TAKING A STAND: On Tuesday evening, four African-American accessory designers congregated in a Garment District building for a pop-up exhibition called Style Noir. The group — comprised of Wilbur Pack Jr.’s SK Wilbur handbags, Bershan Shaw’s U R A Warrior Jewelry and featured designs sold by Velvet Lattimore’s Vedazzling Accessories Boutique — set up shop in the front section of exhibition space, store and salon Midoma NYC.
The event, organized by Pack and Lattimore, was meant to bring attention to the world of emerging black designers. Said Pack: “I created the event because I felt like black designers are usually underfinanced and we have a lot of creative people within the culture but don’t have an outlet to get ourselves out there.”
Pack’s handbag brand SK Wilbur, which currently sells in five New York-based retailers as well as through his Web site, introduced new designs at Style Noir. A basket-woven leather motif was created in ode to his best friend, while a bright color block range was designed to express Pack’s hope for a “utopian existence where people could get along — each color represents a different race.”
Nearby, Pack’s friend Bershan Shaw exhibited designs from her new jewelry collection U R A Warrior — which she will begin selling in various gyms and yoga studios starting next month. Shaw, a two-time cancer survivor, hopes that her jewelry will prove uplifting for those in need of a boost.
“It started in the chemo room — I realized people had issues they were dealing with, all types of anxiety depression from cancer and I wanted something they could have that they could touch to remind them of their journey, whether they’ve overcome it or they are battling it then; the jewelry could remind them that this too shall pass, they are a warrior and can move on,” she said of her designs.
Shaw’s jewelry is fabricated in either sterling silver or 18-karat gold plate and is inscribed with “U R A warrior” within various nooks and crannies.
Pack said that he hopes to make Style Noir a recurring event.