From left: Darryl Peoples, Rachel Reilly, Pyper Gilbert, Julie Maeseele, Aaliyah Taylor, James White (Ameera Steward Photograph, For The Birmingham Occasions)
By Ameera Steward
For The Birmingham Occasions

On June 9-12, the fourth season of Magic Metropolis Vogue Week (MCFW) will start at areas all through town together with the Birmingham Museum of Artwork, The Pizitz and Linn Park.

Highlights embrace the Rising Designer Runway Competitors Friday June 10 beginning at 5 p.m. that includes six new designers, from or related to The Magic Metropolis.

The Birmingham Occasions compiled temporary profiles on every:


Age: 27.

The place are you from: Bessemer, Ala.

What’s the title of your enterprise: “pypercollection.”

What do you design: “Customized couture, able to put on…streetwear…just about something for males, ladies or youngsters.”

When did you begin designing: “Since I used to be just a little lady I used to be all the time making stuff. I graduated from [The University of Alabama] in 2017…since 2017 I’ve been [designing] persistently.”

What made you need to be part of MCFW: “Within the first Magic Metropolis Vogue Week I labored behind the scenes as a hairstylist. So, I had simply graduated from school, and I didn’t actually find out about it till…my mother instructed me about it, and I actually didn’t have the arrogance to reveal myself in that space – letting folks see my designs and placing that sort of strain on myself however I simply bear in mind being there like ‘at some point I need to have my assortment on that runway.’ And…my mother despatched me the applying [for this year] from the Instagram [and told her she should apply] and I used to be like ‘nah I’m not going to use,’ then I considered it and the following day I texted her [and said] I’m [going] to use, possibly they’ll select me, possibly they gained’t, and I obtained chosen. So, I used to be identical to ‘okay possibly it’s meant [to be].’”

How did you get into hair: “My household owns a salon [Salon Lisa Brown] and a magnificence faculty [Brown Beauty Barber School] – one in McCalla, one in Bessemer and I simply grew up round it…it’s simply in me… I nonetheless work there. I like working with my palms, it’s my household enterprise so after all serving to create generational wealth after which additionally [it’s] simply one thing I’m good at after which it provides me flexibility to create and be a designer.”

[She has worked at her mother’s salon since college. Her mom opened it in 2011 and she would work there by doing an assortment of job including sweeping.]

What can we anticipate out of your assortment: “[Something] eccentric… and progressive, belongings you haven’t seen earlier than. It’s nonetheless enjoyable however positively edgy…we had to make use of sustainable objects in order that sort of added just a little twist and a problem to it.”

How are you being sustainable: “I’m utilizing a variety of scrap material that I had and outdated stuff….like certainly one of my objects is comprised of a quilt that I discovered on the thrift retailer [also] vinyl, plastic – the plastic that you just may see at a restaurant as a desk material…simply utilizing some uncommon materials that you just wouldn’t actually essentially see worn however which might be nonetheless sustainable.”

What impressed your assortment: “Properly after all the competitors put just a little spark [in me] the place I used to be like ‘okay I must dig deep’ however I used to be sort of simply impressed by the subway in New York throughout a Met gala or style week, and simply the flexibility you’ll see simply using on the subway as a result of that’s the type of transportation lots of people need to take. So that you may see anyone in a full couture outfit and so they actually need to humble themselves and get on the subway to go someplace, and I simply…thought that was loopy how you’d see so many alternative seems to be…in case you sat on the New York subway…That’s sort of what impressed me. The seems to be nonetheless tie in collectively however every one is a separate entity.”

[Gilbert observed outfits in the New York Subway when she worked New York Fashion Week in 2013 after a friend helped her behind the scenes]. “I needed to take the subway and I simply bear in mind what everybody was sporting and me [being from] Alabama [thinking] ‘they don’t costume like us’”.

How lengthy did this assortment take to complete: “I’m attending to the three-month mark; by June it’ll be three months.”

What’s one factor you need readers to find out about you or your assortment: “It comes from a spot of ardour. A number of issues have transpired since I’ve been taking this extra critically, and I simply started to channel that power into the stuff that I make. So I might need readers to know that this assortment particularly has a variety of ardour threaded in it.

“The issues which have transpired? I’ve a two-year-old, he simply turned three so me figuring that out, I’m newly a single mother so figuring that out, nonetheless making an attempt to be 27 and have a social life, and work on the gathering, be a supervisor on the salon, and be a daughter… So, I feel all of these, after some time it begins to put on on you just a little bit, so I needed to dig deep to simply start this as a result of it’s been a variety of small distractions.”

Instagram: @pypercollection 


Age: 37.

The place are you from: “Born and raised in Belgium…so I moved [to Birmingham] for my husband’s job…we didn’t select it essentially, however we additionally prefer it sufficient to remain in order that was virtually 8 years in the past.”

What do you want about Birmingham: “I just like the south within the U.S., [and] the folks being so pleasant. I just like the climate [as well].”

What’s the title of your enterprise: “JM [or Julie Maeseele]”

What do you design: “Made-to-order attire…that includes recycled supplies and surplus textiles.”

What made you need to be part of MCFW: “I discovered as a result of [of] my good friend at fundamental. store, Lacey Woodroof, she’s concerned, and I like…all her concepts about style and the shop she has. And I really like the chance of doing one thing native right here within the metropolis.”

What can we anticipate out of your assortment: “I feel I need to for positive carry one thing tremendous cohesive…I’ve solely finished one [runway show]…Birmingham Vogue Week…again in 2016, and that was the one time I needed to make a mini assortment and present it on a runway. So, it’s enjoyable to problem myself…and attempt to carry a cohesive assortment and share a narrative.”

What was the inspiration behind this assortment: “Simply the truth that it’s on the museum and I’ve…my masters in positive arts [from St. Lukas Art Academy in Ghent, Belgium – I graduated in 2008] so I wish to see garments as gentle sculptures.”

What’s one factor you need readers to find out about you or your assortment: “I feel they need to simply all come watch…I feel the purpose of this style present, and I hope that we obtain this, is that we’ve variety represented within the style present, and simply see a aspect of town that you just possibly in any other case wouldn’t see. I hope to simply have a enjoyable…occasion. [I’m] a mother of three…I really like this, it’s my ardour…I need it to be in regards to the garments, I need it to be in regards to the artwork…I hope it’s going to be a cool occasion about artwork and good model.”

Instagram: @juliemaeseele



Age: 37.

The place are you from: “Initially from North Carolina however lived in Los Angeles for the final 10 years. I reside in Birmingham now. We simply moved to Birmingham…final summer season for my husband’s residency at UAB so I’m new to the realm.”

How lengthy have you ever been designing: “Since school often because at [Western Carolina University] I exploit to make my very own clothes, even earlier than. I bear in mind once I was in highschool my dad labored for…the furnishings business in North Carolina so he would carry dwelling leather-based samples and I might take the leather-based samples and stitch [them] collectively…and I might make my very own garments…In school…I might all the time redesign shirts and make my very own denims…and hand [stitch] often because I didn’t have a stitching machine on the time. So hand stitching something and simply being very inventive…however I by no means pursued it.”

What’s the title of your enterprise: “Rachel Reilly.”

What do you design: “Upcycled ladies’s clothes.”

What made you need to be part of MCFW: “I labored in leisure for…12 years and I’ve all the time been interested by style and leisure. I needed to see what folks had been doing within the [Birmingham] space so I feel I used to be wanting issues up and I noticed this rising designer competitors. And I all the time designed my very own issues…I feel I used to be simply sort of scared and didn’t have the braveness to do it and being a mother of two, [I] didn’t have the time, however once I noticed this competitors, I used to be like you already know what I’m new to the realm, it might be nice to fulfill some people who…have the identical pursuits that I’ve. And it might be actually enjoyable to become involved in the neighborhood, the native artwork group.

“And I additionally thought it was actually cool as a result of 50 % of our outfits need to be upcycled. That was what was actually necessary to me as a result of I’m actually into upcycling and discovering objects which might be very particular and distinctive and remaking them…and even simply making them to suit…I’m not a quick style individual as a result of I feel it’s a lot waste so I’ve all the time been interested by remaking issues or having the ability to do sluggish style.”

What ought to we anticipate out of your assortment: “It’s very a lot upcycled glam. I’ve taken a bunch of items that had been in my closet, that had been on the thrift retailer, textiles I discovered on the thrift retailer…bathe curtains, some sequin pillows, simply sort of random objects and I’m [putting] them collectively to make upcycled glam and sort of going again to my Vegas roots as a result of once I turned 21 I moved to [Las Vegas, Nevada], my [Los Angeles, Ca.] roots with my ardour for artwork and leisure – so [the pieces] are very distinctive and so they’re very enjoyable. [There’s] a variety of sequins, [and] a variety of colours.”

How lengthy did it take to design this assortment: “I’ve been engaged on it since I discovered I used to be doing [the show], so [two to three months].”

What’s one factor you need readers to find out about you or your assortment: “I’m simply having enjoyable. I feel that…life is about journey and making a distinction and I feel that’s most likely a quote that sums up my motto – go on adventures and attempt to make a distinction. And to me that is an journey and [I] could also be making a distinction by encouraging folks to take objects which might be upcycled or spend money on sluggish style, and possibly to take an opportunity with a designer that they wouldn’t usually have identified about or discovered about.”

Instagram: @rachelereillyvillegas


Age: 29.

The place are you from: “Titusville, and at present reside on 280.”

What’s the title of your enterprise: “Exalting In Magnificence.”

What do you design: “Jewellery designer. I make jewellery out of Perler beads, and promote them on Etsy. I’m seeking to increase to style, able to put on.”

What sparked your curiosity in jewellery design: “It began out as only a hustle. I used to be an artwork faculty scholar [Memphis College of Art from 2011- 2012, and The Art Institute of Atlanta – Decatur from 2013-2014] and I needed to create one thing and promote it as a result of I couldn’t get a job whereas I used to be in class. So, I went to my native craft retailer…and I bear in mind utilizing Perler beads as a child in summer season camp. And once I realized all I might do with Perler beads, I used to be creating jewellery on and off till I moved again to Birmingham [from Atlanta in 2016]. And that’s once I realized I can really make a extremely good enterprise out of…promoting one thing that’s so completely different and I completely find it irresistible.”

What made you need to take part in MCFW: “That is my general second assortment that I’m displaying as a designer, the primary one was in 2018 by way of a good friend…. I’ve all the time been an outsider wanting in so after they first began [MCFW], I used to be very intrigued, however I felt unworthy, I felt like I wasn’t prepared or skillful sufficient. So the highest of this yr, as a result of my jewellery enterprise was changing into profitable, I actually needed to….take a look at myself…[and] pull that dream of being a dressmaker off of the shelf and actually push myself to do that – to say ‘not solely are you able to create jewellery however you even have that reward to create clothes’ and…particularly for it to be Birmingham, and I’m from Birmingham – I actually needed to be part of one thing that’s from right here, simply to showcase and present out for my metropolis.”

What ought to we anticipate out of your assortment: “Heaps and many colours, and quantity and form. We’re specializing in sustainability so I positively used what I had which has all the time been a pure factor for me due to rising up probably not having quite a bit…[I] inform my story by way of the shapes and the colour story, and [will] even [be] showcasing jewellery shapes utilizing my Perler beads to create the jewellery…I [also] purchased pure materials however majority is the whole lot that I’ve already had at dwelling or stuff that my mother had or donations from my coworkers who had further material.”

What impressed your assortment: “Simply the evolution of me and the way far I’ve grown and the way a lot I’ve turn into assured in who I’m, and the items and skills that I’ve. So it’s actually simply beginning with a clean canvas and permitting the colours…shapes and the patterns [to speak] as a result of that’s simply how I sometimes costume. So simply actually present the evolution of…me coming into my very own confidence of being a designer and artist general.”

How lengthy did it take to complete your assortment: “[From the] first of February 2022 up till now.”

What’s one factor you need readers to find out about you or your assortment: “That I’m not afraid and so they shouldn’t be afraid to be who they’re, even when it could appear bizarre or out of contact or not deemed as regular…it doesn’t matter simply do what you need to do and never be afraid.”

Instagram: @aaliyah.naimah / @exaltinginbeauty 


Age: 28.

The place are you from: “Bessemer, Ala.”

What’s the title of your enterprise: “Heru Ra Creations.”

What do you design: “Males’s and girls’s, principally couture.”

What sparked your curiosity in style: “I’ve all the time been into it, as a child I had a fascination with footwear. However actually what began the designing course of, [is that it] was an outlet for me [in 2018] from affected by psychological well being. I undergo from social nervousness and medical despair. I used to be thought of to be suicidal on the age of 9 once I was admitted right into a psychological facility. I began looking for assist by myself on the age of 23, and now I’m a psychological well being advocate.”

What made you need to be part of MCFW: “Principally the expertise, I needed to discover this chance and sort of get extra publicity [for] the model.”

What can we anticipate out of your assortment: “I don’t need to say avant garde (new and weird or experimental concepts) seems to be nevertheless it’s positively going to be couture seems to be…the story I’m making an attempt to inform with my line is…about psychological well being consciousness so that you’ll see extra masks and hats. The masks would signify the shyness impact of tension, and the hats will symbolize the darkness of despair. Not every mannequin can have this stuff, however the ones that do will make a press release.”

How are you being sustainable: “By…ensuring that my designs [and fabrics]…are lengthy lasting. It’s not simply going to be one thing that stands out for Magic Metropolis Vogue Week, I’m seeking to proceed [with sustainability] and add on to the gathering.”

How lengthy did it take to make this assortment: “Two months.”

One factor you desire to the readers to find out about you or your assortment: “I do need the readers to know…that psychological well being is necessary, it doesn’t matter what model…or stage…however…use this [his collection] so as to add mild to your scenario.”

Instagram: @_heruracreations


Age: 42.

The place are you from: “West Level, Mississippi however have been in Birmingham for five years.”

What introduced you to Birmingham: “[A friend] stated there was a job…so I got here and obtained employed as a instructor.”

[He now teaches in Birmingham City Schools for past five years and has been teaching for a total of 16 including Mississippi and Tennessee]

What sparked your curiosity in designing: “I all the time went to shops…and when I discovered stuff it might by no means match. I didn’t like the way in which it seemed so then [in 2007] I simply began…studying find out how to hem and…making my very own [clothes]…I’m self-taught.”

What’s the title of your enterprise: “It’s an entity referred to as ‘The Jow Firm…[it’s] the umbrella for my music, my theater as a result of I’m additionally a playwright…after which my style line…however my [fashion line] is known as Jow.”

What do you design: “Males’s and girls’s, largely night put on as a result of I all the time just like the sophistication of an individual.”

What made you need to be concerned in MCFW: “I really feel like…there’s a necessity for style right here in Birmingham so I needed to showcase a few of my work.”

How are you being sustainable: “I’m taking denims and I’m repurposing them and upcycling the jean put on…I’m mixing materials with denim, generally it’s one thing silky with denim; so it’s a combination of soppy and exhausting materials…I’m [using] outdated blue denims, outdated blue jean coats, and outdated blue jean shirts.”

What impressed your assortment: “I all the time needed to see myself costume up; I all the time wish to look good. So, I’m my very own inspiration generally.”

How lengthy did this assortment take to design: “A few days to [sketch]…so far as making [the clothes] he’s nonetheless working.”

What’s one factor you need readers to find out about you or your assortment: “To sum all of it up, [I’m] a classy, renaissance designer.”

Instagram: @james_thejowcompany

Up to date at 1:56 p.m. on 6/2/22 to right title of enterprise