Chicago Fashion Designer, Stevie Edwards is making Vogue Magazine history as the first Black local fashion designer to be featured with a full-page ad. This ad will feature clothing from his Fall/Autumn 2020 Collection. The designer will reveal the ad at an invite-only event, Saturday, October 17, at Divinity Seven.
Stevie Edwards is not new to the fashion scene. Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Stevie Edwards attended Dunbar High School and graduated from Ray-Vogue College of Design. Eunice Johnson, who purchased some of his gowns and included them in the Ebony Fashion Fair Show, discovered him. After working for years as an assistant to Chicago Designers Barbara Bates, Keith Kendall, and Reginald Thomas, he launched his women’s brand, “I Luv Stevie,” in 2008. He describes it as one of a kind, sexy, cutting edge clothing for the fashion-forward upscale woman”.
Celebrity clients include Diana Ross, Tiffany Haddish, Lisa Raye, Jody Watley, and Terisa Griffin. He has styled music videos and has been featured in many publications over his career.
Danielle Sanders (DS): Congratulations on making history!
Stevie Edwards (SE): I did not know how much of a history making moment this would be until everyone started reaching out. No one has done this since the 80s with designers such as Patrick Kelly and Willi Smith. You do not see Black designers in any mainstream publications with a full-page layout. It just does not happen.
Danielle Sanders: Why do you think that is? There is no shortage of Black designers.
Stevie Edwards: Access. We just are not given the opportunity. There are so many great designers, especially now. These young designers are phenomenal and so talented. I was fortunate that someone gave me this opportunity. They felt the world needed to see me and my work.
Danielle Sanders: With COVID and the subsequent shutdown and cancellation of everything, how did it affect you creatively?
Stevie Edwards: COVID was like a blessing and a curse. We may not have needed the pandemic, but we needed that reset button. I went crazy. It was not downtime for me. I was so creative. I designed my own fabric with my logo. I felt like if European designers can have Gucci, Prada, and Fendi with their logos, so can I. This is what I plan to premiere in March; my campaign with Lisa Raye. My Chicago homegirl will be the muse for the Harper’s Bazaar spread.
Danielle Sanders: What do you love about fashion and design?
Stevie Edwards: No one knows what I am thinking in my brain. I love being creative, and I love to see a person’s reaction to my creativity. I love that part of fashion. You can be so creative, and I just love what I do. I can make anything. I make all of my things; I sew, design, tailor, sketch, make patterns; I do it all. I love being personal with my clients. I know eventually, I will have a house full of seamstresses and use a sample maker, and I occasionally do, but I love making everything myself.
Danielle Sanders: How would you describe your designs? What type of woman wears your clothes?
Stevie Edwards: The woman who wears my clothes is a sophisticated woman who wants a classic piece, but it is different. She wants something she can wear day into the evening. I have been compared to Tom Ford. I love classic and classy pieces that are sometimes trendy.
Danielle Sanders: How would you define fashion now?
Stevie Edwards: With COVID-19 and the pandemic, everything is about comfort. No one is dressing up because we have nowhere to go. That is why my next collection is all about comfort. I think that is what we are doing right now.
Danielle Sanders: Let us talk about this Vogue magazine ad. What can we expect with this ad?
Stevie Edwards: OMG…I put my foot into this. I prayed first because this is a moment I dreamed about. It was on my fashion bucket list. The ad is high fashion, couture, and very tailored. You are going to see me. You are going to love it.
Danielle Sanders: Vogue is a huge deal! It’s the fashion bible!
Stevie Edwards: I know! I am elated.
Danielle Sanders: You have solidified yourself in the history books. That has to feel amazing!
Stevie Edwards: It feels fantastic as a designer. It is all full-circle moment for me. When I was in fashion school, Eunice Johnson bought my gowns and put them in her fashion show. I remember sitting front row at the show. When the gowns came down the runway, she would say the designer’s name, and I remember saying OMG! My gown was next to an Yves Saint Laurent! Now my name and work will be in Vogue magazine!
Danielle Sanders: If you could dress the Chicago woman, what would you want to see her wear?
Stevie Edwards: Chicago girls love a nice bag and shoes, but I would love to see Chicago women take more fashion risks, use more color, and dress it up more. I would love to bring Hollywood to Chicago. It is one of the reasons I choose to stay in Chicago instead of moving to Los Angeles. I want to bring fashion back here at home.
Danielle Sanders: What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Stevie Edwards: I have not even announced this yet, so the Chicago Defender will be the first to hear this! I have two new editorials coming out—one in GQ in the December 2020 issue and the other in March 2021 for Harpers Bazaar. Lisa Raye is going to do the shoot for March 2021 Harper’s Bazaar shoot. I am so grateful. This is my Spring/Summer collection, which is also my logo collection. This is my baby. I trademarked my name, it is a collection of 10 pieces, and we plan to have a major rollout in March.
Danielle Sanders: I cannot wait to see the collection and your ad in Vogue! Congratulations again! This is history making, and I am so thrilled to see our local designers get their just due.
Stevie Edwards: You are going to love it. I cannot wait for everyone to see it.
Stevie Edwards Vogue Magazine reveal ad fashion event will take place Saturday, October 17. Strict social distancing guidelines will be followed. Masks will be given at the door along with temperature checks. For updates on his latest collection, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @StevieEdwards, Instagram @Stevietedesigner or visit his website, StevieEdwards.com.