Reflekt Muse: Amy Cakes

Amy Cakes Danky Dank is a NYC club figure, a knitwear designer for DEGEN, and also a Nicopanda darling. We chat with the bubble gum anti-princess about her nomad upbringing, her latest creations, and how Bjork and barbies shaped her life. Read her style story in Issue ยบ6 available in our webshop.

Tell me your life story

I was born in San Diego, California. My family moved when I was 4 to Mountainair, New Mexico to build a straw bale house. It was basically like living off the grid for 6 years. We lived in tents for the first year or so and then slowly moved into the house and got toilets and water. The electricity came from solar panels and a generator, so it would often go out at night. It was a great experience for me becauseI spent a lot of time in nature and with animals. I also learned how to live without electricity and luxuries. My dad is German and got offered a better job there when I was 10, so we moved to Freiburg in the south of Germany. It was really different because we were in another country but also had a normal apartment with electricity and water in a bigger building. We lived there for about 2 1/2 years. It was really hard for me because I was different from the kids I went to school with and they picked on me a lot because of it. But I'm really glad I got to live there because I learned a lot about myself. I also feel more connected to my German heritage because of it. My mom and I moved back to San Diego and that's where I went to high school. I came to New York City to go to Parsons, but I also felt a connection with the city since it is such a mixture of my experiences. I plan to stay here, but I think after I graduate I will spend some time traveling. 

Early style influences?

When I was 9 (and younger) I was inspired by a lot of 90s icons that I think have stuck with me. I loved Bjork and Gwen Stefani. I never got into Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. I used to glue jewels to my forehead and wear bindis my mom's friend bought me. I played a lot of dress up and would put time into the outfits I made. I also had a lot of Barbies and clothes, so I think that all got me into styling and fashion. I also watched a lot of movies because we didn't have cable growing up. My dad would bring home all sorts of movies and BBC sitcoms. The movie that I think inspired me most was Where The Heart is, the one from 1990 with Uma Thurman. Her character really inspired me.

Gwen Stefani, Bjork
Barbies, Uma Thurman in Where the Heart is

Personal styling trick?

I always use my fingers to put on my make up. It is the best device for blending. Besides that, I don't really have any rules or tricks.

How do you think people react to your style?

I get negativity, but it doesn't effect me because I don't really notice it. The best is when older people come up to me and tell me they love my style. I have also gotten some really cute reactions from kids. Sometimes people misjudge my personality because of the way I dress, but once they get to know me they are presently surprised.

Favourite fashion moment?

The chimera dress by Thierry Mugler.

What are your hobbies?

I listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of movies. I try to go to art events as often as I can. I make things all the time to wear.

 Amy and her beanie baby stole she made

Amy and her beanie baby stole she made

Do you dress for yourself or others?

Both. I dress how I want to feel, but also how I want others to feel. Like during fall and winter I try to dress more colorful and happy, because people usually dress darker during those seasons. So it keeps me happy but also makes other people happy because they are coming into contact with some color. I've actually had people come up to me and say this, so I'm not just assuming that this is how people react. Besides that, I dress how I feel and want to look.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on my thesis, which is basically an 11 look collection which will be presented in an installation habitat. My work is very one of a kind and costume related. Each look is a different person that I have interviewed about their style and personality. I'm using myself as a filter for that information. It will be presented in May.

What do you want to do in the future?

I would honestly do anything as long as I am happy. I would love to design Barbie clothes. I guess my dream would be to work for another designer or be a stylist or something and then make costumes for performers, like Christian Joy. 

What are your last words to our readers?

Don't be afraid of change, because it keeps you fresh and on your toes.

Follow her adventures and latest designs here: @amycakesdd