Behind the Design of the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

Invitation for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

This year the CFDA and leading creative agency Laird+Partners selected NY-Based Calligrapher and Designer, AEROSYN-LEX MESTROVICas the first singular artist to create cohesive design concept for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards. 


Known for his fluid and ethereal calligraphic paintings, Aerosyn-Lex created all of the artwork for the show by hand, in a departure from digital processes and a return to manual craft and skill. Key designed elements include the Award Show Invitation, Awards Journal and projected backdrops that will transition between award presentations, carrying the ceremony from beginning to end. 


Last week, CFDA sat down with Aerosyn-Lex to get the inside scoop on his creative vision for the CFDA Fashion Awards, his artistic process, and to see if he had any tips for aspiring creatives. Here’s what he’d had to say…


What materials did you use to create the artwork for the CFDA Awards (marker, pen, watercolor, etc)?

I was approached to create the artwork for this year’s CFDA Awards based on a series of “Living Paintings” which I’d exhibited at The MoMA and Neuehouse here in New York. These paintings became the basis for the visual direction of the upcoming CFDA Awards. The paintings are hand-crafted works that forgo any digital processes in favor of a return to craft and hand-skill.

The paintings are made with in mixed media but much of the work is realized inks, which I frequently use in my calligraphy. The pieces are filmed and unfold overtime through a special process devised by myself and my team.


Describe your technique:

My technique is to work hard, as my technique comes from hard work.


Where do you find inspiration when creating the artwork for the CFDA Awards Invitation?

I was completely honored when I was asked to be the first singular artist to create the key artwork for the CFDA Awards.

I’m such a fan of what the CFDA do and stand for. I studied Fashion Design at PRATT here in New York and designed and directed a small menswear brand for some time. I really appreciate those fashion designers that understand construction and tailoring. Seeing the impact and influence Fashion can have on a person’s everyday life is astonishing. I’m inspired by friends of mine, Public School, who’ve won multiple CFDA Awards for their menswear line. I’m inspired by the people I’m able to work with in the creation of many of my projects. Getting to work around great people really inspires me to strive hard to create something really special and… I think that’s what we’ve done with the collected works of this CFDA Awards.


How long did it take for you to create the artwork?

The works are truly painstaking as they are not only hand-painted works, but also ultimately become video works, printed works, illustrations, patterns etc. It’s an immense undertaking, which involves many talented people, but just filming my painted works took us 24+ hours straight.


How would you describe your aesthetic?

That’s a tough question for me to answer as my works spans both commercial and fine art. I’ve created artwork for KENZO’s Paris FashionWeek Runway show, designed works for Kanye West, Directed an award-winning Short Film and created products for Nike. I think aesthetic comes when one is able to communicate a style across a variety of different mediums and not just repeat a pattern or color palette equally across every project. I hope people can recognize my work without it having to be the same motif over and over; I think that’s a major pitfall for a lot of emerging creatives.


Do you have any tips for aspiring designers and creative directors?

Focus on your craft, train your hand, let your talent be guided by your skill. Work Hard, strive to be a good person, be kind, be curious, foster relationships, take risks, understand that success and fame are two different things and always keep moving forward.


What are your studio essentials?

The witty answer : Dedication and Perserverance. On Tha Realness Though: Lots of Ink, Lots of Space and Paper Towels to clean it all up :)­