NYC Fashion Design Students Fret No More! Better Than A Cupcake Offers A Way To Get Your Foot In The Door

April 25, 2013
If you’re a fashion design student you know how tough it is to break into the business. Let’s face it: the fashion industry is all about who you know, but we’ve got the exclusive scoop on one connection who wants to make YOU a world-famous fashion designer. Sydney Bellows came to New York City from Winter Park, Florida to study business at The King’s College and started her website, Better Than A Cupcake

The start-up helps fashion design students who are currently studying in New York City showcase their designs and reach potential buyers and business partners. Designers involved with Better Than A Cupcake can display up to six of their favorite pieces (which are available to be purchased online!) and get feedback from fashionistas regarding their creations through “like” and “dislike” buttons.

All of the designers enrolled with Better Than A Cupcake are also competing for the coveted chance to show their collection at a spring fashion show held in New York City (the more “likes” the better shot the designers have at being featured in a a runway show!) Pretty sweet deal, huh?

Sydney Bellows always had an interest in style and design so the decision to create a fashion website for designers came naturally to her. “I started playing around with ideas and I knew I wanted to do something unique. After exploring for a while, I started noticing how hard it is for fashion designers to break into the industry. In my hometown, we have a spinoff of NYFW called Winter Park Fashion Week. I went to the board of WPFW and asked for the designer applicants that did not make it into the show. I contacted these designers and realized that there was so much potential and that it would be more fun to have the community vote on the designs they wanted to see on the runway instead of someone choosing behind the scenes.” Sydney’s website is definitely something that hasn’t been done before and is 100% unique! Sydney’s passion for helping young designers is also what makes Better Than A Cupcake such a fabulous resource for students. “I know that being young makes it so much harder to get noticed especially in such a competitive market. I want to give students the opportunity to present their designs in a professional light, and hopefully get recognition for their hard work before they graduate.” Mission accomplished, Sydney!
While Better Than A Cupcake is still growing, it is clear that it has a bright future ahead. The designers currently on board with Better Than A Cupcake have been very successful with promoting their brand and are also excited by the opportunity of sharing their clothes at a live runway show this spring! If you’re a fashion design student studying in NYC, Better Than A Cupcake is the perfect place to jumpstart your career. What’s Sydney Bellows’ advice to young designers? “Trust your instincts and don’t give up! Design because you love it not just because you think others will.” One thing to be is sure of? It’s impossible not to love Better Than A Cupcake and you will as well!
Want to learn more about Sydney Bellows and her website for young NYC fashion designers? Keep reading for my interview with Sydney…
Have you always loved fashion?
Sydney Bellows: I would say I’ve always had an interest in fashion but I never recognized my love for it until others brought it to my attention.
What is your first memory of fashion?
SB: When I was just a little girl, maybe 5, I would go over to my Nana’s home. I remember she would take me through her closet and show me all her jewelry. I would dress up and we would look through scrapbooks that friends had made her about her life when she was modeling and other social gatherings where she was always dressed to the nines.
How would you categorize your personal style?
SB: Always changing. I love pairing classic pieces with something fun and trendy while always being comfortable. Fashion shouldn’t be painful; it should be a way to express yourself while having fun!
Who are your favorite designers?
SB: I love the classics like Hubert de Givenchy and the style of Ralph Lauren as well as newer designers such as Osi & Dotan Shoham. But just like my personal style is always changing, I’m constantly learning more and discovering new designers to add to my list.
When was the moment in your life when you realized you want a career that involved fashion and design?
SB: The first time I went to New York Fashion Week I sat front row at the Monique Lhuillier show and realized that this was the industry I wanted to be in. I loved the excitement in the air, the adrenaline, lights, and music. I was especially thrilled at seeing the art of fashion come to life. From that moment, I knew I wanted to take part in making that happen.
How did you decide on the name “Better Than A Cupcake” for your online clothing store?
SB: I choose the name before I decided on the concept of the website. I have always loved cupcakes and started to notice the trend that was coming about over them. From popular TV shows to specialty cupcake bake shops and cupcake food trucks, cupcakes were becoming very popular. So in a way, my company’s name is saying it is better than the biggest trend right now. It adds a little edge while being catchy and memorable. That’s the real goal of the company—that you’ll remember to share it with friends and always come back, just like your favorite cupcake shop!
Tell us about your plans for your spring 2013 Fashion show in NYC.
SB: My goal is to create an annual event held in NYC that features young designers—designers chosen by a fashion community that already follows them on BTAC and have been voting for and leaving encouraging comments to support them. It will also be an event to help provide clothing for children in need by donating a portion of the proceeds to a children’s charity. By focusing our events on providing clothing, versus other items, to underprivileged children it is a way to bring the concept of fashion full circle.
What should girls think about when rating the designers for the Better Than A Cupcake fashion show?
SB: Vote for who you like, who you want to see on the runway, and who you think can be the next Diane Von Furstenberg or Vera Wang!
How are the designers feeling about the chance to have their designs showcased in a NYC fashion show?
SB: Better Than A Cupcake is in its early stages, but so far the feedback from designers interested in showcasing their work has been very positive.
Tell us about the designers you currently have on board.
SB: Amy Dietz has been our most successful designer thus far and she is currently displayed on BTAC. She has a significant number of votes for her short time on the site and even some great comments from voters. Dietz is a sophomore at Parsons New School of Design and the inspiration behind her collection is untouched nature and romanticism. To learn more you can check out her Designer Profile!
What was the best advice you were given for your career?
SB: “Don’t expect anything to happen overnight, be patient and don’t give up.” – Bradly Miller
Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy! Tell us about the highs and lows of building Better Than A Cupcake and watching it grow?
SB: There are times when I’ve been frustrated that things aren’t going how I planned but the only way to succeed is to learn from your failures, and that is what I am trying to do.

 *Disclaimer: Please note this article has been re-blogged from

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