CCAD Grad Launches New Fashion Brand Chertova

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

A new brand from a recent CCAD grad has landed on the scene.

Chertova, a Columbus-based line designed by 23-year-old Rachel Chertoff, is made up of otherworldly accessories, priced between $45-$85, and modern handmade clothing, starting roughly at $500.

Jayme Jurkovac, 24 and a Kent State grad, is the other half of the brand, managing its marketing and social media.

Chertova unofficially made its debut at the 2014 CMH Fashion Week Finale Runway Show, and it's possible that you'll see looks from the collection in a Columbus boutique soon. Jurkovac says to expect an announcement on that front near the end of the year.

We talked with the two about the brand's aesthetic and the pieces they wear every day.

-Taylor Starek, @taylorstarek

What inspires your designs?

R: I create concepts from life experiences and journeys and from failures and achievements, and I use that as a way to tell a story through a 3D form, whether it be metal or fashion.

J: Rachel makes it all by hand.

What materials are you working with?

R: The jewelry is all sterling silver. I like to use genuine stones. As for the fashion, I try to use a lot of natural fibers, like wool or alpaca. I also like how they come in their natural form. There's no dye to it necessarily.

Describe the woman wearing Chertova.

R: She's really easy going. She's the kind of person who's up for an adventure but is still looking stylish. If she had to pack a bag, she could throw anything in it and make so many outfits and still look amazing. It's all still very functional. If I had to put a name to it, I'd say Mary-Kate Olsen.

J: I think with the jewelry and the aesthetic, it's like everyday wear. A lot of women can wear it. It's something that you can just pick up and put on and wear every day of your life. I only take mine off to shower.

Do you have a favorite piece?

R: Right now, the Initial Ring. I kind of like that one because it's more interactive with the customer because they get to tell me how they want to personalize it. I like being able to connect with the customer on that level. Also, the Celestial Ring is one of my favorites. It looks like an X when you're looking at it from bird's-eye view. It's two rings, and one's inside the other. It makes me think of how stars orbit.

J: All of our best friends have the Celestial Ring, so it's kind of like our group ring.

What's coming for Chertova?

J: We have the Raw Columbus fashion show in December, and we have the CCAD Art Show in December, too, so we're mostly looking at the holiday collections right now, getting everything ready for customers to start purchasing gifts.

R: We'll be having some special holiday items, too. I currently don't have any bracelets, so I'm working on some ideas for that and just trying to make some pieces with an extra punch, whether it's the stone or the shapes that I use, just something that makes it that much more special for the holidays.

Photos courtesy Chertova