For centuries, people have used fashion to showcase their individual styles and personalities. It can also help define a generation, which is what Mannequin Concepts, is doing for classy Millennials and high-end shoppers.
what is mannequin concepts?
Where I grew up is far from a fashion capital or the nightlife scene of 1970s-era New York. My only access to fashion back then was from books, magazines, tv shows, and blaxploitation movies. Watching films from the period, like The Wiz and Uptown Saturday Night, inspired my brand as well as iconic designers such as Gordon Henderson, Stephen Burrows, Yves Saint Laurent, & Roy Halston. Even though I am by in large self-taught, I was given the opportunity to hone my craft by working for fashion houses and as a freelance stylist. Fashion literally runs in my family. My mother was a mannequin model, and her ‘70s headshot serves as the logo for my brand.
My journey to fashion design has been nothing short of unorthodox. However, after doing research, I feel like that’s the “norm” for most of us. In my humble opinion you do not choose fashion, it has a way of choosing you. Instead of following my heart. I followed a path my family suggested. I became a pharmacy major at Texas Southern University, I soon realized pharmacy was not my end game. I moved to Atlanta, GA to attend design school. I started doing window displays around the Buckhead area for the high-end boutiques along the strip. However, my time at design school was also short-lived after an intense conversation with one of my professors at the time his words stung like venom but in hindsight, I still use those same words to draw inspiration. That conversation was a pivotal moment in my life. I left design school, moved to Los Angeles, and hit the ground running as an assistant on commercial and movie sets. LA, while exciting, was not a fit for me. It appeared to be a lack of caring and an antiquated way of presenting who or what fashion really is. I packed up my apartment and moved to NYC with my Sex in the City dreams in tow. I began styling for the various artist at Def Jam, Ruff Ryders & Mass Appeal records. This opened more doors and I was also given the fortune to work in luxury retail for the likes of Saks Fifth Ave, Fendi, and my beloved Barneys New York. Once I felt myself needing to grow and express myself creatively at my deepest vulnerability, I started my own brand. There have been days where I have pondered should I have taken the route of working under another designer for a few years to better understand the full scope of the ins and outs of this industry I love. I have been given the privilege to work under my current mentor and master pattern maker, the GREAT Anthony Cartwright.