High-Rises to High-Fashion

Exceptional physical condition, extreme weather tolerance and the ability to lift a significant amount of weight, is just the tip of the iceberg, regarding what it takes to be an Ornamental Iron Worker.  Now, couple that with beauty, grace, elegance and high-fashion, the end result is “True New Yorker” Porcha Gordon.

Originally from Houston, Texas, currently living in the Bronx, Porcha is an Ornamental Ironworker going on eight years, with an additional career in the industry of high-fashion modeling as well.  According to Porcha, the uniqueness of her profession and the impeccable views, are what she loves the most about being an Ornamental Ironworker.  What she loves the most about being a model, is being able to dress up and showcase beautiful designs.

One of the challenges of this dual career, was the constant transformation from Ornamental Ironworker to model.  Gordon remembers when she first started to model, she was not graceful at all.  Her walk made people cringe.  She had to learn how to walk all over again.  Balancing both professions takes a lot of physical energy out of her, especially, when a show runs late and she gets very little sleep for work the next day.  Additionally, she tends to get nicks, cuts and bruises, which can be impose an issue in front of the camera.

Porcha Gordon You Me NYC

When asked if she faced any animosity in such a male dominated industry, Porcha replied, “Not really but occasionally, I get a guy who thinks that he can bully me because I’m a girl”.  According to Porcha, due to her size and her looks, she would get a few interesting stares when seen in her hard-hat and construction gear when she first started. Now, those stares have turned in to admiration and people being impressed.

One of her most interesting experiences in her daytime profession, was working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and in the world of modeling, discovering a whole new universe and being a part of it, which is the opportunity of a lifetime.  However,  where there is interesting there is also embarrassment.  Porcha recalls, a time when she was working over someone not realizing there was a can of “Redbull” in her back pocket.  Somehow she crushed the can and it got all over her and her construction pants.  She had to continue the rest of the day working in her leggings.  Another awkward moment for Porcha was when she was modeling.  She was wearing patterned “granny panties” which happened to faintly show through her outfit.

Porcha’s busy schedule between careers does actually allow for some downtime.  During the few moments she does have for herself, Porcha cherishes the time she spends with her friends, as well as playing in all things makeup.  She also likes to participate in beauty classes and catch up on sleep, which according to Gordon, sleep is boring but it’s the best thing ever.

Once finished with her journey of self discovery, Porcha eventually wants to travel the world with her best friend.  For now she will continue to maintain two careers and continue the path she has been following which makes her great grandmother proud.  Although her great grandmother is no longer with us, she is still Porcha’s greatest influence in life.

Adding the Finishing Touch

“Wrapped by Nellz” a Brooklyn based hair wrap line is making quite a stir in the local community and New York City as well.  Jamaican born, moved to Brooklyn from Florida where she was raised,  had a lot to do with why Nellz got into the custom hair wrap industry.  She loves the diversity and the fashion the city has to offer.  Nellz has always worn hair wraps and  has received a ton of compliments.  She would use scarves and shirts, however it would just not look right, the threads would be showing, amongst other effects, which was another factor that prompted her to get into the business of making custom hair wraps.

After praying and consulting with the pastor of her church, and aligning her vision with her church, Nellz stepped into the world of being an entrepreneur.  Owning her own business plays a huge part in maintaining the ministry and the church of which she is a part of.  Taking that bold step, has really jump-started a passion and ignited her creativity side.  Nellz started to wash, cut, iron and sew her own wraps and created many various sizes for all to enjoy.

Wrapped By Nellz

Her design style is focused mainly on a lot of African prints and patterns with a collection of calm textiles and materials as well.  She gets most of her fabrics from Africa, California, Florida, Texas and New York City.  She likes to obtain from these different areas based on their distinct vibe as opposed to what is already the standard in New York City.  With that being said, one of Nellz’s favorite designers is Betsey Johnson and the way she boldly expresses her love for the “out of normal style”.  Nellz follows suit by not always matching her wraps with her outfits, creating her own “out of normal style”.

One of her biggest challenges of owning her line is finding the medium and looking for repetition.  Being fairly new to the industry, Nellz experiences little day to day achievements and struggles as she tries to pinpoint the trend and avoid the norm.  Once she has defined the mean, she will know what to expect at that point going forward.

Whatever little downtime Nellz has, she focuses on her family and her heavy involvement with her church.  She also has been evaluating as to whether she will be adding earrings as an additional accessory to her line as well.  She has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from her customers regarding her wraps and when she will be adding earrings as well.  Should Nellz decide to add earrings to her line, I am already positive it will add an additional “finishing touch” along with one of her wraps, to any wardrobe that is missing that eye-catching accent and completing the look with a touch of exceptional brillance.

 

 

 

 

Fashion Trap

Fashion TrapHaitian born and Brooklyn raised since the age of 8 years old, founder and head designer of the urban clothing line “Fashion Trap” Carl M, is a true believer that one really can control his or her own destiny in life, by taking nothing for granted and seizing every opportunity that comes along.  The confirmation of starting his line is based on his ability to create, his desire to connect with people and that he just wants to influence the industry by speaking a language that everyone can understand. He defines fashion as an art, a dialect of expressing himself and the way he cultivates relationships with others.

Fashion Trap

Fashion design is not a career to Carl, it is a passion and a purpose to create a vision, turning that vision into reality and sharing it with everyone around him.  Everyday,  just by walking the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, Carl is influenced by all the people he sees, their personalities and their style.  SOHO, Meatpacking, Tribeca, 7th ave along with the internet and social media, is where Carl frequents the most, for his inspiration and to keep up to date with the current trends, only to work on his own interpretation of those trends as well.Fashion Trap

When asked about his personal style, Carl equated his style to the equivalent of the “Boy Band”.  He has many styles and doesn’t like to be labeled under any particular type of genre.  Depending on his mood for that day, his style could be that of a rock-star, urban, and or preppy look.

Carl’s hard work, and dedication to his craft and his line is very impressive.  I, along with the rest of our readers are looking forward to seeing what else he is going to bring in this fast-paced ever-changing industry of ours.

Fashion TrapFashion TrapFashion Trap

 

 

 

Rose Berger NYC

Rose Berger NYCNOHO, for those of you who don’t know what it stands for, it stands for North of Houston in New York City.  It’s also one of the most trendy neighborhoods, where creativity meets cool and chic.  It was home to legendary artists such as Andy Warhol and unforgettable music clubs like CBGBs.  It’s also home to the elegant and exclusive jewelry line, Rose Berger NYC.  Rose, pictured to the right, is from a small mining town in West Virginia.  Life was tough there, it was a very poor town and extremely difficult to get a good education, especially in the early 1950s.  Rose and her family moved to New York City in 1963 where according to Rose “Life was a hell of a lot easier but still challenging”.  Those big-city challenges taught Rose never to take anything for granted, with hard work anything is possible and to be strong enough to accept failure along with success.

When asked what lead up to her becoming a Jewelry designer, she attributes it all, to a bookmark she made for her daughter out of one of her sterling silver charms.  Her daughter pulled it out in school and the idea caught on.  Before Rose knew it, she started to receive requests from all of her daughter’s classmates, family and friends.  It was a daunting task to find charms that matched each personality so Rose decided to take a silversmith course to make her own charms and designs.  Before the course was even over, she bought a designer’s work bench, tools and set up a small work-space in her kitchen.  It wasn’t just bookmarks she was making anymore, it was pendants, earrings, rings and other accessories as well.

With her new found passion in the art of jewelry design, Rose would find herself up all hours of the night working on her creations.  Her hard work and dedication, afforded her  the opportunity to open a popup store which was in business for 19 months while she was employed full time.  It was there that Sarah Gore-Reeves, a fashion editor from “Vogue Mexico”, approached her and inquired about using one of her pieces for a photo-shoot.  The December 2012 issue of “Vogue Mexico” featured two of Rose’s hand designs worn by super model Coco Rocha.  All of  this happening, Rose was able validated herself and her decision to keep on designing.

Rose Berger NYCLiving in NOHO, is one of Rose’s biggest inspirations, along with images from history books, such as chain-mail armor worn by European and Japanese soldiers, Egyptian body jewelry and period pieces from other cultures around the world.  When she leaves home, she is steps from NYU (New York University) and Broadway.  Within a 2 block radius, she witnesses a photo-shoot, music video and or film shoot.  According to Rose, most New Yorkers love to wear black and she does as well.  Before she even designs, she envisions how the piece will look on a black background or on her mannequins with black canvas so she can bring the idea to life.  According to Rose, when an individual wears black he or she is looking to accessorize from head to toe.

Rose Berger NYCWhat makes Rose’s designs unique in the industry is that they compliment the body and are extraordinarily comfortable.  Rose designs body chains, metal dresses, and entire outfits out of chain-mail.  Depending on the day and where she draws her motivation from, she might create a pair of sterling silver earrings that attach to a necklace, a head piece, face piece, or a pair of classically designed earrings for a dinner party.  All of Rose’s designs are one of a kind also contributing to why her designs stand out in the design community and the industry as well.

Rose Berger NYCWith such distinct designs, Rose is always being approached to use her designs for photo-shoots, video and film shoots.  There is a great demand for her pieces, however that demand also comes with frustration.  According to Rose, being less of a known designer makes it twice as hard to sell her items.  One can throw in the ever increasing cost of marketing to the equation of frustration as well.  She refers back to her popup store, where her booth was next to a woman selling well known pieces at twice the price of Rose’s.  People were buying based on the brand name, even though the jewelry was literally falling apart in their hands.  What frustrated Rose the most is that the woman in the booth next to her called upon her services to fix her merchandise constantly, whether it was a jump ring that needed to be replaced or a faulty clasp that needing to be adjusted.  

When asked about upcoming fashion trends developing, she wishes she kept what she used to wear in the 70s and 80s.  She also spotted jeans with holes in the knees that she use to wear in the 90s.  However, she is saddened at the fact that  women are wearing less jewelry as before.

Rose Berger NYCIn the high-paced ever-changing world of fashion and jewelry design Rose was asked what she does in her down time and she explained that she just recently retired from her full time job, the beginning of this year so there is no downtime.  Her downtime is being a full time designer and she loves every minute of it.

In closing, I am quite sure that the designers she admires most, Betsey Johnson, Tarun Tahiliani, and Joe Galliano, just to name a few, would return the favor and admire her just as much.