Samantha Black hits fashion ‘Target’ with new collab
Beautiful, bold and unique. These words resonate whenever you think of Sammy B Designs. And it is just one of the reasons why popular retail corporation, Target, approached Jamaican designer, Samantha Black, about collaborating for its Black History Month showcase.
The overjoyed designer recently took to social media platform, Instagram, to share the exciting unveiling with her fans. She had made her way to the borough of Brooklyn to see her collection in person. This is where her passion for fashion had been discovered and it was the most surreal experience to celebrate this incredible milestone as a black woman and a ‘yardie’ in one.
“The feedback from the collection has been overwhelmingly great. It feels good to offer my designs, with great quality and price nationwide in the United States and online. This makes all my effort worth it, and it’s great to see all the new fans of Sammy B,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.
Born in New York City, Black explained that both her parents are from Jamaica. “My mom [is] from Clarendon and my dad, from Kingston,” she explained. Being raised in a Jamaican household meant fostering all the cultural norms and values of the homeland, while adapting to foreign living.
A great way she would bridge the gap, all while staying true to her roots, was through the expressions of style.
“I was always a fan of dressing. And it was important to my family growing up, so it was always a thing. I remember my cousins and I, all under the age of 10, getting ready to go to parties and talking about how we will be the best dressed,” she recounted.
The act of dressing up, as simple as it may seem, paved the way for her thriving career path. It boosted her confidence in how she presented herself to the world, both in her personal style and her brand as a designer.
Others began noticing her creative patterns and suggested in high school that she pursue fashion. By college, she enrolled in art school, but made a life-changing move to London for six months. There, she worked with the great Alexander McQueen design studio. “It was really great! Very hands on with lots of elements,” she enthused.
Armed with knowledge and a one-of-a-kind experience, Black was back to the states to work in corporate fashion. Years later, Sammy B Designs was born.
Eclectic, comfortable, vibrant and bold with notes depicting trends of the Big Apple, SammyB is a ready-to-wear brand which appeals to the modern-day women; those with a natural personal style who are both risk takers and trendsetters.
“Some of my signature pieces are hand braided items, three-piece sets, wavy hemline skirt and the use of stripes. It’s about being bold and comfortable,” she declared.
Her designs have stepped into the spotlight, courtesy of international celebrities such as Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj and Meg Thee Stallion as well as Hollywood actresses Halle Berry and Gabrielle Union Wade.
It is important to note that stitched in the fabric of her stunning pieces is the carbon copy of lively island fan ‘flair’. She pays tribute to her Jamaican roots in her use of brilliant colours.
But the journey hasn’t always been a bed of roses, “One of my biggest challenges would be self-funding. [The] fashion business is very expensive, with a lot of up-front cost. I just find ways that work best for me, produce in quantities that also make sense. It takes lots of trial and error.”
Black continues to remain true to the authenticity of her designs and she is grateful that persons gravitate towards her fashion-forward vision. “My designs mirror the way I dress. It’s a very personal influence. So my collections are a direct reflection of me, my Jamaican culture and New York,” she added.
The popular fashion designer hopes to keep going, elevating and growing with each strut and stride. “Style is personal, so put out what you want to see people wearing.”