Who Are The 2018 MCFW Emerging Designers

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

-Maya Angelous

Passion is something we all have hidden and buried deep inside of us. But, very few take their passion, and aspirations past the daydreaming stage. The few who do either rise to greatness or live life with no regrets because they pursued something bigger than them.

Enter Magic City Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers for Season II. Last year, we had a dream of giving a platform to designers who wanted to take their passions to the next level, but needed an avenue to do so. With overwhelming support and hard work, MCFW made the dream a reality. We put together a week of fashion and ended up finding a local designer just waiting for her platform. Kenya Buchanan won the competition last year and her life has never been the same. This year, we aim to do it again. Let’s take a look at our four creatives and what they plan on bringing to the table.

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Carlos Antoine

Our first designer is Carlos Antoine. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, this southern designer quickly realized that fashion school was not for him and paved a way for himself. Using his creativity and hunger for his craft, he carved a lane for himself and is happy to be able to showcase his gift during MCFW’s Fashion Week. I asked him four questions to delve into who he was as a creative, a man and a designer. Here are his responses:

1. Who are you and what is your brand about?

I am a maverick minded extraordinaire guided by grace. Covered in everlasting favor. My brand embodies the individual of self assurance and worth beyond the physical understanding of the garments they choose to adorn themselves in.

2. Describe your brand in 3 words

Maverick Minded Spectrum

3. Why designing? What drew you to being a creative and entrepreneur?

 I didn’t choose design. Design choose me and I stepped to the plate, understanding that God gave me the gifts necessary to do His will on earth.


4. Why did you want to be a part of Magic City Fashion Week's emerging designers showcase?

I feel it’s healthy as an artist to engage in activities that challenge the comfortability of an individuals self-acclaimed level of mastery. I believe you are only as good as your last body of work so to be open to criticism is honestly a major key in achieving self perfection & a way to enhance an artist’s overall performance. This showcase definitely allows me in my opinion to see where I am on all aspects of my career while gaining hands on experience from the industry. 

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Kerstin Marie Brown

Our next designer is Kerstin Marie Brown. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs. Brown resided in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a short time. She received her Masters in Human and Environmental Science While studying at University of Alabama. The focus of her degree was on the plus-size fashion industry and the needs and desires of that community. Today, she works as a Technical Designer at Abercrombie and Fitch, serving several departments in their Columbus, Ohio office. Here are her responses to my four questions:

1. Who are you and what is your brand about?

My brand is about enjoying life to the fullest. Everyone loves to go on vacation because they can do whatever they want. My new line captures the spirit of effortless fun.  

2. Describe your brand in 3 words and where do you see it going? 

Fun, Exciting, and Chic. My goals are to find and establish a manufacturer in order to sell my designs to retailers (wholesale); driving initial revenue. Ultimately, I see my designs in retails stores across Florida, California, and North/South Carolina.   

3. Why designing? What drew you to being a creative and entrepreneur?

(PART ONE) Designing clothes has always came naturally to me. I have always found every aspect of the design process to be intriguing and exciting. I know what people want even before they know they want it, and that alone holds value. 

(PART TWO) In my opinion, people have a natural urge to own things, and honeslty, I am not any different. I want to make my mark on the world, and leave something for the people who come after me. In addition, working in the industry has shown me that a garment will change from initial concept to final product quite drastically, and sometimes several garments will drop from a clothing line entirely. I would love to have full control over what is being produced and sold from intial concept to final product without all the cooks in the kitchen (if you know what I mean). 

4. Why did you want to be a part of Magic City Fashion Week's emerging designers showcase?

Honestly, I love what Magic City Fashion Week is doing for the creative communtiy. They are not only focused on fashion, but everything that is involved with delivering an awesome show time and time again. They are also giving people mulitiple opportunities to network and find their niche. I think this team is really bringing a positve light to the Birmingham, AL area and beyond...who wouldn't want to be a part of history in the making?  

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Kelechi Mitchell

Last but not least is Mr. Kelechi Mitchell. A Birmingham Native, Mr. Mitchell has gone on to study in New York and dress celebrities and women from all over the world. Here are his responses to my four questions:

1. Who are you and what is your brand about?

 I am Kelechi Mitchell, Birmingham Native, and graduate of Shades Valley High School. Upon graduation I left Birmingham to attend The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, New York. The 6 years I spent in New York I developed my brands DNA. My evening wear collection “Calechie” is now sold at top eccomerce retailer; newyorkdress.com and ships worldwide. The Calechie woman is Bold, Exudes Effortless Sex Appeal, and is a Connoisseur of Luxury & Opulence! 

2. Describe your Brand in 3 words and where do you see it going? 

My Brand in 3 words: Sexy, Bold, Opulent. I see my brand being carried at top retailers nationwide. I see myself opening 1-2 boutique locations in the U.S. 

I always say I'm an artist first. Before fashion, visual and fine arts were my passion up until my 8th grade year of middle school. That year I met a woman who left a huge impact on me, she was my 8th grade science teacher! Her poise, divine sense of style, and confidence all spoke to me in a way nothing had before. I related her confidence to her look, which was always spot on. I then began researching the designers that created her red soled heels and beautiful ensembles by the way of Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar. To me, clothing had the power to give confidence and be an ever changing cloak one could use to be anyone they wanted to be. I wanted to be the creator of such pieces, that in my eyes held so much power. That year my journey started, and i’ve on on that path ever since then.

 3. Why designing? What drew you to being a creative and entrepreneur?

I have had a entrepreneurial spirit my whole life. Growing up watching my mom have several successful businesses I always knew I wanted to work for my self. 

 4. Why did you want to be a part of Magic City Fashion Week's emerging designers showcase?

Approximately a year and a half ago I moved back to Birmigham, where it all started, to start my business. This year I will also be servicing all surrounding high school prom attendees looking to step outside of the box and have their gowns custom made! Magic City Fashion Week is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself and my collection to our community & showcase my work to our beautiful city!

We want to congratulate these three on being a part of Magic City Fashion Week’s Splashiversary Emerging Designers Competition, which will take place October 26, 2018. Your creativity, drive and art will take you far and we are happy to be a part of your journey to the top.

Thank you,

Writer: Emma Ford

Instagram: www.instagram.com/oluwafunmifly

Website: www.houseofodara.com

emma ford