interview: caitlin mcconnell of bling is the new black

Caitlin McConnell, bling artist to the stars and creator of Bling is The New Black

Aerosmith, Miranda Lambert, Slash, Ringo Starr and many others celebrities call on Caitlin McConnell, bling artist to the stars and creator of Bling Is The New Blackwhen they want custom crystallized apparel and guitars.

Caitlin created Bling Is The New Black to fill a void in the world of personalized apparel and specialty items when her mother wanted blinged shirts for a conference.  From this, she has dressed many national and local celebrities in her creations.  Enjoy my interview with Caitlin where she dishes on the famous names she has worked with, what spurs her creativity and her thoughts on Dallas style.

Caitlin, tell me about yourself.

I am from Dallas and after high school, I studied in Cambridge.  I attended the University of North Texas where I studied fashion design and art.  Bling Is the New Black is something I started calling my business and I had been creating blinged shirts for friends and family all throughout college.  After an internship with Marchesa in New York City where I was responsible for PR and media, I knew I wanted to remain the fashion industry but I was unsure of what I wanted to do.

Joe Perry of Aerosmith playing the Ruby Slipper Crystalized Guitar by Bling Is The New Black

Your designs are so creative, fresh and exciting.  I really like seeing your work.  Where do your ideas come from?

Well, the charity and business logs pieces we do are simple.  Our other designs are inspired by things I see in magazines or on Pinterest.  I love Pinterest!  I could spend hours looking at stuff  on there!

Who are some of your national and local celebrity clients?

I have worked with so many amazing people.  I have a really great working relationship with Aerosmith. I was just on tour with them. I have worked with Ringo Starr, Slash, Miranda Lambert, Carole Radziwill of RHONY and many, many others.  We also have several licensing partnerships, like with Autism Speaks.  Locally, I have worked with many ladies from the cast of Big Rich Texas.  Actually, Heidi Dillon was our first client!

What do you love most about Dallas?

I grew up in Dallas and I love how nice everyone is.

Where do you like to shop, eat and play in Dallas?

I am a foodie! I love going to Steven Pyles, Village Marquee Texas Grill and Bar and Mi Cocina.  I love their Mambo Taxi!  Also, I like to go bar hopping on McKinney Avenue and shopping at NorthPark Center, Highland Park Village and The Shops at Willow Bend.  I really like going there.

Describe what Dallas style means to you.

Dallas is very current!  We are not always in western wear.  Everyone is keeping with general trends but I would say if you have sparkles, you’re good!

Interested in getting a custom item from Bling Is The New Black?  Great!  The company offers shirts and other custom items in quantities of 1 or more, with no set up costs.  Caitlin offered up some important information on the order process.

Crystallized Kitchen Aid by Bling Is The New Black

How can someone order from Bling Is The New Black?

If someone wants custom work all they have to do is send their artwork or idea to us.  From there we’ll get their color choices and create a proof for approval, request their choice of garment and give a price quote.  The order will be completed and delivered in 7-14 business days.  It’s that simple!

I really enjoyed getting to know Caitlin.  Be sure to check out her designs and connect with her on Facebook , Twitter and the Bling Is The New Black website.