Monday, November 22, 2010

It's All Me!

I lost track of time and before I knew it a month had passed and I hadn't posted anything to my online journal.  Truth be told, I've had a lot of things on my plate and the blog took a backseat to all my stuff.  So I am just going to have to take this moment to fill you in on all the behind-the-scenes fashion drama. 

Maryellen & Wilbur at November to Remember Event
Having nothing at all to do with fashion and just on a personal note, on October 31 I celebrated another birthday.  I am officially 43 and FANTASTIC!  It was all very low-key with the family and then I was among the thousands of people at the Halloween Day Parade down in the Village with my close friend, Chris.  There were lots of half-naked people masquerading as something ghoulish or sexy (I'm not sure which?) and I know they were cold.  In NYC, you can use any occasion to show off your stuff.  But pneumonia as a side effect is so not cool.  I'm just sayin'!  I've shunned big blowouts and costumes for awhile, but I think when I turn 45 I am going to have to reconsider. I am just happy to have reached this age in good health, loved, and pushing forward.

So you already know about my trials with Bloomingdale's and the less-than-positive meeting I had with the buyer for Special Size Dresses.  Well, it seems that all the powers-that-be are on the same page and are not interested in opening accounts with any new vendors.  This information comes directly from my favorite salesperson in the women's department at the 59th Street flagship, Scheffie, who met with the regional director and general manager.  I guess, all's well that ends well.  Next season I will perhaps have a different story to tell.  Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue also did not take the bait, so Ashanti and I have been chugging ahead and contacting the specialty boutiques.  We've heard some positive things from a couple of the stores.  So we're in talks to see what we can do to seal the deal.  I promise to keep you all in the loop.

Having written this blog for over a year now, it became apparent to many, especially my sister-in-law, that I have a voice.  And I was urged to write my book.  So I have begun.  I settled on writing my memoir and started early in the summer.  I asked certain people whose input I trust, like my friend Sheila Rule, a former New York Times journalist, to tell me if I was headed in the right direction.  Sheila assured me that I was a good writer and had an interesting enough story to tell.  But, she said, I was leaving out the meat and only providing the bones of the story.  I needed to give a full picture of my life.  I've had to re-live some parts of my life that I had forgotten or that I found painful.  But the process has been surprisingly very cathartic.  And I really like how I've been able to craft a visual by using words on a paper.  I am shooting to finish it by sometime in 2011.  And then I will have to tackle the whole publishing monster.  But right now I am just taking it one step at a time and enjoying the process.

I've also been busy supporting some of my colleagues in the curvy community.  Two Saturdays ago, On November 13, I attended my friends Jeannie Ferguson and Tasha Hill's presentation of their Big Girls United (BGU) Chameleon Collection..  And this Saturday past, my friend Dhylles Waight-Davis presented her Katwalk Katerers' November to Remember charity runway show.  I am always happy to support my friends in their endeavors and happier to be a part of the audience instead of the one running around frantic and crazy making sure everything is running smoothly.  The curvy community is tight knit and many times I see some of the same players.  But that's okay with me.  When I was creating fashions for the less ample, I always felt like an outsider and it is this sense of community that makes me feel like I am home.
Wilbur & Ashanti show some love to Jeannie of Big Birls United

P. Crawford, Wilbur, and Renee J congratulate Dhylles on her Novemeber to Remember Event

Ashanti and Wilbur meet face-to-face with Renee Jennings 
I am busy working on the next collection which my team and I will present here in New York City in March.  I've already started fittings!  We've got a full plate already for 2011 including a trip to Los Angeles to participate in a runway show for a fashion initiative called Kiss The Curves.  I feel like there are just not enough hours in the day.  For real!  But I promise to be more diligent about documenting my odyssey.  I'll be back after the holiday.  But until then, Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Peace & Fashion!