If the pandemic did one thing for emerging to fast up-and-coming designers in the US, it was that the people who have the power to take designers’ brands to another level, have. Sergio Hudson is one of them. On day 3 of New York Fashion Week, the designer who has dressed Vice President Kamala Harris, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and JLo held his fashion show at Spring Studios in New York’s Tribeca, not disappointing guests with a vibrant collection.
“This collection inspiration came from a photo of Diahann Carroll,” says Hudson. Carroll, an American actress of her day exuded beauty on the silver screen in films like Porgy and Bess. And an iconic image of the actress in a white cashmere sweater and pants with slingback pumps sealed his design aesthetic for this season. It’s clear that Hudson is inspired by strong women. “She is the quintessential well-dressed woman and that image personified luxurious American sportswear.” But it was also his mom, who introduced him to sewing that continuously inspires Hudson. “My mother is my muse. She’s the queen of my world and got me involved in fashion.” And it was his mother Sheldon Hudson and his father Daniel Hudson who watched from the front row with bold pride as their son unveiled this collection.
Designing for leading women in US politics has propelled Hudson’s career as a leading American designer. He caught the attention of the world when he designed Mrs. Obama’s magenta on magenta on magenta long coat pants inauguration suit this past January. “The inauguration gave me the inspiration to continue creating an extension of the looks in the collection, I simply created an aesthetic from Mrs. Obama’s looks in the collection.
And did he. The power pants with bold turtle neck collars, paired with a long coat in a bright yellow and blue caused the audience to gasp when models wearing these bold looks walked onto the runway. There was no absence of color from reds, blues, yellows, blacks, purples, creams with black prints inspired by Africa, and crystalized evening gowns and dresses grazed the runway. He’s able to create for a certain type of business women, executives that command respect in their everyday lives but desire to be beautiful.
Working with the brand Brother Vellies, also another African American brand who created the footwear for the collection to match each look with the monochromatic aesthetic added pizazz to the collection. According to notes from the house, the shoe designs consisted of ribbon and buckle pumps along with thigh high and ankle boots in embossed leather, satin and suede.
Hudson is able to master creating sexy and slightly revealing looks that accentuate the female form by keeping women looking classy. He attributes this ability to his taste and sartorial storytelling abilities.
Since January’s inauguration Hudson has seen his brand reaching successful heights. According to his house, sales have increased by 495% and almost every major retailer from Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Intermix, Bloomingdales and Moda Operandi have picked up his brand in their stores. His brand is growing and Hudson has been able to transform his business, garnering success during the global pandemic, making a mark in the fashion industry.
Hudson attributes it also to a shift in the attention on emerging brands. “A lot of people thought about the industry. Since the inauguration there was a move to look at emerging designers. There has been a rise in sales and today a lot of people are giving attention to smaller brands.”
Raised in a small Southern American town: Ridgeway, South Carolina Hudson desires to make the brand a classical sportswear brand like Ralph Lauren. “This is a dying fashion genre and we have to find our footing again.” He’s slowly building up the brand to his hope and dreams, all the while powerful women in the US government and in business are relishing in his talent.