Emily Brickel Edelson and Jordan Edelson married fashion to technology.
And then they married each other.
The pair — she from Long Island, he from Chappaqua — met on Jdate, the Jewish dating site. Technology would prove just as felicitous professionally. In February 2015, the two co-founded Chic Sketch, which has helped bring the venerable tradition of fashion illustration into the digital age. We experienced Chic Sketch firsthand at Bloomingdale’s White Plains in November when we posed for a sketch in a reversible cherry blossom and chocolate wool Max Mara coat as part of the store’s “Make Up Date.” The whole thing took about 10 minutes. The glamorous results — created on a tablet computer and immediately produced as a color postcard and an email image — speak for themselves.
But Chic Sketch also has an app you can download. It enables you to send the company a photograph that is then produced as a fashion illustration that is returned to you as an Instagram-ready image.
“I’m a fashion illustrator and I would get hired to do sketches,” says Emily, who has more recently captured such fashion icons as Greenwich’s Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Nicole Miller and Rachel Zoe. Jordan — who created Appetizer Mobile LLC, a mobile application development, consultation and marketing company, Chic Sketch’s parent company, and has been one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 rising entrepreneurs — would come along on Emily’s gigs and think, yep, there’s an app in this.
The sketches cost $10, $15 and $20 — a fraction of what pen and paper fashion illustrations can cost. About 90 percent of the clients, Emily says, are women — like those at the Bloomie’s event, who oohed and aahed over their flattering instant portraits.
“We want to make sure everyone looks good, and who doesn’t love that?”
Emily always loved clothes and art. “My dad taught me to draw as a child.” It didn’t occur to her immediately, however, that she could have a career in fashion illustration. Once she realized it was a viable profession, she says, “it was a light-bulb moment.”
Yet the idea of her own company also intrigued her. Emily studied fashion merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. At Gucci, now part of the luxury umbrella group Kering, Emily assisted Caden Stobart, then president of Sergio Rossi, who took her under her wing and taught her everything about the fashion business.
Today, Chic Sketch has about 25 employees who are based at an office in Times Square. But their work can take them anywhere and has included such retailers and brands as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Maybelline, Dior on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and Michael Kors in Orlando. Recently, Emily and her team had six events in six days in five states.
“It was pretty crazy,” she says.
But in a good way.
To book an event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.