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Central MA Up + Comer: Dancer + Designer Kayleigh Lucci

Thursday, March 06, 2014

 

An injury allowed dancer Kayleigh Lucci's career to take a turn into the world of fashion and design.

As a graduate of Clark University with a BA in Screen Studies, Kayleigh Lucci has worked in the fields of both visual and performing arts. From a young age, she has been involved with fashion through professional modeling, set design, costume design, and as a performance stylist.

Her proudest accomplishment thus far is starting her own line of bow ties called The Magnetic Bowtie, released in February of 2014. They are handmade bow ties that are held on with a magnetic back. Currently, these bow ties are being sold online, but soon will be available at local shops. Lucci prides herself in staying up to date with the latest fashion trends and styles and finds enjoyment in expressing her creativity through fashion and design. She also expresses herself through dance with a group based out of Boston called Static Noyze.

SW: Fashion has played a big part in your life since you were young. How are you incorporating that into a career?

KL: In Fall of 2013, I decided to take fashion styling seriously by making it my full time job. In just a few months, I was fortunate enough to have my designs featured on TedxTalk and in Baystate Parent Magazine. I have styled a number of photo shoots for local companies including Coco’s Closet and Sweet Bakery.

Combining my love of fashion and dance, I have become the wardrobe stylist for the award winning and nationally known dance company Static Noyze. This theatrical dance company allows me to be as creative possible with their fun themes and stories. Working with a dance company also makes me constantly challenge myself to create attire that is eye catching as well as functional. Recently, I won an award for my costume design at the well-known World of Dance competition.

SW: You are, first and foremost, a dancer. What type of dance?

KL: I focus mostly on hip hop, but I love to explore and try as much as I can. Currently I dance with Static Noyze as well as act as wardrobe stylist. We combine hip hop and contemporary to create theatrical performances. We are storytellers. I am also in an all girls group called PROject Nailz. PROject Nailz also focuses on hip hop, but we also like to get a little more feminine. Dancing is my passion. It’s what I love to do, and I want to continue growing and learning. My major fear has always been an injury that would keep me from dancing.

SW: In November of 2013, that fear became a reality. What happened?

KL: Two times a week I watch a 4-year old girl. She is adorable—bright blue eyes, blonde hair, and the sweetest personality. While watching her, I quickly went to use the restroom but the door behind me was swollen shut. I tried everything: kicking, pulling, prying; I even tried to unscrew the doorknob. Nothing worked. No matter what I did, it would not budge. I tried calling the little girl numerous times to see if she was okay…of course, there was no answer! I started panicking and the worst possible scenarios crossed my mind.

The only way I could get out fast enough was by climbing out of the window and swinging to the nearest balcony. I knew the door on the balcony was unlocked. Apparently, I thought I was a superhero. I know now I am far from that. I fell 2 stories. I had enough adrenaline to get myself into the house and up the stairs. Thankfully my charge was okay, but my foot was completely shattered. I have never felt so much pain in my life, but once I saw her face, a sense of calmness came over me.

I went to the ER right away, and about a week later I had surgery. I broke 8 bones, and had a Lisfranc Fracture. My entire foot split in half. The doctor’s told me the one thing I did not want to hear: that I most likely will never dance again.

SW: How did you handle hearing that your greatest fear could be reality?

KL: I was crushed. I cried for days. I have been dancing for years. Suddenly everything was taken away from me. I have never felt depressed before; it was such a weird feeling. I hated everything.

SW: What changed everything for you?

KL: After moping for way too long, I knew I needed to do something to get my mind off of my “useless future”. I knew I would be out of work for a long time and this REALLY freaked me out. I have college loans to pay off! Instead of watching every season of Gossip Girl, I wanted to do something useful with my time. I was done being sad. That’s not who I am. I wanted to do something that would benefit me, as well as challenge me. I wanted to do something that I never thought I could do. So I started my own business.

SW: I think it is such a wonderful feeling when you make the step forward to be an entrepreneur. What is your new business?

KL: I started my own line of bow ties called The Magnetic Bowtie. They are handmade and whimsical bow ties that are for adults and children. No pin piercing backing, no awkward fastening, no permanent holes in your clothing; these bow ties are attached with just a strong magnet and easy for kids to put on themselves. I found a new passion while injured and I still get to be creative...just in a different way. 

SW: What is your advice for others facing adversity?

KL: Look at life in a different way. Even being injured can spark creativity. Don’t use this time to feel bad for yourself, take advantage of it. Do something you have always been too scared to do. It has been over 3 months and I still can’t walk, but I can honestly say that this injury has been a blessing in disguise. I have created something that is my own, and it’s a really great feeling! Don’t just sit in your bed watching Netflix, and stop replaying the moment before you got hurt in your head; it will make you go crazy. Do something that you never had the time to do before. I guarantee if you try it will make the time pass by...and who knows, maybe you will find a new love! Use time to your advantage!

SW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KL: Hopefully The Magnetic Bowtie will be selling in stores nationwide! It’s a really fun and different product that I stand behind 100%. I would also love to own my own clothing boutique, as well as a styling company. I love working with kids and want to focus on children’s fashion. I want to sell a lot of local artist’s work, as well as my own. Of course my bow ties will be there too! I would use the clothing in my store to help style different photo shoots and events all around the east coast. I would also love to be dancing again. If I could work with fashion and dance, I would be the happiest person alive.

 

Central MA Up + Comers is a weekly profile of a member of the next generation as they are making their mark on the Central Ma workforce and community. Join us every Thursday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of the local digital generation. If you have suggestions for a profile, please email [email protected].

Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.

 

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