Monday, May 24, 2010

I've Got A Feeling. . .

My Communications Director, Ashanti, and I will be attending the opening night runway event for the 2nd annual Full Figured Fashion Week on Wednesday, June 16 at BLVD. Started last year by plus-size trailblazer, Gwen DeVoe, Full Figured Fashion Week looks like a great initiative that celebrates the curvy fashionista as well as businesses that cater to her. So I will be there workin' it and connecting with store buyers and personalities as we prepare for our debut during New York Fashion Week. But you know that Ashanti, Wilbur's original curvy girl, has got to represent. So she will be wearing one of the designs from the new line in a fabric and color that I chose with her in mind. This Sunday past we met with my seamstress Victoria who nearly had the dress complete. And it was obvious that Ashanti will be a knockout.
On this Friday past, I held a casting at Mood Designer Fabrics to meet a batch of curvy cuties who would potentially model the new line. It was such a pleasant experience. No diva attitude and all the ladies were ready with a word of support. I am feeling positive about this new endeavor and I don't think it's going to take as much arm twisting as it has in the past to get retailers to invest in my aesthetic. Although I've been carried in quite a few stores over the years, none of them welcomed me or got excited about building a real business relationship. But I've got a feeling that my luck is about to change. . . for the better.

Peace & Fashion!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Here I Am!

Okay, so it's been a minute since I last wrote something here. Maybe some of you have been wondering where I've been. And the truth is that I've been crazy busy. And now we've gotta play catch up.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the opening of the new exhibit American High Style at the Brooklyn Museum. This is not to be confused with the very splashy opening night gala of the American Woman exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan that was attended by celebrities like the Oscar De La Renta clad Oprah Winfrey and fabulous fashion royalty. No sirree! No red carpet or television cameras or popping flashbulbs or overcooked chicken breast. There was, however, a bar stocked with wine, sparkling water, and soda and tables with assorted finger snacks like cheese and crackers and hummus that were a big hit with many of the ravenous visitors. This was the kind of event attended by the everyday fashion enthusiast, some of which were wearing shorts and flip flops. Pretense and posturing were absent as we were all just there in that great exhibition space to enjoy the majesty and workmanship of garments created by the likes of Norman Norell and Charles James. And the gowns were awe inspiring. But I think that sometimes it is nice to wear shoes and pretend to be a little more civilized. The dried chicken, however, should remain optional. I'm just saying!
Peace & Fashion!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Got Back (Pain)!

On Monday morning as I made my best attempt at being Suzy Homemaker with my Hoover vacuum cleaner, I bust a move that my back was not happy with. And as a result, my body was racked with pain. I couldn't even make it into the plantation this week. GASP! That's how bad it was. But I couldn't let it stop my game or alter my journey. So I did what any struggling designer and business owner would do, I presided over my empire (LOL!) from behind my computer screen. I'm not sure how we ever survived without the Internet, but I would have been dead in the water if it had not been for my Internet explorer.
On Monday, my good friends who are public relations professionals and I finished up a proposal we started working on last week requesting sponsorship dollars for my company's big debut to the plus size industry during New York Fashion Week in September. I've envisioned it more as an event than a runway extravaganza. The theme is The Super Woman and I am doing my part to empower and excite and clothe the curvy fashionista through my dresses. It's going to be a blast!
On Tuesday, I emailed the proposal to the company that we are interested in working with. Afterwards, I let my finger strokes do the walking as I posted an ad on craigslist for full figured fit models for this endeavor. I asked for measurement stats and photographs and added my height requirements. Some women just sent a photo and a phone number. One woman responded who was not even plus sized. I just don't know how to make it any clearer. But I got a lot of great responses. And Victoria, my seamstress, and I are holding a casting this evening to meet all the lovelies. Wish me luck!

On Wednesday, I tried to rest as much as possible during the day because I knew that I was surprising my honey for his birthday with tickets to see Diana Ross at Radio City Music Hall that night. After spending over $200 on those tickets, come hell or high water we were going even if I had to be carried in. Luckily, it did not come to that and I was able to work it out despite my back pain. This being my first Diana Ross concert, I had high hopes. And Ms. Ross did not disappoint. It was 1 hour and 40 minutes of delight with her singing some of my favorites.
While I am feeling a lot better, I must admit that it is difficult trying to be Mr. Fashion when you are walking around at half mast grimacing with pain. But like I always say, "You've gotta fake it, until you make it!" No truer words were ever spoken. Now please excuse me while I struggle to stand up straight and make it into Manhattan for some business I've got to handle.
Peace & Fashion!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Time Has Come

This weekend I did some serious soul searching. The catalyst for which was a very lengthy and introspective phone conversation I had with my friend Alexandre, the successful art gallery owner and purveyor of fine contemporary Russian art. An article published in this past Saturday's New York Times about the disappointing demise of Michelle Obama design darling Maria Pinto's business also contributed to my weekend of reflection. It forced me to take a closer look at my life. And I must, somehow, come to terms with the fact that my circumstances may have hindered my chances to be a successful fashion business owner. I've known from the beginning that I've had more than my share of handicaps. The business is severely under capitalized. I do not possess the technical skills like sewing and pattern making which might have made a small difference for my success. And I do not know the "right" people who would have catapulted my line to star status. But I always felt that the universe was speaking positively to me regarding my fashion odyssey. And it was telling me to keep on, persevere, and my monetary rewards were just on the horizon. Now 12 years later, I am unsure and tired. But I have given myself a year to give it the old college try. I need to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. And I am hoping that my plus size design endeavor is that magic trick. But if it's not, I will reinvent myself and become something more fabulous. Hey, if Madonna is the poster child for reinvention, then I certainly can become the postcard version!

Peace & Fashion!