About the Brand
Chuck’s Lab is for those who feel empowered to defy the odds and embrace life, a label fueled by the fiercely competitive and passionate energy of its creator, Charlie Ryan. Ryan’s exclusive design, Secrets (above), was influenced by personal experiences—a piece that won him the Scholastic Art Awards national gold medal in 2020. The outfit is an example of Ryan’s unique aesthetic and is symbolic of the invisible hurt and anxiety that dyslexics endure. Much like a person with dyslexia, the outfit is more than what it appears to be. When seen under ordinary light, it is normal, but under blacklight, it reveals a collection of words often internalized by dyslexics. Chuck’s Lab turns the ordinary into extraordinary, embracing the uniqueness that defines us.
About the Creator
Charlie Ryan is a Freshman at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). During his sophomore year of high school, he sustained a leg injury that required two surgeries and sidelined him for eighteen months from the sport he loved, lacrosse. School had always been a challenge for Charlie due to dyslexia, but the lacrosse field was a place of solace, where he felt confident and free. After the injury, it was clear that his dream of playing college lacrosse was over, but not wanting to dwell on the negative, Charlie took up a new hobby and taught himself how to sew. Interested in fashion and art, it seemed like a good fit. Since then, he hasn’t looked back and has spent all his free time designing and sewing clothes and accessories. Less than a year after learning to sew, Charlie won a contest for emerging high school fashion designers. The prize was a year of professional sewing classes. During that time, the streetwear store Produce in Portland, Oregon, started selling his designs. Things quickly took off after that! Although he returned to the lacrosse field and experienced the thrill of contributing to his team winning a state championship, his passion had changed. His leg injury was an unlikely gift. Charlie is fervently building a career in fashion and design. He will continue to expand Chuck’s Lab while pursuing a degree at SCAD.
When you have dyslexia, school sucks! "My parents always told me "Dyslexics struggle in school because the system is not designed for students with a strictly creative type of thought process. When you're older, you'll use your different type of thinking to do something amazing." K-12 was not fun, but a few amazing teachers believed I had a lot more to offer than standardized tests showed. They encouraged and challenged me. I hope my story can be used to show why education reform is necessary. If I believed everything standardized tests said about me, then my world would be a dismal place. The creative process is exciting. I'm hyped to continue thinking differently, and collab with other creative minds. - Charlie Ryan
(right: part of the clay face collection I made in AP ceramics class, they morphed into drawings and now embellish many of my designs).
Entertainment Weekly, My Hand In Yours Pillow by Chuck's Lab - EW 2020 Holiday Gift Guide
Lake Oswego Review - “Charlie Ryan has it Sew Right”
Produce Portland - Feature
Lake Views - Charlie Ryan: Lake Oswego High School’s Fashion Icon
Portland Mercury - Fade to Light: Portland Fashion on the Edge
Lake Oswego Review - LO High School Students Earn Fashion Design Scholarships