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Fashion / Liberians Position To Join The Global Fashion System by urbanfashion(m): 8:18am On Nov 25, 2016
With the accession of the Republic of Liberia's membership to the World Trade Organization there has been considerable dialogue amongst Liberian nationals in the United States about the economic future of their West African nation.[/size]



This past July, during the Liberian Independence Day celebrations in Washington, DC the Liberian Ambassador to the United States reminded his constituents that Liberian nationals abroad, particularly in the United States could do more by taking advantage of the unique trade relations among the United States and West African nations. With the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), there are still advantages for individual entrepreneurial opportunities that would stimulate more trade with West African nations. "Liberians need to take advantage of the AGOA act. How can Liberians turn AGOA into an opportunity?" expressed Hon. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, ([size=7pt]Liberian Ambassador to the US



During that same Independence Day celebration, there was a fashion presentation that displayed garments manufactured in Liberia, 'The Pride of Liberia Collection' by Tekay Designs. Each garment expressed brilliant color with elegant form. The dresses were manufactured using Liberian country-cloth. A soft, hand woven cotton textile that has natural dyes applied to produce a finished print fabric or garment. There were colorful tie-dye patterns applied to several of cocktail dresses and other semi-formal attire. As the cut of the dresses have an influence from western gowns. The fashion designer introduced herself as the Liberian Fashion Ambassador, appointed by Liberia's National Tailor's Union. Ambassador Kimma Wreh was expressing the idea of Liberians not only being fashionable, but also they should invest whole-heartedly into Liberia's apparel and textile manufacturing capabilities.

Ms. Wreh is the daughter of the late Counselor Tuan Wreh. He was a former Liberian Senator of Grand Kru County. He was also a Dean of the Law School at the University of Liberia. Her father authored numerous labor law books, maritime law books and is most remembered by his book titled, The Love of Liberty. As Liberia's Fashion Ambassador, Wreh's mission is to tour key cities to present 'The Pride of Liberia Collection' to bring awareness about Liberia's manufacturing capabilities in order to better position Liberia within the global fashion system. The collection has been presented in Houston Texas, Washington DC and Addis Ababa Ethiopia before the African Union. There is a scheduled appearance in Paris, France for early this November and New York Fashion Week in 2017.

"So, I am planning my first return trip to visit Monrovia this November, after twenty-seven years." Explains Wreh. "I plan to visit some of Liberia's apparel manufacturing facilities for producing ready-to-wear apparel. Through my non-profit organization, KDE Disability Africa Foundation, I will implement a training workshop to help Liberia's workers with disabilities enter the sewing and textile trade. Having a professional discipline is a key asset for Liberia's workforce to achieving the country's development goals. The people of Liberia are resilient, and every Liberian citizen matters in the future of Liberia's workforce." Wreh explains her vision further, [b]"The honorable Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced that while the market for some of Liberia's key natural resources, such as rubber and iron are now declining, the government would focus on stimulating agricultural growth and trade. Cotton... a natural resource, is agriculture. Liberia has the capability to produce cotton textiles for industrial applications, home fashions, garments and fashion accessories. There are numerous applications for the use of cotton goods. This is why I've created a contemporary fashion line with cotton garments and accessories made in Liberia." Wreh address her personal insights, "In the United States there is uncertainty about where manufactured goods will be produced. Political candidate, Donald Trump makes a point about pulling all US manufacturing out of China because he believes the United States current trade deals among China lacks integrity. I instinctively believe now is the time for West African nations, specifically Liberia, to step up trade initiatives with the United States. As the United States moves away from being a manufacturing nation, we Liberian nationals who live in the western markets should design products and create opportunities for manufacturing in Liberia. This is the most proactive way African nationals can help Africa raise economically. Now that Liberia has joined the WTO and the AGOA is renewed, I am excited! I foresee promising opportunities back home in Monrovia."[/b]

Wreh's optimism about Liberia's role in apparel manufacturing is quite inspiring for a country that has been plagued with dooms day projections about its people. However, the reality about forging into the competitive apparel trade requires long-term economic stamina; and Wreh is seeking support. Ambassador Wreh has formed a strategic partnership between Liberia's National Tailors, Textiles, Garments and Allied Workers Union and, Excel Magazine International to help promote African fashions. Together the partners are looking to build a marketing and manufacturing cooperative with other fashion brands that wish to manufacture in Liberia, and leverage Excel Magazine's promotional distribution capabilities within the African diaspora. Excel Magazine projects positive images of Africa and excellence in people, places and events.

Upon Ambassador Wreh's travel to Liberia this November, she is scheduled to visit the LNTTGAWU in Monrovia, as well as discuss plans with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; and Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism for creating a foreseeable International Fashion Week event in Monrovia. Wreh's thinking is to not only pronounce Liberia's manufacturing assets amongst Liberians, but to invite neighboring countries to Monrovia to stimulate local trade as a start. Wreh's formidable plans do include an outreach for western markets to visit the city; and this concept is certainly within the cross hairs of Monrovia's struggling hotel and resort industry.
Fashion / Madam Ambassador upholds African Fashions from Liberia by urbanfashion(m): 12:34am On Oct 26, 2015


Throughout the developed world African nationals are racing to build sustainable marketplaces for independent designers of Afro-centric inspired fashions. Numerous African inspired Fashion Week events have emerged throughout three major continents. North America, Western Europe and West Africa. Setting the pulse for this movement is the World Fashion Organization‘s agenda to develop wealth creation and eventually free African societies from a dependency on world aid.

The ambitions of WFO is to foster fashion as a vocation; and further the development of 'World Fashion' by helping developing nations improve intercontinental trade. Overall, WFO aims to create a global market place for emerging fashion brands under the theme “We Fashion All”. According to the WFO apparel is the chosen market for economic development in Africa because of the high degree of influence African aesthetics has had in the western markets. “Rather than receiving financial aid from the international community, African nations need help developing commercially viable creative industries. The fashion industry has multiplying chains of vocation, which can create wealth. For example, the clothing industry creates jobs for Apparel Designers, Accessory Designers, Tailors, Weavers, Textile Designers, Pattern Makers, Wardrobe Stylists, Models, Fashion Photographers and Writers etc."
The plan for staging an international trading platform is to span events across three continents. The intention is to establish annual events in Paris, Montreal and Nigeria to form the largest African market place for “Made In Africa“ garments, textiles and lifestyle products. Each participating country in Canada, Paris and Nigeria events will be given an exhibition pavilion where they can promote not only their apparel and accessories products, but also culture and tourism potentials. Each participating country will be represented by a nominated Apparel Designer to introduce their country's tourism, trade and apparel manufacturing resources.

The African Fashion Reception event is in association with the World Fashion Organization. Mr. Lexy Mojo-Eyes is a member on the Board of Governors at WFO and he heads the annual Africa Fashion Reception event in collaboration with the African Union Summit; and the Nigerian Embassy in France. “We wanted to take advantage of some of WFO’s platforms for producing fashion events”. States Lexy. “Africa needs to build its own platform. We Africans have never been able to get into the mainstream of the global fashion networks and events. If Africa’s governing leaders decide to create a level play ground for Africa’s apparel manufacturers through heavy investments in the apparel sector like China did. The garment and textile industry can help Africa to eradicate poverty; if only our leaders realize the potentials in the fashion sector. Since we all wear clothes, this shows the economic viability of the garment industry. After the 2nd World War, the apparel sector brought Europe back to wealth creation through industrialization. The apparel market is doing the same for Asian countries. Fashion is the highest creator of jobs around the world.” Explains Lexy.

The Africa Fashion Reception is a Pan African initiative that will bring together fashion designers, dignitaries and media from over thirty African countries in a celebration of the proud theme ‘Africa is the new inspiration of global fashion’. There are currently thirty African nations being represented by a Designer. Unfortunately, logistical obstacles such as language barriers, political conflicts and under developed infrastructure are cause for hindrance to some of the 54 African nations participation. Preparations are being made for designers to present in Paris this November 21st. After this 2015 Paris event, the next African Reception event will be hosted in January 2016, at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Africa Fashion Reception event is aimed at attracting global attention to Africa’s garment and textile industries. With the AFR event positioned during the African Union Summit the coordinators will work to engage the governing leaders to help improve intercontinental trading conditions for better collaboration amongst fashion practitioners throughout the African continent. The ultimate goal is to promote self-reliance as the initiative for economic stability for citizens of Africa.
Designer Kimma Wreh of TeKay Designs is an award wining coutouress who has recently been recognized by the Vice President of Liberia, the Honorable Joseph Boakai; as Liberia’s Fashion Ambassador to represent the nation of Liberia on November 21st. As Liberia’s official Fashion Ambassador, Kimma will promote the nations design talent and manufacturing capabilities during the African Fashion Reception event in Paris. Kimma is an African National who resides in the United States, and creates ethnic inspired gowns and jewelry for special occasions. Tekay Designs has a distinguished couture collection that is currently produced in the West-African country of Ghana with a manufacturing expansion to Liberia.

“I am very proud to share my success in fashion with the people of Liberia.” explains Kimma Wreh. “I’ve donated clothing to needy women and children of Liberia because I want to help the people. I am honored to be nominated and represent my home country of Liberia during this prestigious event. My dream of being a fashion designer extends beyond myself. I wish to expand the production of my product line in Monrovia, Liberia. Apparel production can offer viable opportunities for employment and a better way of life for the people of Liberia, as well as many of the other developing nations that are represented at the African Fashion Reception event.
I fled Liberia during the civil war in the 1980's. Since then I've earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University, and a masters in business administration from LeTourneau University in Houston, Texas. My venture in fashion has been long and not without struggles. However, I've begun to see my hard work pay off. The opportunity to introduce Liberia's industrial capabilities to the western markets is another proud moment of success for me. And I want to collaborate with other fashion designers who wish to expand apparel production in Liberia as well.“ explains Wreh.

Partnering with the Liberia National Tailors, Textiles, Garment and Allied Workers Union (LNTTGAWU). Ambassador Wreh will lead a delegation of over fifteen Liberian professional tailors to participate in the Africa Fashion Reception event. The group will present a portfolio of sample merchandise produced at the Liberian Tailors Union’s production and training facilities. The presentation will include a live demonstration by a textile weaver producing Liberia’s official country cloth on the premises. Working on behalf of the Liberian government, the garment workers produce official uniforms for Hospitals, Police, Military, Immigration officials, school uniforms for students, as well as request for custom made garments. The union offers Liberian citizens fundamental training courses in tailoring, weaving, creating Tie and Dye cloths, home fashions for interior decoration, business and finance management courses. The union provides advanced courses for professional tailoring, such as pattern making, advanced garment design and construction. Advanced business management and strategic financial planning is also a part of the curriculum. As the established western apparel markets continue to look to African culture for style trends and creative inspiration. The tailors union sees opportunity for small enterprises in Liberia who are professionally savvy about the business of fashion. The future holds potential benefits with preparing Liberian professionals for the attention and buzz about the African fashion industry. According to the tailors union, Liberia’s educated workforce is invaluable for Liberia’s participation in a market place that promotes the African culture; it’s history and traditions.
Fashion / Seeking African Fashion Designers.. by urbanfashion(m): 12:21am On Jul 21, 2015
As the Fashion Designer Coordinator for African Fashion Week Houston 2015, I would like to extend an invitation for [Company] to showcase at the 2nd Annual African Fashion Week Houston hosted by the Fall of Signature Essence (FOSE). Friday, August 21, 2015 is the trade show and Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 is the fashion show. This year’s festivities will take place at the prestigious Ayva Center, 9371 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX. Participation is on a first-come-first serve basis, and subject to availability to applicants by the committee. A formal notification of acceptance will be delivered by email. Please submit your application early to assure your participation.

Click to Join!
Fashion / The Alhambra Ballroom Proclaims Bridal Royalty by urbanfashion(m): 1:00am On Jun 14, 2015
Each year, Harlem's historic Alhambra Ballroom celebrates the start of the wedding season with a showcase of culinary delights in the opulence of their Grand Ballroom. Beneath the draped chandeliers, local wedding vendors joined in to display their specialties in bridal services for budding couples. For this years event the Alhambra welcomed a refreshing, new approach to their presentation lineup by showcasing ethnic bridal gowns created by TeKay Designs "Queen of the Brides" gown collection. The Queen of the Brides is a prestigious and award winning luxury brand with design and production in Houston Texas and Ghana, Africa. The Fashion Designer, Ms. Kimma Wreh is internationally recognized for her ethnic inspired, and Afrique-Chic fashion creations.

" Queen of the Brides introduces a re-imagination of the conventional wedding. When we saw photos of these dresses on the Internet we knew the Queen of the Brides gowns would be a great fit for our bridal showcase." explains Alhambra's CEO Tracey Dechabert. Harlem is a place of history, ethnic diversity and there exist a cultural pride about African aesthetic. Harlem's brides need to see that there is a cultural alternative to contemporary bridal fashions. The gown, just like cuisine can set a tone to your wedding day that intuitively shares your families heritage. The fusion between cultural fashions and cultural foods can be an experience that resonates throughout generations. " Says Dechabert.

Queen of the Brides offers formal gown creations that includes quality pieces of jewelry that reference a historical time period. The collection exemplifies diverse cultures, as each gown represents a woman of royalty who has left an indelible mark on humanity. The collection includes gowns named after Queen Nefertiti, Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Queen Cleopatra Selene II, Queen Ankhesenamun of Egypt, Mumtaz Mahal - Mughal Queen of India, Queen Manta Tisi of South Africa, Queen Padmini of India, Queen Amina of Zaria Nigeria, Queen Nzingha Amazon of Matamba West Africa, Empress Candace of Ethiopia, Queen Consort Margherita of Italy, etc. The menswear line is culturally inspired with aesthetic themes that ranges from historic to contemporary design.

"We are really honored to have been asked to present Queen of the Brides to the Harlem community. New York is a melting pot of ethnic cultures and that's what makes this city an ideal place to present gowns that represent queens from varied cultures. Now, anyone can express their heritage and be a royal bride." Explains Fashion Designer, Kimma Wreh.

The bridal showcase was interactive, entertaining and offered a variety of food dishes for sampling. The fusion between fashion, food and music stimulated every sense to create an experience that offers couples unique cultural ideas for creating their special wedding day. Dechabert states, "Harlem is also growing more culturally diverse and we wish for this bridal showcase to be all-inclusive with vibrant cultures. At the Alhambra, we take pride in delivering on request for many types of international cuisine from our ethnically diverse clients."

Fashion / Styled In A Crown Of Glory by urbanfashion(m): 4:21am On Nov 09, 2014
Houstonians celebrated a week of fashion and philanthropy during the annual Houston Fashion Week showcased at the JW Marriott Hotel. Notable dignitaries in attendance were Ms. Trinelle Mc Hughes-Thomas from the City of Houston, Mayor's office, Miss Houston, Miss Teen Houston, Mrs. Texas Int'l, Miss Jr. Lone Star State and Miss Teen Texas. The event spanned six days; and is produced by a group of local models, fashion photographers and style enthusiasts who are in support of Houston's local Fashion Designers. There was a silent auction of dresses created by the participating designers to help raise financial support for the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's chapter in Houston. The catwalk was wheelchair accessible; making this the first wheelchair friendly runway format for the Houston Fashion Week event.

During the awards segment, one designer, Kimma Wreh of TeKay Designs was awarded as the Best Couture Designer and Best Bridal Designer title for the "Queen of the Brides" gown collection and the "Crown Collection" of formal gowns. Kimma Wreh also won the Best Fashion Designer of the year award. The voting is based on scores by affiliate networks of the event, which includes the Houston Fashion and Beauty Chamber. TeKay's Queen of the Brides Collection is a high-end bridal line with each gown representative of a historic woman of power and social significance from different countries around the world. The line is heavily influenced by ancient Egyptian and European styles and adorned with lavish accessories. The bridal collection carries white and cream colored gowns with gold trimmings. This season the line introduces a silver ensemble into the bridal collection. The bridal gowns were created using silver pleated satin fabric inserted into a silver metallic lace, which offers women a striking appearance.

TeKay continues to expand with a new line of high-end formal gowns titled the "Crown Collection" which also showcased this season and includes looks for pageant and red carpet occasions. The Crown Collection offers elegance with color, and was inspired by client's request for red carpet dresses." We've been working with several pageant events these past few years. Many of the contestants have utilized TeKay Designs because our dress collection is inspired by culture. Culture resonates with these ladies, and they wish to include their cultural expression into the pageant presentation to differentiate themselves from competitors. I've learned a lot about the demands for pageant winners to be glamorous since I've begun working within pageant events." Explains Creative Director, Kimma Wreh. " The need to be glamorous extends beyond the award winning moment. These ladies have philanthropic causes which they represent, and they help by enrolling financial sponsors to support their causes. With each public appearance or presentation they must bring that same level of elegance and charm to the fore-front. Being elegant is an occupational requirement of the title holder. Pageant queens are particular about wearing unique dress designs. God forbid another woman arrives at an affair wearing the same gown as the pageant winner! TeKay Designs is available to support in creating custom gowns for these women of discerning taste." claims Kimma.

TeKay Designs has lent its efforts towards bringing community together for various charitable causes. Global fashion is often the first to expose itself and help out when tragedies strike and financial assistance is needed. The Crown Collection positions the TeKay brand within a network of pageant queens who are ambassadors to philanthropic causes. Many pageant winners have shared the lime-light with TeKay during fashion charity events. The Houston Fashion Week event included a charitable fundraising segment that offered women with spinal cord disabilities to share the catwalk during a moment of glamour. Making this the first wheelchair friendly runway for the fashion week event. "We see that this has potential, and it's all about making all women look and feel beautiful." Explained Victor Quinteros, the event's Brand Development Director. The special guests graced the runway in wheelchairs while adorned in elegant gowns. "Hopefully, fashion designers will realize a woman can look just as good sitting in a dress as she can standing up." Explains Deborah Grayson Carpenter, who is one of the wheelchair models, and is a former contestant of the Ms. Wheelchair Texas Pageant.

Fashion / Cultural Pride Is A Fashionable Asset by urbanfashion(m): 6:24am On Nov 04, 2013
Two beauty pageant winners set a tone for social cohesion as they display
cultural fashions in the forefront during their humanitarian missions.


[td]Self pride is beneficial for individual self-esteem. In some cultures, showing pride is almost mandatory to illustrate one's love and appreciation for community or a cause. In the world of pageantry, contestants are quite selective over the pageant gown that is worn as it is an anticipated segment of the pageant. Judges and audiences typically expect contestants to wear traditional pageant gowns and wardrobe. However we found two accomplished women (Ms. Florida America 2013 – Amanda Wamunyima and Ms. America 2013 – Chiniqua Pettaway) who embrace ethnic fashions and display cultural pride in their community.[/td]


[table]—Amanda Wamunyima during pageant event.



A dynamic new trend is the expression of cultural fashions in the world of mainstream pageantry. Cultural fashions are more prevalent in ethnic-based pageants. Ms. Wamunyima (a first-generation immigrant from the country of Zambia) sparked a trend when she not only wore an ethnic-inspired evening gown but her entire wardrobe during the Ms. America 2013 pageant week’s activities comprised of trendy ethnic inspired designs. During the competition, Amanda wore an ivory satin evening gown with metallic gold lace trim and crystals at waist and off shoulder, and side slit. Amanda explains, “My wardrobe is styled by TeKay Designs in Houston Texas. I'm proud of my culture. I want to show my cultural side through ethnic fashions. Because I'm from Zambia, I want to shine a light on African fashions to support the designers. African fashions are more than just clothing; because the garment tells a story in tribal context. For example; the fabric that is used in traditional Musisi dresses often signifies a geographical region and tribal expression. There is also a new generation of Africans who are more inspired by western designs fused with African fabrics. And they call these looks Afrique-Chic. So, I wear ethnic fashions to share more about whom I am." Amanda has sparked a cultural style trend in mainstream pageantry. Since winning her title, you will find Amanda adorned in opulent cultural fashions and representing her title at events while advancing her humanitarian cause. Amanda’s mission is to lend her voice to ieEmbrace organization as her humanitarian cause. ieEmbrace provides hospitals and clinics with medical supplies and equipment; as well as offering youth development programs.

Presenting culture in the forefront is a fashionable asset, even more so at gala events that are as highly profiled as the Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA) ceremony. Amongst the celebrities and socialites, we met with pageant winner Chiniqua Pettaway the reigning Ms. America 2013. Ms. Pettaway’s striking appearance in a body sculpting bronze gold lace dress with pleated undertones made her a paparazzi magnet as she arrived to accept interviews. This is intended, because Ms. America knows to leverage media attention to advance her humanitarian mission to the forefront.

“I embrace my culture by being active in the African-American community as a mentor to young women. I coach at youth development programs. I teach etiquette classes and lecture young people about life, the importance of education and how it will affect their life in the long term.” states Pettaway.

As a humanitarian, Chiniqua Pettaway extends her time to support many areas of her community. She extends her time to youth initiatives, social dignitaries, civic groups and spiritual organizations; as well as local entrepreneurial startups. Pettaway is especially passionate about her platform of service “Guard a Heart” a heart health awareness foundation. Guard a Heart’s mission is to fight heart disease with their campaign, "Know your Risk, Save a Life.” Heart conditions are the number-one killer of men and women in America. Chiniqua Pettaway is a small business owner herself, and her title as Ms. America offers Chiniqua unique opportunities to connect with other businesses and to form meaningful relationships. [b]“I want to wear ethnic fashions that show my cultural pride. TeKay Designs is a young cultural design business and I'm willing to support that platform. The fashions are extremely cohesive as a collection; and you can always identify TeKay's signature design. TeKay's fashions are vibrant in color with diverse styles. The garments are distinctly ethnic, but the looks will compliment anyone. TeKay diversifies the models so when people of different ethnicities see the dresses, they can see themselves wearing TeKay's fashions too. I embrace culture one-hundred percent! And so long as I like the garment, I'll wear it! It's important for me to project a positive image. Popular Media today has a heavy influence on what African-American youth emulate. There are certainly some poor examples being projected in the Media. As I see it, there is a huge gap between where the African-American culture actually has advanced to, and the perception of where we've advanced to. We do not have a lot of good role models for African-American youth to relate to in popular Media so I try to be that positive image and that's why I'm active in the community. I want to have a real presence, and lead by example.”[/b] explains Pettaway.

Ethnic fashions are an asset, and offers a nonverbal expression of pride that automatically signals social status. It is cultural pride that motivates communitarian ways. Historic African-American leaders have always used cultural style to express direction when implementing plans, and to motivate people. Amanda Wamunyima and Chiniqua Pettaway are two of many untold examples of how sister-hood holds up the neighborhood —adorned in cultural style!

P.O. Box 692454
Houston, TX 77269
Fashion / Style Brewed In A Brooklyn Clothing Lab by urbanfashion(m): 8:33pm On Sep 19, 2013
[size=14pt]New York Fashion Week gives us styles inspired by Brooklyn, NY and the era of the Great Gatsby.[/size]


Brooklyn Clothing Lab

Fashion Designer Mel Simon is driven by a love of fashion and well constructed clothes. This season Mel presented a showcase of gowns that are inspired by menswear. The Genesis Collection is a whimsical fashion gender-bender that transforms the masculine elegance of The Great Gatsby era into the feminine flair of today's street-smart fashionista.

Mel Simon's beginnings started with an apprenticeship with a local tailor in his homeland of Trinidad. After graduating high school, Simon set an ambitious goal to learn the fundamentals of garment creation before traveling to the United States. It didn't take long for Simon to enroll at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), majoring in pattern making. This formal education gave structure to his spirited and fashion-forward designs. Simon's diligence earned him experience at reputable New York apparel firms such as Bianca Leather, Christian Kent and Carmen Marc Valvo. Simon has fabricated the patterns of fashions worn by red carpet celebrities; including Lucy Liu, Kim Cattrall, Vanessa Williams, Courtney Thorne- Smith, Joan Rivers and Queen Latifah.

Simon's entrepreneurial drive led him to launch "Attitude: the Look Shop", a specialty boutique in Brooklyn, NY which offered ready-to-wear sportswear and custom made pieces. Later, Simon partnered to form the Simon Duncan brand, which debuted Fashion Week, Fall 2002 in Bryant Park. Simon's latest endeavor re-conceives the interplay of textiles, prints, and shapes ...leading to the creation of the Brooklyn Clothing Lab. Simon remains focused on his goal to become a prominent Fashion Designer in his own right. Simon manifests his own creations from concept and design to production and delivery. He is a salient designer delivering refreshing fashions that make it easy to be glamorous.
Fashion / Urban Masala Offers Metropolitan Style by urbanfashion(m): 5:15pm On Mar 27, 2013
New York Fashion Week represents a melting pot of conceptual fashion ideas shared not only in a country of mixed cultures, but the city itself has profoundly mixed cultural roots. This is why the fashion line Urban Masala is so apropos for metropolitan markets such as New York.

Urban Masala, represents the mix of cultures and lifestyles in urban centers across America. There are many cultures that can identify with the eclectic mix of patterns applied to the garments. Much of the line features “one-of-a-kind” elements where the shape repeats but the content changes. The Designer, Sehar Peerzada creates clothing which are designed as ensembles but are sold as separates that can be mixed and matched to the wearers taste. This is a design feature that has significant economical benefits as well as aesthetic benefits to the customer. The line makes for an ideal vacation wardrobe that offers separates which are versatile and easy to layer, mix and match.The Urban Masala collection incorporates handmade , non-seasonal fabrics from around the world; as well as unique shapes of pants, tops, jackets, shawls and dresses —which are easy to fit and comfortable to wear. The line was intentionally created using elastic waists; with few zippers or buttons for sized fitting to be less of a definitive issue.

"Urban Masala is a cultural hybrid collection because it brings the ethnic mix to a level where it is wearable, not as costume but as everyday wear. Many people won’t wear ethnic clothing because it's perceived as a costume. As a form of cultural expression you're not obligated to wear the complete cultural dress anyway. Because we are in an era where corporate culture is not supportive of cultural dress as everyday wear, people tend to take a little dab of culture and apply it to contemporary dress. This is something I noticed when I sold full mud-cloth coats through Nordstrom some years ago. Mud-cloth was my entree into Nordstrom Department Stores. The coats sold well, so I know that there is a market for cultural hybrid fashions", states Peerzada.

Urban Masala offers women alluring dresses without women being sexually over exposed. Peerzada proudly defines her approach to aesthetic design as being "old school" because she likes ensembles that are matching, as does her customer base. Typically, the younger generation consciously purchase separates; and looks to mix different designer pieces. The Urban Masala fashion line is a new moniker for what Peerzada has always created using hand block printing on non-seasonal fabrics. The line is intended for a broad customer base that identifies with a cultural hybrid approach to achieve a modest metropolitan style.

Urban Masala Collection
Fashion/Clothing Market / Douglas Says... Fashions Made In America! by urbanfashion(m): 10:47pm On Apr 13, 2012
2012 is a year steeped with political rhetoric. Politicians are claiming this, declaring that, blaming them while requesting more from us. Yet underneath all the fuss is just us. Your every day Americans... who are waiting on a political promise of more jobs that are made in America. Well, one soft-spoken American expressed without words, a vision to do something about it! Designer Douglas Says presented his Fall 2012 fashions with his opening theme displaying patriotic fashions. In the spirit of American patriotism Fashion Designer Douglas Says... FASHIONS MADE IN AMERICA!

"America was built on what America has built. So, I think it's really sad that our manufacturing resources in New York's garment district are no-longer of convenience. Everything is practically invisible now. They've forced everybody out! If Americans start supporting more US made products it would bring back jobs and put allot of food on allot of American people's tables. Ya know, I'm really not very political, though I do make sure I go out to vote. And I do believe in President Obama's efforts."

Mr. Says literally has a patriotic frame of mind, as displayed by the leggy models who cascade onto the runway. Each model steps through a ten foot silver frame before presenting garments that reflect old glory. A small collection of red, white and blue dresses complete with stars and strips open the Douglas Says presentation. "I'm patriotic about my country and I was inspired by President Barack Obama's comments during his State of the Union Address. Obama said, “We need to out innovate, out educate and out build the rest of the world"! Our President is demanding a tall order from us all. So I've adopted the "Made In America" mission as my mission. My humble beginnings started in the African-American community where fashion and accessories have always been iconic products. So, what is a better opportunity for fashion enthusiast to express American patriotism than to wear our colors with fashions made in America?

Initially, this was fabric that literally sat in the fabric store window for years. I purchased it for another purpose; to create a muslin. Then I had the idea of creating a couple of junior pieces with it and call it "The Presidents Wife" to use in a pictorial photo series. I traditionally create with jersey knit, not cotton. I use it to create stylish fashions for the everyday woman. Jersey knits are luxurious as it barely grazes your curves. One secret I'll offer about jersey knits is that it works fabulous as a travel collection because it's practically wrinkle free. It's an American made fabric that is known for it's comfort and fit. Most Designers find it difficult to work with, but I'm right at home with jersey knit fabric. I also design for full-figured women and I've titled that collection "Plus-U". One of my goals is to try to remove old taboos about stretch fabrics like jersey knits. There is a notion that knits are unkind to full-figured body types. Like everything else, the fabric just has to be custom cut with your body in mind! I’m totally aware that real women have curves. We Designers need to accept that fact and lend a helping hand in complimenting those curves. It's unnecessary to hide, deny or flat out ignore your figure! So I’m finally able to answer those calls… which have become full shout-outs! As a Designer I can’t pretend not to hear or see customer's request for stylish plus size fashions. I'm always educating myself about my customer's needs, as well as learning what possible innovations I can apply using US made fabrics to meet these needs. These women can enjoy quality and style that's American made"! explains Says. Fashion Designer Douglas Says is presenting women with two gifts. His patriotic flair, and his signature style... without a compromise for comfort. All found in a product-line that is American made.

Douglas Says Fashion Designs

Fashion / Dressing With Ethnic Pride To Boost Happiness by urbanfashion(m): 1:47am On Dec 03, 2011
Research finds that people who identify strongly with their racial ethnicity are generally happier. So, what better way of spreading joy and self confidence than with ethnic fashions?


“Having positive feelings about one’s ethnic group appears to provide an extra boost of positivity in individuals’ daily lives” claims Wake Forest University’s Psychology Professor Lisa Kiang. “The positive effects of ethnic pride found in this study could suggest that parents and society in general should encourage strong ethnic identity in families.”

"As a Fashion Designer of ethnic clothing, I’ve known self identity brings happiness since my humble beginnings. Like most young girls, I’ve learned playing with ethnic dolls introduces a child to positive self identity and creativity", states Jackie Morilas of EthnicSale.com. Accordingly, at EthnicSale.com you’ll find African doll figures that represent cultural icons as well as toys for young girls. Each doll is eloquently dressed to represent the beauty of African culture.

Ethnic pride transcends to adulthood with the help of ethnic dolls. EthnicSale.com amplifies the experience for adults with creations of ethnic formal wear for special occasions. The company specializes in custom and ready made formal ethnic fashions from Africa, India and Asia. This includes formal wear for bridal parties and men's formal ethnic-wear as well. EthnicSale.com' one-of-a-kind jewelry selections will help you define your distinguished style. Ethnic fashions can be worn in your daily life and at casual events. African fabrics, such as kente can be used as a style accessory such as a scarf. You can style it as a waist wrap or a man’s tie for a subtle finishing to complement your corporate wardrobe. The bold textured ethnic fabrics enhance solid colored separates to offer contrast and add contour to complements your shape. "From my professional experience as a designer of formal fashions, dressing with ethnic pride has always boosted happy feelings for my customers" states Jackie Morilas.

Globalization of the information age brought us the Internet and affordable travel, exposing more people to fashions from all walks of life. The ability to view fashion shows and weddings showcasing other cultures has helped spur a surge in demand for ethnic fashions. Consumers are more exposed to ethnic fashions than ever before. Designers are catering to this demand by producing more upscale ethnic fashions using authentic fabrics and accessories associated with that culture at an affordable price. By incorporating ideas from Africa, India, Latin America and the Asia, EthnicSale.com produces original one of a kind ethnic attire with matching accessories (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, veils and head pieces) that consumers crave. Ethnic floral arrangements like bouquets and boutonnieres are also popular items retailers like EthnicSale.com are catering.

In closing Professor Lisa Kiang states, “Ethnic identity development is a lifelong and always evolving process; so it can have an influence across the entire lifespan. Some of my research shows that feeling good about your ethnic background and feeling strongly connected to your ethnic group is related to all kinds of positive outcomes; including that daily happiness boost. So much to the extent that dressing in ethnic fashions can facilitate these good feelings about one's ethnic background, I would agree that wearing ethnic fashions could be a good experience.

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Fashion/Clothing Market / Queen Of The Brides by urbanfashion(m): 8:02pm On Oct 12, 2011

[/td][td][size=16pt]Why pretend to be a princess for a day when you can arrive adorned with the regalia of a queen?  A growing number of brides are referencing their heritage for bridal inspiration from the ancient thrones of Africa. They are taking their cues from Cleopatra, Nefertari, Makeda, and Queen Kahina of Egypt. [/size]

Upholding such high expectations is challenging, yet can be found in the crafty hands of a soft-spoken dress designer working in Houston, Texas. TeKay Designs by Kimma Wreh is committed to serving brides who's dreams command that symbolism, prosperity, heritage, and culture be packaged and delivered in a collection of garments. Kimma has been designing ethnic formal wear and bridal gowns for over fifteen years. "I'm approached by more and more brides who want to return to their roots to feel connected to their heritage" explains Kimma. "I began designing ethnic fashions because I received such a warm reception in the US by people complimenting the dresses I had created for myself. I've traveled throughout the world from Latin-America to India and in various African countries. I admire the creativity of the local artist. I've always been inspired by the craftsmanship of the local artists when traveling back to my country of Liberia. I realized that the hand-made work the people were doing was so well crafted, that I was moved. So, in 1996, I began my business to produce authentic ethnic fashions for brides in the western world.  I not only design the gowns, I create a complete set of ladies dresses and formal menswear tailored for the bridal party! I employ handmade construction by African artists to produce authentic African-inspired and ethnic bridal and formal attire.

There are different variations of the ethnic design types. The traditional African consumer whom I've experienced in Ghana and Liberia prefers what's referred to as the "buba and the lappa". The buba is a loose fitted blouse and the lappa is a wrap-around skirt. The attire is finished with a head-tie or Gele atop the crown. However more upscale consumers are wearing high-end cotton prints. The trends out of Europe by African Fashion Designers is to incorporate fitted cotton prints with multi-colors; mixed with a solid colored fabric and often finished with lace. These western trends are now influencing the indigenous Designers emerging out of Africa. The popular trends I'm seeing on the catwalks by my designer colleagues in Africa are incorporating inspired elements from other cultures. I'm seeing use of fabrics and ornaments which are traditionally from India or Asia and even Latin-America.[/td][/tr][/table]

Consumers in the United States tend to prefer a westernized fit to the garment, with an ethnic finishing to it. They like to see some cultural aspects such as the embroidery, the fabric, and the use of beads, cowrie shells and symbols which are reminiscent of their heritage. These elements bring back their culture, even though they may be wearing a design cut that's very westernized in its material and fit. Many of my customers want something more colorful than the traditional white bridal gown. Color is often symbolic. For example, gold is for wealth, red for the strong blood-lines, green for the land and good health." states Kimma.

In the world of ethnic fashions, brides are investing into something more than a dress. The ethnic fashions display their identity, so this becomes a theme for the entire wedding. Ethnic fabrics and symbols are often used to accessorize theme weddings and leave a lasting impression. Ethnic accessories such as bouquets, headpieces or sashes are used to compliment the bridesmaids and flower girl's attire.  The groom's outfit is usually color coordinated with the bride's wedding gown. A common ethnic trend worn by groomsmen is the sleeveless agbada suit sometimes worn with a kente shoulder-wrap, hat, handkerchief or tie.  Ethnic couples are investing into something that represents their family history; and must transcend down through future generations. Cultural pride is a value that you can't put a price on.

P.O. Box 692454
Houston, Texas
Fashion/Clothing Market / Crafting Style That's Hand Made In America by urbanfashion(m): 1:52am On Oct 11, 2011

Saharah Studio of Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA takes a low tech approach towards creating high style that's hand made in America. Fashion Designer Patricia Sehar Peerzada features hand made, limited edition clothing, often hand block printed with her own patterns.  Block printing on fabrics is an age-old textile technique that's shared by many indigenous cultures around the world.

The hand printed clothing is individually printed so there are no two alike, but they carry similar design elements. All of the designs in the collections are created by Patricia, and she creates pieces for all figure types.  "Using shapes that are unique to my line, I flatter the figure with inspiration from traditional world fashion sources, blending and mixing to create a palatable modern style." states Patricia. Both Patricia's fashion lines,"Roc The Bloc" and "Saharah", have consistently presented during New York Fashion Week; and have been featured in various publications around the world. The Roc The Bloc's signature style has hand printed, ethnic textiles; while the Saharah Collection is distinguished by it's artistic shapes that flatter the figure.

Fashion / AFRICAN Fashion Designers In America by urbanfashion(m): 3:36pm On Dec 28, 2010


                      You can see the FASHION RUNWAY video coverage upon Urban Fashion Network
Fashion/Clothing Market / Re: Post ALL Your Fashion-Related Adverts Here!! INDIVIDUAL Threads Created Just For Adverts Will BE MOVED To "Adverts" Section!!!! by urbanfashion(m): 7:20am On Dec 28, 2010


                      You can see the FASHION RUNWAY video coverage upon Urban Fashion Network

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