Sharon Toxic and Toxic Vision Clothing
Sharon Toxic consistently creates retro delights weekly that seek to re-invoke the days of Twisted Sister and Queen.
With garments accentuated by black and purple lambskin leather, rainbow-colored leopard print and tons of neon pink and turquoise faux fur, the individual clothing pieces take on a persona all their own devoid of all the obvious and trite fashion influences found in national clothing chains. "I wouldn't really say I have a certain person or label that influences me," says Sharon. "I try to stay away from looking at other designer's work — unless Alice Cooper counts. Instead I try to come up with my own ideas and modifying and recreating designs that I've worked on in the past. I do however get influenced by the world of heavy metal and rock'n'roll, and everything that comes along with it."
Yet there are everyday inspirations that Sharon does draw creative energy from. "I'd say nature and heavy metal, and a little bit of rainbow fantasy lands. More so whatever pops into my head at the moment," admits Sharon. "I get into 'moods' every week or so where everything I make looks like a rainbow, and the next week it looks like it belongs in the jungle." Yes, a rich urban jungle full of cherry red electric guitars!
She does cite one individual as being a strong source of personal strength. "My mom," says Sharon. "She always encouraged me to keep sewing and designing, never told me I should get a 'real job', she always was happy with what I was doing. Getting positive feedback from her was really nice because it never ever made me second guess myself about what career choice I had chosen. It sounds so weird saying 'career' cause it’s definitely just what I love to do. I guess it also happens to be a 'career'. I get to do what I love as my job, I get the freedom to work when I want, and I don't have to answer to anybody."
Sharon found a strong desire growing up to enter into the fashion industry. "I've always imagined myself being self-employed, and it ended up being fashion that intrigued me the most," says Sharon. "I guess what really made me gear towards fashion was having a lot of ideas of what I'd like to wear and never being able to find it in stores. I always knew I would be creating something."
And it is this open-minded, independent streak that has not only propelled Toxic Vision forward, but Sharon as well. "Basically I just took a chance, [and] decided to do what made me happy. I quit my part time job when I was seventeen and still in high school and started designing and sewing every chance I got! It was all trial n' error — learning, growing, trying new stuff, and not being afraid to 'go there'." Her clothing continues to walk the line after Toxic Vision hosted its first fashion show, Rock Hard, Ride Free, last year at Sugar, a club in Los Angeles. There numerous celebs were sighted gracing the red carpet in Toxic Visions duds; the likes of Metal Sanaz, Masuimi Max, and Ivy D’Muerta to name a few.
Despite her apparent success, Sharon says that she's been fortunate to have a really huge break recently that has helped a lot in propelling her line forward. "I just happened to meet Kat Von D on a recent trip to Los Angeles and [we] have become friends. She's been wearing Toxic Vision on LA Ink and around so that’s a big deal for Toxic Vision!"
Her continuing success however was not without perseverance and sacrifice. It's been a long road from her humble beginnings as a fledgling designer. "When I started, all I knew was how to operate a sewing machine. Everything else just kind of developed as time went on. I just stuck with it, slowly teaching myself new techniques and eventually became confident enough to try anything! Now there's 71,273,897 possibilities for what you can turn a blank piece of fabric into…," Sharon says.
Now, you might wonder, What could Sharon Toxic and Toxic Vision possibly be aiming for next? Well, eventually she would like to work with rock stars like Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Rob Halford, and rock legend, Alice Cooper. "I want to make their stage gear soooo bad," admits Sharon. She is also planning a massive takeover of the fashion world with the hope that her 'toxic vision' will one day be a household name. "I want Toxic Vision to become mainstream — in the sense that the whole world would be wearing tight leather pants and crazy motorcycle vests adorned with tigers and tassels," says Sharon. "Right now I am working towards a retail line for Toxic Vision. [However] it is kind of hush hush right now so I can't go into detail."