My staff and I are beyond thrilled that tomorrow we will be heading into New York city to visit one of our favorite designers,Â Amsale's
showroom and will have the opportunity to meet the designer, herself!
You may be familiar with Amsale's elegant and modern designs, but you may not be familiar with the impressive woman behind the brand.Â Here's a bit more about her from an article that appearedÂ inÂ Â Black Enterprise.com
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â image courtesy of madame noir
Most people are surprised to learn that one of the most respected and celebrated bridal designers in the world is a Black woman. But Amsale Aberra, the Ethopian-born fashionÂ designer hasÂ had her creations worn by school teachers to socialites to stars like Halle Berry, is full of surprises.
Like most entrepreneurial endeavors, the Amsale brand was born out of an identified void in the marketplace; and the gumption to fill that void. âI started [my label] right after my wedding in 1985. I was looking for a very simple gown for myself and thought âI canât be the only person searching for this.â and so I started a small custom business,â says the University of Massachusetts graduate, who supported herself in college through a number of odd-jobs. After graduating, Amsale left Boston for the Big Apple to hone her design skills at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, she landed a job at Harve Bernard. âI was his assistant. We did suits and career type dresses,â she recalls.
When asked what her big break was as a bridal designer Amsale reveals, âWhen youâre first starting out, every little thing is a big break.â She adds with a chuckle, âWhen I received that first call [for a purchase] I thought, someone actually wants a dress from me.â Soon, the New York Times
came knocking at her door. âThey did a profile on me as a new designer in the style section. It really got the attention of editors who later requested wedding dresses,â she explains.
Fast forward to 2011 and that initial small, custom based business has expanded to an empire including the classic collection Amsale, Kenneth Pool for the edgy, over the top bride, Christos, a feminine and soft collection of gowns and bridesmaid dresses of which Amsale boasts, âI donât do bridesmaid dresses that say bridesmaid. Theyâre sophisticated.â She also has a red carpet collection consisting of couture eveningwear. In addition, last season Amsale added reality television to her already packed resume with the debut of her WeTV show, Amsale Girls
, that allows viewers to observe what goes on behind the scenes of her swanky Madison Avenue showroom. And the talented designer is far from finished admitting that sheâs interested in bridal accessories like jewelry and shoes and even a home line. âWhen we have the right partner, we can do different things. It just has to be the right time,â she says.
For other Black women who aspire to break into the bridal industry as a designer, Amsale offers this advice: âIf youâre committed and have a very clear idea, eventually you will succeed,â she shares. But she adds this important caveat, âHave a point of view. There are a lot of designers out there. Doing the same thing as everyone else; it is hard to succeed that way. Be unique about your idea and stick with it,â warns Amsale.
The groundbreaking-yet-humble designer shies away from labels like innovator. âI never really considered myself an innovator. More than being an innovator, Iâm someone who is passionate about consistently making a product I believe in,â Amsale admits. She adds, âMy line evolved from me being the patternmaker, cutting the fabric and making every dress one at a time. Clearly that is a huge change to where I am today. But what has remained the same is my attention to the entire process. I always think about the bride, the woman wearing the dress.â
Stay tuned to our facebook
pages to watch our fun experience unfold tomorrow andÂ be sure to continue to read the blog to get a full recap of our fabulous day!
If like us, you can't get enough of Amsale, be sure to check out her weekly column
that appears in the Huffington Post!