Baltimore's Serrita Shaw hits the runway in grand style
Ursula V. Battle | 9/8/2017, 6 a.m.
Baltimore native Serrita Shaw is looking to join the ranks of Bill Blass, Versace, Gucci, Bob Mackie, and other high fashion designers. Shaw, who was a fashion design student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), was selected to present a collection during this year’s inaugural SCAD FASHWKND in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, May 18-21, 2017. Featured at the event were original designs curated from the finest SCAD School of Fashion senior and graduate students.
“I enjoyed seeing my collection go down the runway in front of an audience for the first time,” said Shaw. “This experience made me feel prepared and inspired to move forward in my career as a fashion designer. SCAD does an excellent job giving students real world experiences, like this fashion showcase, so that we’re ready for our future careers.”
The four-day event included the annual SCAD Savannah Runway Show and the first SCAD Atlanta Fashion Showcase.
“SCAD has given me numerous opportunities to interact with industry professionals throughout my time on campus, and this one was certainly a highlight,” said Shaw.
Each year, graduating SCAD School of Fashion students in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Savannah, are given the opportunity to have their work expertly critiqued by fashion industry leaders. The university’s Style Lab mentor program connects them directly with established designers as they complete their final collections.
This year’s Style Lab mentors included Francisco Costa, former Calvin Klein womenswear creative director; SCAD alumnus Marv Graff, an avant-garde fashion designer; David Ruperto, senior director of Ralph Lauren footwear; and SCAD alumna Emily Smith, Lafayette 148 New York creative director.
Shaw was raised in West Baltimore, and is a graduate of The Western School of Technology.
“I consider my designs as an evolution to accentuate the female body,” she said. “I feel like it’s been lost in the fashion industry and should to be reintroduced in fashion. I love to wear clothes that accentuate my curves. I ensemble flattering chic pieces to complement a streamline appearance.”
She added, “Lately, I’ve been incorporating the interior and exterior architecture of buildings, [which] gives me a new design line idea. I also take interest in interior design. Seeing the outline design of the furniture gives me ideas for new silhouettes.”
“I learned to hand sew at the age of seven, when my mom helped me sew my torn yellow blanket,” Shaw recalled about her first sewing experience. “I was influenced by my mom who studied fashion. She always dressed me in style as a child. My interest in fashion continued to blossom at SCAD as I honed my design skills.”
When asked what type of person she imagines wearing her designs Shaw replied, “I imagine a strong, sophisticated, determined woman. My customer is very fashion-forward and knows what she wants.”
With a runway experience under her belt and graduation behind her, Shaw is looking to continue her “pattern” of success.
“Right now, I am looking into different strategies to expose myself as a new designer,” said Shaw. “I’ll be adding more fabric choices and designs to my current collection, but most importantly I’ll be trademarking my brand name and logo.
“I see myself owning my own fashion house and maintaining a strong reputation of exquisite designs from season to season."