Fashion meets life.
"Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes beauty."
-Diane von Furstenberg
-Diane von Furstenberg
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On August 26th, 2017, Darrus Cofield married the love of his life...but let’s rewind a little bit. When talking things over with their wedding planner (Demetris Faison of Creative Touch Events), Demetris recommended Stitchings.Co to the groom and later contacted Chris Crawley. The first time Darrus met Chris, they got down to business straight away and chose the lining of the jacket and other details of the tux. “Chris was very professional and helped me create the look I wanted for my wedding. I didn't want a traditional tux like from Men's Warehouse but wanted something to satisfy my style and I wanted something different from what I've seen. I was hype to find someone to meet my needs.”
I was so excited to speak with Kayla Baker, daughter to Jennifer Baker(the head honcho of NCFW) and owner of the Makeup Confectionery. I met Kayla in passing at the show and was surprised to find out who she actually was! Here's her interview!
Now of course on the phone we said our proper hello's....but to get you to the good stuff quickly I skipped that. First question isss...
In Charlotte, North Carolina Dayvonia Minnis runs her elegant couture fashion company DayLa Couture(the name is a mixture of her first and middle name). Wanting to blend who she is with the type of fashion she creates, Dayvonia produces elegant, dainty clothing with an edgy twist. Wanting it to be more than just a clothing line, DayLa Couture wants to spread clothing acceptance. "I feel like in society we deem people in social class, how cool they are or how pretty or sexy they are by their clothing. I want DayLa Couture to be a company where we can be able to make people feel good. If you purchase anything from us you get a quote that's encouraging words. I feel like you can wear anything, but if you don't see yourself as beautiful, you don't see yourself as strong, confident - then whatever you wear is not gonna look good. It's how YOU wear it . It's in your confidence, in you how exude- what you exude." Although the company has only been around since 2013, Dayvonia was imagining herself designing way before.
In Rock Hill, South Carolina Hannah Jacobson runs HCJ designs out of her home. The small and upcoming design company offers formal and sports wear. Hannah actually started off making custom wedding gowns, but decided to broaden her horizons. Wanting to design since she was a kid, she started sewing at 8 and flew from there! The first thing Hannah designed at the age of 16 was a tie dye dress. "I loved the 60's at the time," she gushes. Now she takes a lot of inspiration from the 40's and 50's. Her favorite element? "I know it's going a little further back than the 50's, but I love the little black dress. It's such a simple design concept that always looks so classy."
Speaking of classy, let's talk wedding dresses! Hannah loves working with lace and for her favorite dress, the client had loads of it. "I made this ivory high low dress and the client had a ton of vintage lace her grandmother gave her. The dress was so much fun to make and I was in heaven with that vintage lace!" Non-traditional wedding gowns are her absolute favorite. "Its fun to take a different yet elegant spin on traditional designs. "
At the age of six, Chynna Thomas experienced the horror of having her dad deported. "He's in a country called Guyana. I really got motivated because immigration basically told me I'd have to wait until I'm 21 to file any paperwork. I wanted to start a business that pertained to other countries and just the world. To give back to other people who went through similar situations like me." So, how old do you think you have to be to start a line of soccer jerseys sporting the name of countries? It turns out 19 is the answer. "I actually just graduated from high school in 2016. I know I'm a baby! But in high school, in 10th grade I did an extra club called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and they helped me do my DBA and write my business plan. We did an investor panel and they donated $1,083 to my business and I got to purchase all the items that I needed. My mom gave me like $800 to finish off spending and I ordered all my accessories and I snuck in a T-shirt press. I kind of started ordering T-shirt press materials and I didn't know anything about it but I got into it and here I am today."
Chris Crawley, one of the masterminds behind Stitchings.co stationed in Raleigh, NC, expressed his passion for the business. Stitchings.co is a company bringing everyday men custom high-quality (all suits, pants, and jackets are 100% wool, all shirts are 100% fine cotton) made-to-measure menswear at an affordable price.
Chris joked around with the idea of designing urban t-shirts at 15. "As I grew out of my sneakerhead phase and started dressing more professionally, I noticed my athletic build made it hard to shop for clothes. So I'd spend lots of money on tailoring and the quality of clothes found in stores didn't match the price. After toying with the idea of creating a solution for about 2 years, I linked up my 2 co-founders Sombat Southivorarat and Ank Shah to start Stitchings.co, custom high-quality made-to-measure menswear at an affordable price." What was the design that pushed the company? "I'm known for wearing stuff others wouldn't think of when it comes to color combinations and fabric. However, my first design was simple in approach. A burgundy, peak lapel, 2×2 double breasted, white ox-horn button suit. When I wore it to a conservative function, I had heads turning and people asking where I got it from. I was hooked at that point. Some of our first sales came from people I met that night."
Fitness Fanatics is a fitness clothing company ran by Sara Brown in Burke, Virginia. Offering a variety of sizes for the fitness wear, Sara sells online at www.fitness-fanatics.myshopify.com. I had the opportunity to interview her (via text, how cool!) and ask all the questions I'm sure you're dying to know the answers to!
We're all familiar with people telling us a career in art or fashion isn't a career at all, and Sara experienced it first-hand. "[It] turns out it never occurred to me when I was young that being a designer was an option." Society is barely accepting being a "designer" as a reasonable job in 2017. She decided to take the plunge and designed a racetrack tank which is still available to purchase. When asked what inspired her to start, she recalls a conversation she had with a friend.
Face it...pimples suck.
And truthfully, no one wants to post a selfie on Instagram that has a red blotchy friend taking the spotlight.