The Black Accessories Designer Alliance held its semiannual fashion week soiree Wednesday evening, in a Chelsea arts space.
The event received more RSVPs than ever — with it tripling in interest over last season.
“We have more designers this season than we’ve ever had. I think that it’s time, we are growing and this is evidence that things are taking off,” said founder Wilbur Pack Jr.
The evening was host to a half-dozen emerging designers of color. Among them was Tanisha Middleton, founder of the Framed by Tee Tee online eyewear business.
Middleton produces sunglasses in her New York residence, selling them directly to consumers through her web site. Prices range from approximately $25 to $100. Custom designs can cost more.
“It’s worth it. It’s a joy to see your vision come to life and to see people wearing your things,” she said of the efforts she invests in operating her own business.
Another exhibitor, Laura Tatum, owns and operates Bunny Paige jewelry out of Cleveland, Ohio. Her glitzy designs are priced from $45 to upward of $350. Last year, she quit her job to focus on jewelry full-time.
“In the climate we live in right now, it’s incredibly important to put ourselves out there, to come together and take a stand. To be able to show that, professionally, you can be a minority business owner that succeeds, makes me feel like I’ve done something,” said Tatum.