The Story Behind A Collection


I want to thank all of you again for your amazing comments yesterday.  I can’t stop smiling!  When you work on something for almost a year, and it finally comes into fruition, all you truly want is for people to enjoy what you have created.  I am so happy that you are enjoying the new collection.

I thought I would take some time today to give you some background on the collection, how it came together, and the amazing cast of people that we worked with to help bring it to life.  It all started with a photo, one of my favorite images from Domino (above).  I don’t know if many of you remember this image, but it was taken at the Brooklyn home of Demi Adeniran of Fabrica.  Melanie Acevedo was the photographer on the project.  Demi’s daughter Sade was also featured.  Little did I know the first time I saw this photo that many of these people would be involved in my own photo shoot a year-and-a-half later.

The collection was inspired by Brooklyn.  One of my favorite New York boroughs, Brooklyn has been an inspiration.  Full of amazing artists, designers, entrepreneurs, this part of New York is going through its own artistic renaissance.  My husband and I really wanted to celebrate that, and decided to go to Brooklyn to meet with artists, designers and others who could help us make our vision come to life.

Our first meeting was in December 2009 with illustrator Samantha Hahn.  I have always loved her work since I first saw it featured on Design for Mankind.  I contacted Samantha, a new mother, and my husband and I met with her (and little Henry) in a cafe in her Brooklyn neighborhood.  It was the beginning of a wonderful collaboration that resulted into our modern toile watercolor images.

Samantha Hahn
Samantha Hahn

AphroChic Brooklyn Life Pillow outdoor
Brooklyn Life Toile

After meeting with Sam, and knowing that we could bring our Brooklyn Life prints to reality, I went on to design our Vibe and Beat patterns.  With patterns and samples ready I was in search of a photographer who understood Brooklyn and the feel we were trying to capture.  That’s how we met Melanie Acevedo.  An absolute dream come true, Melanie not only loved the Brooklyn concept, but she was from BK herself!  She also had some models in mind for us.  The first was a little girl named Sade, yes, the same little girl in the Domino picture!


As we searched for a woman to be our model, Melanie called me up and told me she had found someone  – a beautiful actress, Adepero Oduye!  Not only did Adepero have the natural look that we love, but she is also from Brooklyn.  We knew she was the perfect fit!


Then it was time to think about styling.  I called up my sister, Angela Hays, a visual stylist for Room & Board, and with my husband already on board, we had quite a great team in place.  We needed some original styling pieces, and I reached out to some of my favorite artist and designers.  Leigh Viner created some fantastic original pieces that I fell completely in love with.  You can see them on the mantle in the image below and with our The Beat wallpaper.  They were the perfect styling accessory!

Leigh’s print graces the mantel.

Love how strong the Lune print looks with our vintage skates and BK poster.

Lune Print 2
Lune Print 2

Lune Print
Lune Print

We also received jewelry from Jess LC and Barbara Campbell, and clothing from Brooklyn clothing designer Katie Buckley.

From start to finish, this collection has been a collaboration with so many amazing people.  We are thankful to everyone who helped the AphroChic Fall Collection come to life.  Later this week I’ll share with you some behind-the-scenes pics from the shoot too.

{Images: 1. Domino; 2. Samantha Hahn; 3. Brooklyn Life Outdoor Pillow; 4. Melanie Acevedo for AphroChic; 5. Melanie Acevedo for AphroChic; 6. Melanie Acevedo for AphroChic; 7. Melanie Acevedo for AphroChic; 8. Lune Print 2; 9. Lune Print}

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