Benne Gezeritt Designs
The Twins of Benne Gezeritt Designs specialize in meeting the needs of those who collect or perform in exotic, specialty, and subculture costuming. Their design style is best recognized for its focus on unique flow and inventive crafting materials.
How did you originally get into your craft?
Our grandmother was the most amazing person. Costuming, silver smithing, stained glass; she had a hunger for any craft art or skill. She was a depression era woman which inspired a crafty personality. She was very eager to share with any indulgent mind the secrets of her creative process and we were included in many different forms of artistic expression. Our upbringing gave us a deep appreciation for hand crafting with love and attention to detail that is a key asset to our work today.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Enjoying dance and crafting as well as sharing that passion with others. We are particularly keen on bellydance (American Tribal Style as taught to us originally by Domba Dance Company in Phoenix AZ). The list sort of goes on as far as costuming. Tribal dance, rubber fetish, steampunk; while dance is a passion, the creation of costuming holds a sense of performance unto itself.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Ooh, embarrassing. The sad truth of it is that managing to create with the same enthusiasm as we exercise in seeking and buying materials makes it an unending battle to settle the books. Also, meeting the needs of our custom orders while still creating our own creations for the public. Even now we need a third!
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
We tried to figure that tough one out like everyone else, but I guess we got lucky and never did. Now we have found something rewarding that we are impassioned about. I guess the best answer is that we hope that someday we can do without having to keep up with a "day job".
What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
The Nosferatu Gloves are so much fun. Of all the things we create, those are the one we find ourselves putting on and posing and laughing with the most. When we go out they always make such an impact.
What other artists out there do you love?
"I have stood on the shoulders of giants." We love the works of cinematic costumers like Bob Ringwood and Eiko Ishikawa, nothing is as impressive as seeing concepts prove themselves in action. Knowing that experimental ideas can function in moving performance beyond the dress form. I have to confess that when it comes to flow and elegance a certain element of our work is influenced by Yoshitaka Amano, Japanese Animator. We cut our teeth on the concepts of Brom, Frank Frazetta, Michael Turner.It is important to mention the faceless tribes of the Eastern hemisphere, whose traditional costuming inspires a great deal of our work. We also would not be able to forget the influence of Vampire Technology; and it is deeply saddening to know that Alexander McQueen will no longer be shocking the fashion industry.
What does your future hold?
I suppose that depends on our supporters. Your support collectively makes our muse. The continued evolution of performance seems hand in hand with the continued changes in costuming. We would be helpless without the wonderful support our online community has shown us. They are as much a part of our creations as every stitch and pin.