featured on countless fashion blogs and Rihanna’s video for ‘We Found Love’, infamously filmed in a field in Belfast, features The Silver Factory t-shirts. “All the coverage I have been getting is completely unbelievable” Cavaliere says – “I never thought I would be getting written about on blogs or getting a feature in The Sunday Times Style magazine, and I never thought that I would ever get my piece in a Rihanna Video!”
Shutterbug, a vintage shop based in Kilkenny, have provided a helping hand to The Silver Factory and a place to sell the designs. Cavaliere raves about Shutterbug saying “Shutterbug is amazing – one of my favorite places to shop and hang out, and Blanaid the brains of it is truly one of the greatest creative minds I know. Just her way of looking at things and situations is so open and innovative. I go hang out there sometimes after school and we will just throw creative ideas off each other for window installations and things we want to design for the shop. I wouldn’t have had as many opportunities as I have had today without Blanaid Hennessy.”
At only 16 Cavaliere has proved a better designer and business man than competitors twice his age. Working in his parents restaurant to save money to start his business and hand printing his own designs all whilst attending school, Cameron Cavaliere would put most of us onlookers to shame.
Cavaliere’s advice for other aspiring designers? “Really just go for it. Trust your instinct, as corny as that sounds but it’s true. If you give 110% to something like starting a line for instance and it fails, at least u knew it wasn’t because u didn’t try. And if you fall flat on your face, get up and keep trying. You’ll get there eventually.”
The Silver factory t-shirts are available from:
9 Crow’s Street, Temple Bar
By: Orla O’Brien