Animals Ask People: Caycee Black of Black + Graze

Caycee Black

Caycee Black has been a friend for over a decade and it’s been an absolute joy to watch her tackle creative endeavor after creative endeavor. She’s obviously preciously beautiful, and we love her because she shares so many of our own favorite perspectives: that Paulie Gee’s is the best, that you should pursue the projects that excite you, and that we’ll probably hit our pinnacle of coolness when we’re old ladies.


Tell us about Caycee Black/Black and Graze and why it rules.
I launched Caycee Black in Fall 2009 and have been working on it since.  It now mainly revolves around my paintings that I create each season, have printed on fabrics and then made into silhouettes I sketch or drape. I love the collection it feels like my first baby and I can see its growth and evolution over time. I’m currently working on my Fall 2014 collection and am so in love with the prints which are inspired by Walerian Borowzyk films. Borowzyk is a Polish film director whose films meet my criteria of the perfect blend of dark fairy tales interlaced with surrealism. Meanwhile, a new side project in the form of weddings has come to me as bridesmaid dresses and my first wedding gown. I’m currently finishing my third wedding and my first custom bridal gown inspired by the ocean and the movement of sea kelp. Black + Graze was my second baby I launched in August 2012 with my business partner Jenny Volodarsky. Black + Graze is a platform for selling NYC-produced designers and curated vintage pieces. We had a brick and mortar location for almost a year in Nolita, which was very successful. We are now concentrating on our web sales on our website, our new capsule Etsy collection blackandgrazeXetsy, and doing pop up shops a few times a year. I also have recently dove into acting as a new love and had my theatrical debut in July. My philosophy is: we are here on earth for a limited time why not try everything that inspires and excites your heart. If we don’t try we don’t ever know.

What do you like most about your neighborhood?
I love that as soon as I get off the subway I can breathe.  I love being close to the water and being able to walk my dog to Transmitter Park.

What’s your favorite spot to eat in your neighborhood?
It depends on the food! Troost is my everyday ritual for coffee delicious bites.  Milk and Roses has delicious paninis.  OK, Pauly Gee’s wins my vote with the Delboy pizza!

What’s the last thing that moved you to tears?
Leaving my  dog Falkor at my parents for the month :-(. Primal screaming in my acting class….ha ha! Seeing my friend wearing my first bridal gown.

What’s your favorite accessory?
My ring that my friend Georgia Varidakis made. I saw it and pictured myself at 60 still wearing it so of course I bought it. I love old ladies and think that’s when I will peak coolness wise.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Stay” by Lisa Loeb & Salt-n-Pepa “Shoop” and “Feed the Trees” by Belly

What’s the current banger that you can’t stop listening to?
It is between: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Same Love feat. Mary Lambert”and Daft Punk “Get Lucky feat. Pharrell Williams”

What’s your adult beverage of choice?
Rittenhouse old fashioned or any drink with mezcal!!!

Read anything good lately?
Yes! I love Jesse Pearson’s new zine/literary magazine Apology.  The interview with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim was awesome!

What’s a great work of literature that you secretly hate?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer... i just remember being depressed and bored by it in elementary school… ohhh I love and hate Anna Karenina… the love addict theme is relatable and sickening all at once.

Do you have an artist that you love that you want to tell the world about?
My sweet friend Evie Falci is an incredible talent.  She has a solo show coming up at Jeff Bailey.

If you could force someone to watch one movie, what would it be?
Ahhhh so hard!  Paris, Texas and Le Bonheur by Agnes Varda…Stardust Memories by Woody Allen… Tree of Life by Terrence Malick

Release your demons: embarrassing high school fact
My freshman homecoming dance i cut my dress shorter without putting it on first because I wanted to look sexier. I then stashed it in my drawer and planned to get ready at my friends house to avoid my mother seeing it.   The day of the dance my mom went to look for it so she could steam it….After seeing that it looked like a 90’s stripper dress and there was no way i could walk out of the house in a dress that was a top I was forbid to wear it.  Oh and my accessory of wearing 5″ black patent maryjanes didn’t help my cause.  I threw a teenage fit which included me pounding the carpet in my room.  Luckily I dug up my moms 70’s black maxi dress which fit perfect and ended up ruling much more.

One designer to rule them all?
Alexander McQueen

What shoes do you wear for an all-day outing?
depends on the outing…my Nina z clogs to wear to a ball. My navy suede Christian Loubotin’s to walk my dog and go to the bodega….:-)

Is there a woman out there who inspires you?
Piña Bausch

Are you a creator or a critic?
Creator!!!! I don’t believe in critics…they are wanna be creators

Caycee BlackCaycee Black.