As some of you may know, I’m a researcher turned fashion designer. Having been given a chance to be born-again - I decided I would do what I really love. And fashion was my first love, so I decided to take a chance.
This required that I return to New York City after a 6-yr hiatus that took me to Asia, Europe and the West Coast. The trip had been full of learning, but it was good to be home again among people that I didn’t have to be anyone but me with.
As I began reconnecting with my past, and sharing my future with these people, a friend, always keenly interested in my development, offered to introduce me to a lovely stylist Tynae Abdul, who worked with Jonathan Bodrick owner of a one-of-a kind boutique in Harlem. The name of this Boutique is B.O.R.N located at 52 West 125th street (btw Lenox & 5th). A unique place where the travels of a New York stylist and videographer yielded beautiful pieces from many places.
I first met these lovely gentlemen a little over a month ago. They had simply offered to meet with me and assess whether I had potential for my newest career track, or I should just go back to sitting behind a computer doing research. This first meeting was pointing to the latter.
Having never done this before, and being woefully underprepared for the Fashion industry in general, I went there with some badly printed Kinko’s pictures. Not taking seriously that most people don’t get second chances to make a first impression in this industry. I figured my charismatic sweetness would do the trick. It didn’t.
Instead I was blown out of the water. Had I been in the hands of lesser gentlemen though (the word is not misplaced) I may never have designed again. Instead they chose to bolster me. They said if you have the passion - than pursue it - don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And they gave me a second chance. This time, I sewed my fingers to the bone and carried about 20 lbs in two garment bags and headed up to Harlem with the help of a friend’s car.
Once there what was unleashed was awesome! Two more stylists joined the party, and we all had a mini-fashion show with my pieces, at the end of which 4 pieces were immediately picked up to be placed in the store! I was a little shell-shocked during the whole event.
Seeing the pieces in person really conveyed my design. Furthermore, it allowed them to truly comment on my work and enhance it. Having been in the industry for many years, the two men are a wealth of knowledge and they willingly shared that knowledge with me! No holds-barred discussions, that inspired me and motivated me.
I was a little shell-shocked (wait I said that already). I wasn’t prepared for them just picking up 4 of my pieces. I wasn’t prepared to be told I did have some talent, and that I should pursue it. I definitely wasn’t prepared to be told that I was playing it safe with my newer work, and was much more edgy with my older work (my fashion career is currently 9 months old, so you can see how this industry functions). The point that came through most clearly was that the pieces I was designing for me, using my inspiration and my motivation, were the best pieces in the group. And lo and behold, there is nothing wrong with that!
Actually that is the place I was told to design from. From the place of my journey that, at the age of 34, brought me to a boutique in Harlem with two men who spent hours of their precious time to nurture me. And all the things that had gone wrong up to that moment, most of them of my own doing, just turned right. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to New York Fashion Week (my dream), but I do know that with the help of these two gentlemen, on Friday, May 13th, 2011, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I had gotten into my first store…………