Colorful fashion and models are set to sashay down the runway at the 4th Annual Sister Spokesman Fashion Show, June 6 at the MN Music Café in St. Paul. The show will feature the talents of several local designers and vendors, delicious food, entertainment by J MOST and plenty of networking opportunities.
Loretha King-Clark is one of the fashion designers whose clothes will grace the stage. “My clothing line is Gnik E. Samej,” (pronounced Nick E. Samajay), said King-Clark. The line was named in honor of her brother James Edward King.
Although she has been a professional designer for four years, King-Clark said the desire to work in fashion started early: “I have always loved fashion as a child. I was inspired [to go further into fashion] while I was in a trouble spot in my life. I refused to take therapy, so I decided to take a course [in design] and became more and more interested in [fashion design].” She then attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College, majoring in apparel technology.
King-Clark told the MSR that she plans to bring a few different pieces to the event. One piece, in particular, is a prom dress that she personally made for a high school student. She held an essay contest for a young teen mother in which the winner would win a dress made by her. No one submitted an essay, but a young lady did approach King-Clark to make a Gnik E. Samej dress. The dress was designed by both King-Clark and the young lady and will be featured at the fashion show. King-Clark plans to keep designing clothing for women and eventually move into designing for the church ministry.
Valerie Bolden is tapped to share her talents from her Val’Dess Fashion House. Bolden is a self-professed “woman of God” and a mother of five who has been married for 25 years. She will serve as a panelist/designer for the upcoming the fashion show.
Val’Dess is a combination of her name Valerie, and her mother’s name Dessie. Bolden’s line is called “Black is My Beauty” and she plans to dedicate it to Sister Spokesman. A seamstress since the age of seven, Bolden said the fashion show will mark a full circle moment for her, as she got her start and inspiration at a previous Sister Spokesman fashion show.
Bolden said her inspiration derives from many designers including, “Coco Chanel, and Christian Dior,” and she plans on taking us back into the age of “old Hollywood,” following in the footsteps of the first African American woman designer, Zelda Valdes. Bolden was struck by the name similarity when she researched Valdes and was inspired by her legacy, having designed the Playboy bunny costume, and the wedding dresses of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mae West and Dorothy Dandridge.
Bolden is currently a junior moving into her senior year at The Art Institute International-Minnesota, where she will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in fashion design. Upon graduation, she plans to open her fashion house.
Christine Lindsey rounds out the designers that the MSR spoke to. She is a fashion designer who has a small boutique in Brooklyn Center. About 12 years ago, after spending time in corporate American and having a successful career, Lindsey dove into the fashion business seriously.
Her shop, LaUnique, formally a home boutique, has been in Brooklyn Center for three years. After years of in-home service, she decided it was time to move on. She said she enjoys “doing what I love and loving what I do. My designs are unique and one-of-a-kind, although some pieces are variations of another piece; no two pieces are the same, hence my name, ‘LaUnique.’”
Lindsey started with making hair accessories and women’s jewelry. She hopes event goers leave the event knowing that LaUnique “specializes in women’s clothing, timeless and trendy pieces, and something that you will always have.”
Brandi Phillips welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.