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Nov 29, 2013

Unleash Your Inner Rock Star With ICJUK

When I first met Claire Jane Vranian I knew she had that extra special something to make her mark as a designer. Her fashionably chic accessories and hip rock and roll tees have gained her a large following on a global basis. The quality of Claire's work is impeccable, her designs are one-of-a-kind, and she constantly comes up with new ideas to keep things interesting. We are quite impressed with how far this talented designer has come since our first interview in 2010 and, yes, ICJUK is still a one woman operation.    

BM: When we did our first feature on you, your line was relatively new. Back then it was called Inspired By Claire Jane. Now it’s ICJUK. What motivated the name change?   

CJ: It was really because ‘Inspired By Claire Jane’ was too long as my website name and people were having problems spelling it correctly, so I abbreviated it to ICJ and then after designing the original ICJ logo I decided to add the UK (as I’m from there and use a lot of British flags in my designs) and, ascetically, it just worked with the design of the logo.   

BM: When you first started out you were making and selling everything out of your home. Now, you have a lovely showroom in Vegas. What is the secret to your success? 

CJ: This has been an amazing time for me and I feel very blessed that I am able to do this with my ICJUK brand. I have created the ICJUK Showroom and Lounge. I have an office and design studio in the same space, so it’s wonderful to be able to create the ICJUK Lifestyle – It‘s Rock and Roll Baby!  My customers can come and visit, by appointment only, for their personal shopping experience with me. 

As for the secret to my success…Keep smiling! Plus, staying true to my vision. Don’t take it all too seriously. It’s Fashion darling not brain surgery! I love what I do and my customers are very important to me. Without them there would be no ICJUK! I always take the time to speak with people and I’m very gracious and humbled when someone appreciates my wearable art – That makes me happy! 


BM: Your line has also expanded greatly. I’m impressed by the constant addition of new items. Can you tell us about some of your latest styles and what inspired them?  

CJ: I am constantly coming up with new designs and ideas – I don’t sleep much! I have recently come out with these new shirt designs:  ‘Flaire,’ ‘RELAX,’ ‘THE LEOPARD JACK,’ the ‘ICJUK SKULL and ROSES,’ and one I designed last week called ‘Rock and Roll.’ I love graphic design so every single shirt design you see is created by me. People often ask, “Who does your graphic design?” “It’s me,” I reply! 



I’m also creating some tops that I am having made here in Las Vegas at the Stitch Factory (Downtown LV), which is wonderful to be able to give my design and see my samples being made. I am hoping to launch the ‘Stevie Nicks’ inspired tops in the New Year. I’ve been very particular about the fabric and I want women of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable in these and for them to hang right, so I’m still working on samples for those.  

  
The other new addition to my line is the ‘Limited Edition ICJUK Leopard Print Sheer Top,’ which is perfect for the Holidays coming up! 


I’ve also added some fun iPad/Envelope clutch bags, which of course are handmade here in Las Vegas from one of my original ICJUK patterns.  



BM: How do you take a design from initial idea to finished product?  

CJ: I’m very organic with my design process. The graphic side of things is pretty much always the same – I have an idea and then just start playing around with different shapes and colors and see what I come up with but usually it starts out with a theme and each design has a story behind it…that’s a whole other conversation to be had. But, one of my latest is called ‘Flaire’ and is a sketch that I’ve been drawing her for years and finally decided to put her on a shirt, so ‘Flaire’ is available in ladies tanks and scoop neck tees and unisex V-neck and crew neck tees and a super soft  hoody. 

BM: Your sister, photographer Emma Cohan, is expecting her first baby. Will this encourage you to start a line of ICJUK babywear? 

CJ: Probably!! I think more of a youth line for 2014. 

 
BM: About a year ago you were selected by Zappos.com to be one of their featured emerging designers.   

CJ: Yes, that was an amazing opportunity to show my feathered vintage handbag line – Zappos Rocks! 


BM: Do you notice an increase in sales when one of your celebrity clients wears an ICJUK Tee?   

CJ: Yes, it’s always interesting to see that – especially this year as one of my favorite celebrities and Rock Stars, Mr. Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, was rocking ICJUK for his shows and I’m also thrilled to say the ‘ICJUK Musicfest: Peace, Love, Rock’ and the ‘ICJUK Guitar Wings’ tees were immortalized on film in the VIVA! Hysteria DVD. 

 



I was lucky enough to receive a photo of Mr. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) sporting my Union Jane design earlier this year. 



And, a photo of Amy Grant with a one of kind feathered guitar handbag along with Eric Clapton’s wife! 

BM: What is your favorite ICJUK product? 

CJ: Ahhhhhh, that’s a hard question…but, to narrow it down, my Tanks and Dolmans are a daily wear for me and I always workout in my tanks or dolmans. Also, my hoodies are always super comfy. I love to carry my feathered handbags out most days to compliment my outfits - whether it’s a black evening dress or a pair of jeans or leggings! 


BM: What do you think is the most important trait of a fashion designer?   

CJ: Quality products. Staying true to your vision and style and make a statement! 

BM: What advice do you have for someone that is just starting out? 

CJ: I would say from my experience, “Don’t worry about what other people think.” If it’s not their cup of tea then they are not your customer. (Great point!-BM) Always source the best material available to you and have fun doing it! Don’t be afraid to try something new. 

BM: What’s in store for ICJUK in 2014? 

CJ: Right now ….a workout line, Western shirts ICJUK style, my Stevie Nicks inspired tops, a youth line, and scarves…. But, you never know what I may come up with!

Be sure to get a head start on your holiday shopping at ICJUK. For a limited time, with each purchase, you’ll be entered to win an autographed Def Leppard set list, a free bracelet, and $10 off your purchase of $50 or more! 


Interview by Nikki Neil Photos courtesy of ICJUK. 

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