Skye Drynan is not your average Fashion Designer, much like Steve Jobs wasn’t your average Tech Business Owner. Both Drynan and Jobs, though in different industries, have accomplished the same goal: making a mark and standing out. But Skye Drynan wasn’t always the superstar designer to some of the world’s most famous names, she got her start in the small town of Whitefish, Montana with a population of 7,000 where she was born and raised. After a college scholarship that would eventually lead her to a career on Wall Street, Skye Drynan recently left after two decades in finance and biotechnology investment to develop her dream fashion house, “House of Skye.” Skye’s the type of girl that feels just as comfortable commanding the attention at a board meeting to rocking Levi’s and cowboy boots playing pool at a dive bar as she is all dressed up in stilettos and a sparkly outfit at a philanthropic gala. “House of Skye” and her flashy signature brand Dulce Bestia, meaning ‘Sweet Beast’ in Spanish, represent the idea that we all have duality within us, we can be both Rock N’ Roll and Haute Couture, we can be biotech investors by day and successful fashion designers by night!
Dulce Bestia has been worn by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga and Tyler Posey. Its story has been told in L’Officiel Arabia, Glamour, Elle, and they just launched their “House of Skye” Couture Collection on Amazon Fashion. The LA Fashion Magazine was able to sit down with entrepreneur, creator, and designer of Dulce Bestia Skye Drynan for an exclusive interview, check it out!
LAFM: Skye, you have such a wild story, from Montana to Wall Street, Wall Street to Fashion Couture, can you tell us your story?!
Skye Drynan: As you know I always loved fashion growing up, but I didn’t go directly into it from the start. I left Montana for college followed by my first job after graduating at a call center on Wall Street in the late 90s! Moving to New York actually led to two decades in the finance and investment industry, which I just recently left to fully focus on developing my luxury brand. It’s crazy to think back that I had this really super geeky high-stress Wall Street job where I was working full time as a partner at my firm. I was always super creative growing up. I began spending more and more time working on fashion at night and on weekends. I was seriously a biotech investor at a firm by day and a fashion designer by night!
My fashion business officially began in 2016 when I started developing the idea of a backless bra that actually offers support. Because I’m from biotech land, I’m used to bigger companies trying to knock off the technologies of smaller companies because those small companies don’t have the strategy or patents in place to protect their products. Today, I’ve already created a patent and trademarking strategy for “House of Skye.” I have patents in tech and fashion. This includes multiple patents globally (88 countries) for my bra technology that has high-tech and high-function, but also this high-fashion side. The bra is going to be super sexy with Swarovski crystals, but also super usable because it will have unique hardware and functionality.
LAFM: I love that! Skye, you’ve designed for Gwen Stefani, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, can you tell us a little bit more about Dulce Bestia and how it really stands out as a design house?
Skye Drynan: We’re definitely a peacock brand, so if you don’t want to stand out, we’re probably not your cup of tea! Someone who is confident and appreciates craftsmanship and loves ingenuity within the piece itself is really the Dulce Bestia customer. I think those that have worn us before or are thinking about purchasing a piece, appreciate our attention to detail, quality, and creativity, but also are seeking some items that have a unique functionality element like my Cardinal Transformer jacket. We’re for people that are willing to do things a little differently, someone who marches to their own drumbeat!
I created Dulce Bestia which means ‘Sweet Beast’ in Spanish. I came up with the name because for one thing I love animals and I was also thinking about how everyone and everything has duality. Even in nature, magnificent creatures that you may be afraid of are very nurturing with their young, so I really embarked on this concept that everyone has these different components in them. With Dulce Bestia, I dress both males and females. Dulce Bestia really is sort of this James Bond / 007 / femme fatale meets Rock n’ Roll with a whimsical twist on the aesthetic side. I’m a big fan of craftsmanship, and a lot of the materials we’re using are proprietary pieces I designed that are being made in Italy or custom beadwork I designed being created in India.
While we are headquartered out of Montana, we also work with Maison Privee and have a satellite Atelier because we have a lot of A-list clients that want custom work. Me and most of my team are working through the snow in Montana. We’ve really been non-stop in designing, working, and creating in my hometown. Given my unusual background on Wall Street, one day I’ll be designing a dress and the next day I’ll be sitting down with my CFO and working on financial spreadsheets and scenario analyses. I provide a unique perspective for running my company because I’m a creative type who designs, but I also understand how to run a global business. The “House of Skye” brand and lines are high-tech, high-function and high-fashion. I think in many ways that’s missing in the fashion industry. A lot of times you get the high-function, but you lose out on the high-fashion aspect, and there doesn’t need to be a choice in that! We try to marry those things together, and I try to create things that I would love to dress myself and my friends in, so I think that’s what makes Dulce Bestia really stand out!
LAFM: Skye, Gwen Stefani recently wore an incredible beaded, fringe, flowy, silver sparkly outfit for appearances on The Voice. Can you tell us all about designing this amazing piece?
Skye Drynan: For Gwen, I really envisioned a ‘walking chandelier.’ She’s so nice and friendly, and her look is so glam but rock and roll. She even sent me flowers to thank me and the Dulce Bestia team for the look, which was very thoughtful. I really wanted to create something that was a showstopper piece for Gwen, but that she could move in! To create this iconic look, we worked around the clock for weeks to get this made. It includes plexiglass, crystal, glitter leather with crystals all over it, and fringe hanging from her arms. This piece was all hands-on deck because it was such a unique opportunity and such a short timeframe.
As a fashion designer, I get inspired by so many things, but for that piece specifically, I was inspired by my hometown of Whitefish, Montana. It’s such a beautiful place to grow up, and sometimes we get these snow storms where everything will freeze over. In the morning, if you get a sunny day, you end up getting these willow trees that are covered with ice and it looks like crystal fringe hanging off the branches. For me, Gwen Stefani’s outfit makes me think of a bedazzled superhero on one hand and the beauty of nature and ice I grew up with on the other. Montana is the land of snow and ice, but also of sparkle. When I’m designing outfits, I always think about how it’s going to function and if it is comfortable to wear and not suffocating? I want people to wear my pieces and feel confident and beautiful, but also like they can sit down if they need to! The crystal fringe on Gwen’s piece zips off in sections so it isn’t as heavy for long days of filming.
LAFM: As a fashion designer, what has been your biggest accomplishment and your biggest challenge?
Skye Drynan: My biggest accomplishment is also my biggest challenge. I’m really excited and really proud of my team and everything we’ve accomplished this year, even during the pandemic. As a majority owner in “House of Skye” and my brand Dulce Bestia, I’m always thinking about how to build the right team. I’ve gotten really lucky with the team I have as far as preserving the company culture, of high-quality craftsmanship and inventive, innovative designs, and working with a team that’s really passionate about what they do. I’m really proud of my team in terms of celebrity placements and getting on best dressed lists. I feel like we get these great milestones every day, but from a commercial perspective I have to think bigger, and also focus on developing my ready-to-wear pieces.
Doing custom as well as ready-to-wear is a huge accomplishment and has been a real effort on everyone’s part. We make things in-house as a team, but now we’ve gotten a lot of momentum and are making things in Europe, Bali, and Sri Lanka too. We’re also collaborating with a company in Colorado for the Ski Wear collection. It’s a real concerted effort. A challenge is preserving our company culture through new hires and supply chain management. We’re making pieces all over the world for Dulce Bestia designs, and we have to make sure the quality is there all the way through. That’s a challenge for any high-end luxury designer. Fashion is really a team sport, and while I’m the Creative Director and designer, I also am the CEO and work with people on production to corporate structures and patents, which is complicated but also very exciting.
LAFM: Thanks for that perspective! It’s amazing to me from a fashion standpoint how creative people have been during the pandemic, very inspiring! My last question is-what’s next for Dulce Bestia?!?!
Skye Drynan: “House of Skye” is the type of brand that can really take you from the bedroom to the red carpet to the ski slope. We have worked hard to develop new and exciting things in 2021. First off, Dulce Bestia is now shoppable through Amazon Fashion under the “House of Skye” page, which houses our fashion forward Dulce Bestia signature line that celebrities have worn and are now available for anyone to purchase. Next year, we’re also releasing a line of intimates that will include my patented backless, transformer bra, our Snow Beast collection, which is our outerwear line, as well as DB Street Couture, and a few other exciting things I can’t quite share yet, so stay tuned!