Shanel Campbell, a 27-year-old Parsons graduate, quickly caught the attention of celebrities including Solange Knowles, who wore pieces from her graduate collection when she was honored at the Parsons Benefit this past May, and Issa Rae, who wore a custom-made dress from Campbell for the CFDA Awards in June.
These early endorsements showed that Campbell is adept at making special clothes that people want to be seen in. But her first official fashion show, which was held in September, gave the industry a broader glimpse into what she wants to achieve — and it’s bigger than celebrity placements. Campbell presented a meticulous assortment on 18 black women she casted herself via Instagram, and made a point to employ women of color as much as she could back of house. Her mission is to center black women and having that focus early on gives Campbell a distinct point of view.
She also has her own ideas about running a fashion brand, which don’t include two seasonal collections a year. She’s seen companies crash and burn trying to keep up with the fashion calendar and Campbell wants to produce one elaborate collection a year and supplement that with more affordable core items. The industry is in need of new ideas and perspectives and Campbell is well positioned to offer that.