From the mean streets of Baltimore to the Academy of Design in Tampa, along the way Staci Sherri had the courage to answer her calling; that undeniably is to be at the top of the fashion world. From designing for High School talent searches, to becoming a go-to for her peers seeking a certain splash appearance wise, on any given day, Staci Sherri has been making strides towards her success for a lifetime. With admitted progress still to be made, her plight is one that is very intriguing. Her passion is to empower women, all the while helping them look good. After graduating from one of the most prominent fashion institutes globally, Staci made the descision to grab her destiny by the horns and head for the bright lights of the Big Apple. Recently unveiling her self titled approach at New York’s Fashion Week, she is hard at work on her future plans for forthcoming collections, as well as expanding her brand. Parlé with us, as we present to you the beautiful sister behind the designs that are…. Staci Sherri.
Parlé Magazine: After graduating from Academy of Design, what made you take the big jump and move to NYC?
Staci Sherri: Well fashion was always very important to me, I’ve been surrounded by fashion pretty much all my life. At 5 years old I was in the salon, where my mom and sister worked, sweeping up the hair and listening to conversations; watching the women beautify themselves intrigued me and I knew that it was my calling. From my adolesent years, I was a fixture at hair shows and different showcasings in my hometown of Baltimore. After garduating from college, I had gotten an internship in New York City, that was the main motivation. However, overall I am a go-getter so I had always envisioned coming to New York City to pursue my dreams and business full-time. New York City has an undeniable appeal. I’ve always been a fan of such entities as “Sex In the City” and NYC as a whole, fashion wise. As an adrenaline junky, I like to get close and personal with my fears, so in turn I needed to take that step and chase my passion.
Parlé: Whats the overall inspiration for “Staci Sherri” as a brand of fashion clothing?
Staci: Not to sound too self centered, but the inspiration for the Staci Sherri line is me! But it has elements to it that I am incorporated into. I am a gemini, I am a twin. Not in the literal sense, but Ive always felt like I had a split personality. On the one hand you have Staci who is young, flirty, fun, but Sherri is very grown and sexy, sophisticated. Within, there is a constant battle between the two extremes, culminating in my creative fire. The line exemplifies the balance that exists in the battle.
Parlé: What was the 1st piece you ever made?
Staci: I think the first piece I ever made was for a fashion show in High School, which I was featured in as a model. I made my entire outfit and people loved it. I remember my mother questioning how I was gonna pull it off. I told her, ‘hey you know how to sew, Grandma has the sewing kit and machine, I’m gonna design and we’re gonna make this happen.’ I went off of sheer imagination and it worked.
Parlé: How do you select the models that you work with now?
Staci: I can’t say that I look for a specific look, I seek the best people that I feel can conquer the story and portray my concept to the fullest. The same thing goes for the people I work with in other capacities, I seek strong people; Dedicated, driven, and ambitious. I feel like once we have that we can work everything else out and make the dream real. Some of my other principles are stability and focus; we maintain the same ideals day to day.
Parlé: How important is it to you, to be an African-American female designer?
Staci: It is extremely important to me, and it is for my team, and most of all for the culture. As a designer I take pride in showing strength with my line. I do not segregate any means, I make clothes for everyone but at the same time I want to be an example to young women and let them know its okay to chase their dreams. To show them that it is feasible to get into an industry where you may not see many others that look like you. Besides Tracy Reese, and Rachel Roy, there aren’t many other popular designers like me. I want to dominate and display that we too can dominate.
Parlé: If you could write your own script, what would success be for you?
Staci: I am human, so success for me of course would include monetary rewards, BUT it is much deeper than that. Ultimately I want to get my message across to all women, and eventually men as we have plans for a male line in the near future; love, cherish yourself at all costs; appreciate who you are, that’s what I want people to bear in mind as they put on a piece from Staci Sherri. its all about enhancing someones self esteem with every article of clothing, that’s success to me.
Parlé: This past February you debuted at New York Fashion Week, big picture wise where would you place that on your list of accomplishments?
Staci: Being apart of New York Fashion Week was a major accomplishment. To be celebrated and received in that manner was amazing. If you look at statistics, not too often do people get to reach that form of a pinnacle in their respective fields. I saw this all happening for me in college and to have my own line is a dream come true. So many times in life we are dreaming and dreaming, we never take the chance to enjoy it coming to fruition. I have lived it thus far, I am so grateful, and I am looking forward to the rest of whats in store.
Parlé: What’s Next for Staci Sherri?
Staci: My Spring/Summer line will be out titled, Remix. This collection will consist of some of the favored silhouettes that weve gotten feedback on from valued customers. I got the inspiration from Beyonce’s “We Like to Party,” so I’m even toying with the idea of something viral to accompany the launch. In addition, we are preparing for Fashion Week in September and have some tentative plans for a big forum out west, but I want everyone to stay tuned for that. We never stop working, we have plans for placements in more boutiques; to be honest, I am already designing for 2013! More than anything we will be working hard, and continuing our mission to “Change Lives 1 garment @ a time.”
For more info on Staci Sherri and her designs check out her site: www.stacisherri.com.
Images by Reggie Wilson for Parlé Magazine
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