Images by Caroline Petters, Mali Azima, and the Paper Cut Creators
Never compromise. The things that we turned down, I think others would have jumped at because they were truly awesome opportunities, but it required some type of compromise on what it is that we’re wanting. I think when you start compromising it’s not your dream anymore- it’s someone else’s vision. –Nikki Salk
Any emerging entrepreneur will admit the difficulty of saying “no” to offered opportunities- more difficult for others positioned in a minute niche. Visionaries like Paper Cut Project founders Amy Flurry and Nikki Salk prove that staying true (and therefore holding out at times) can result in larger ventures without the back-bending.
The Georgia-based duo, both known for successful careers unrelated to paper art, have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the high fashion/luxury circle. These “paper couturiers” build intricate creations, usually wearable on the face or sur la têtê, inspired by the innovation of fashion and the malleability of paper. What was borne from a simple idea over casual conversation less than two years ago has brought demand from luxury staples around the globe- from exclusive Cartier and Hermes commissions to an upcoming spread in Italian Vogue.
Read the inspiring interview I had with lovely, humble ladies below and witness the powerful cycle of idea-making…to action…to breakthrough.
ML: Your first big break with Paper Cut involved fashion house juggernaut Hermes last year- how did the opportunity come about?
Amy Flurry: Hermes was specifically looking for “paper cut” when they found us, and they found us on a blog. Yeah, very fortuitous (giggles). The Hermes representative said she was looking in all of France to try and find paper cut artists, and nothing was really her vision of what she wanted. When she saw our work, it did. She saw the masks that we did for Jeffrey, and she really latched on to this idea. The Paper Cut Project headpieces are now being worn by models and greeters at the Hermes stores that are opening in Asia, Munich-
ML: So this is already happening?
AF: It’s already happening, as soon as they got them they were sending stuff out! When I met them over in Paris we learned they in fact already opened three stores in China, one in Munich and one in Antwerp, so they had been travelling and they were holding up well.
ML: Why do you suppose your work stands out amongst other paper/fashion artists?
Nikki Salk: We want them to always exist. Rather than being a store display that dies after a month when it’s taken down, we want what we created to always be something, and they would always exist…
AF: On their own!
AF: They’re not just quickly pulled together for effect. A recent Nylon Magazine issue called in a piece and it was for a beauty spread, and what we thought Continue reading