Jody Davis is a native Baltimorean who has an undeniable passion for fashion. Her luxury ready-to-wear brand for women, Jody Davis Designs has been worn by a variety of women, including the First Lady of Maryland, Dawn Moore.
Davis is the fashionista who created the timeless look for Maryland Governor Wes Moore’s iconic inauguration.
“I found that beautiful cashmere for the cape and the jersey for the dress,” Davis said.
However, her client base does not exclusively constitute high-profile clients.
“They are working women, business owners, managers, everyday women and housewives,” Davis said. “I choose quality fabrics. I like natural fabrics like cottons and wools.”
Davis also likes using Lycra to add stretch to the garment.
The graduate of Western High School in Baltimore later attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Today, Davis can be found designing dresses, suits, jackets, pants and skirts. Davis’ brand is self-funded. She tries to offer a collection two or three times a year.
“I drape all of my designs on my dress form. So, I make my patterns, then I make my samples and tweak them for that perfect fit to accent a woman’s body with elegance and grace,” Davis said.
Tracy Arnold Nixon is a real estate agent and nonprofit founder who is based in Prince George’s County. Nixon has worn a wide array of pieces that she purchased from Davis. She remarked that it is very important for her to dress for an occasion because she believes that an individual is only given one time to make a first impression.
“What makes Jody Davis different is because she is a luxury designer who does not copy or imitate other luxury designs. Jody Davis Designs has its own flare, and you know a Jody Davis design when you see one. The special attention to detail for the curvy woman is unmatched,” Nixon said. “I have been a customer since 1999 and it is due to the quality of the clothing. The clothing is flattering for women of all sizes, and they can be worn from your business meeting to a night out with the girls, to church.”
She added that Davis’ clothes are versatile, classy and sheik.
“With the highest quality of material and the specific attention to details offered in a Jody Davis piece, you always feel very feminine and confident when wearing them,” Nixon said.
Davis said that she has been designing women’s apparel for over 20 plus years. She has been located in downtown Baltimore for the past 18. Davis has clients who still have garments from one of her collections from over 20 ago.
According to Davis, inspiration for design ideas come from a higher power. Davis pointed out that women are being seen more often in public since the pandemic has improved after the end of lockdown. Ladies want to dress up again.
“They’re looking for color. They’re looking for things that pop,” Davis said.
Initially, fashion was a hobby for Davis. She began receiving compliments from family and friends who commented on clothes that she sewed and made.
“But then I started getting compliments from people that I didn’t know,” Davis said.
She even began getting requests from people to make clothes for them. But before she designed clothes full-time, Davis worked at Neiman Marcus as a sales associate for seven years. Her boss encouraged her to work on her talent full-time, instead of working for Neiman Marcus. Over time, Davis built a client base while diving into a new endeavor.
When 9/11 terrorist attacks hit, Davis said that her business dried up. She took a job as a mortgage broker to stay afloat until the real estate market tanked.
“That’s when I reverted back to my gifts and my talents of designing and making beautiful garments,” Davis said.
Davis’ clients include Cathy Hughes and national news correspondent Michelle Miller. Even Gayle King has a few dresses in her wardrobe, according to Davis. But Davis remarked that she looks at all of her clients who seek to wear a Jody piece as celebrities.
“I am thankful for all of the clients that I have and in particular thankful for those repeat clients who come back year after year, month after month, looking for pieces to add to their wardrobe,” Davis said. “It’s like an addiction for some of them. It’s a great feeling for me.”
Davis’ website is www.jodydavis.com. Her store’s location is 110 W. Saratoga St. in Baltimore.