Article and Photos by Monifa Payne
The 2018 Super Chic fashion show recap continued:
Designer Rodney A. Alexander was another designer that stole the show with his prints and innovative silhouette’s. Rodney Alexander Designs collections consisted of hand painted prints to bright afro-centric fabrics. View some photos from his collection below.
Rodney Alexander was inspired by visual colors and prints that he incorporated into his collection. This collection focused on flat colors and prints that created a visual story within the audience’s mind. The prints used for this collection were hand painted and tailored by Rodney himself, along with the construction of each garment.
Rodney is heavily influenced by his Caribbean heritage, as well as afro-centric clothing. He was born in Trinidad where he developed his aesthetic. He later moved to Tobago where he learned tailoring and sewing skills to make his dreams a reality. While living in Tobago, he developed the concept of Afro-centric clothing with the use of traditional African motifs and colors. Rodney Alexander Designs delivered a spectacular collection for the Super Chic Fall 18 show and we cannot wait to see what he will come up with next.
One designer that amazed the crowd with not only his silhouettes but also his custom-made footwear designs. Footwear and apparel designer, John Ashford amazed the crowd with his designer shoes strategically paired with colors and styles that left the audience in awe. John Ashford’s collection consisted of eye-grabbing stiletto heels with bold and bright colors. Check out some photos below.
John Ashford’s collection was inspired my water, before creating his collection, John experienced a leaking roof that later caused the roof to cave in. Most people would have let their frustration get the best of them, however John did not. He turned a negative experience and used it to inspire his Fall 18 collection. While creating this process, John Ashford focused on how water can be dangerous yet peaceful, from this concept john notice that glass as a similar effect, it’s dangerous yet protective. Focusing on water, John also begin to explore the concept of poison ivy, which also relates to how dangerous water can be. These three concepts allowed John to dive deep into his inspiration and create his masterpieces. During his creative process, he believes in writing his ideas in a book full of white paper without any lines, John believes lines are constrictive).
Even through John Ashford is known for his trending silhouettes and prints used in his apparel, shoes are his main priority. Unlike many other footwear designers, John Ashford sets himself aside from his competition by focusing on the comfort of his heels first then style. One challenge that John Ashford faces on a day to day basis is being a straight African American shoemaker, John has faced negative feedback from other designers due to the color of his skin or his sexual preference which many times has hindered his business. John Ashford’s advice to young African Americans facing similar challenges is to just be yourself and never give up on your dream. He also advices that one should listen to yourself and do not take advice from others because you never know if they have a hidden agenda.
Michele Benjamin is a jewelry designer that showcased her innovative designs in the Fall 18 fashion show. Her trademark is a bee which was inspired by the beehives in the Whitney Museum. Aside from bees, her jewelry is also inspired by nature and floral scenery. Michele’s jewelry can be seen on numerous models throughout the Fall 18 fashion show. All her pieces are made from sustainable sterling silver and crafted in Queens, New York. Michele is best known for her liberty pen that represents woman’s rights. To view more of Michele’s work, you can visit the National Women History Museum.
The finale collection to close the show was Noneillah Collections by Naomi Johnson. Noneillah’s Fall 18 collection consisted of her symbolic musical note symbols, music sheets and graphical prints. The music sheets represent Naomi’s late son, Deshon Johnson, and his music career. The graphic prints that Noneillah’s collection included screenshot of all incidents involving New Jersey and New York Transit killing of innocent civilians.
Deshon Johnson was killed 6 years ago by an New Jersey Transit worker. Deshon also known as Sean Cos Mason was a hip-hop artist and a fashion designer. Sean Cos Mason created and branded his graphic tee line called Noneillah after starting his music career, his fashion line grew as his music career grew. After his tragic demise, Noneillah was taken under ownership of his mother, Naomi Johnson, Naomi continues with her son’s legacy and her goal is to share Deshon’s story to the world.
After the murder of her son, Naomi created these graphic prints to voice that enough is enough. Noneillah’s graphic prints are referred to as a political fashion statement, this statement was created to help bring awareness to this growing issue by creating a visual product that we help spread the word and enlighten others to possibly prevent another incident. Naomi hopes that this political statement gains enough momentum that these issues can be brought up to law enforcements for transit worker’s to be held accountable for their actions and not deem these cases as accidents.
Noneillah is quickly gaining momentum such to its originality and unique fashion trends while providing a platform for the movement. Naomi finds inspiration from her son to keep pushing forward and fighting for his justice, she can transform her grief and pain into a voice to help other mothers and to possible prevent another case. Advice that that Naomi would give to other mothers going to a similar lost would be to live through your child keep fighting for your child’s life and justice. She states do not reply on the justice system but to create a platform to help bring awareness. #JusticeforDeshon