Nearly four years ago, Jessica Williams presented a collection in Baltimore that transitioned her love story with fashion into reality.
In August 2008, Williams was a fashion designer chosen to show their garments at the first mandated fashion week of Charm City.
“I designed my entire 32-piece collection in three weeks because I entered the show so late,” Williams said. I remember the stress, the drama, and the sleepless nights. The moment I walked out at the end of my show and I saw my friends, my clients, my family and future clients, all the complaints went out the window.”
William’s fashion week collection for her trademarked line, Irregular Exposure, was full of vibrant colors and patterns.
A portfolio with balloon shaped skirts, voluminous hangerchief hemline dresses and a show stopping floor length plaid gown provided the Polytechnic Institute student with an entry into fashion school.
Being a fashion student at one of the most prestigious Art Institutes, Williams had the opportunity to discover new realms of diversity and to advance her design aesthetic. While in college, she continued to make her mark in her hometown’s fashion scene participating in events like the annual Charm City Fashion Show.
The Irregular Exposure designer completed her fashion education in summer 2011. Months before that milestone, Williams started to plan out a business plan for her line.
“I actually had a friend I went to high school and college with, Courtney Roberts, who worked at Dollhouse Boutique as a seamstress told me about how great the boutique was,” Williams said. I emailed Natalie Graham about selling my designs back in February 2011 and I actually wanted to intern with her. By the time decisions were finalized, I had already graduated and I was ready to start selling my clothes.”
Irregular Exposure has found a home at the North Charles fashion boutique known for handpicking garments from some of Baltimore’s best independent fashion artists.
“Dollhouse is well organized and that’s something a lot of boutiques lack,” Williams said. They also expose their designers while other boutiques try to keep them for themselves. They take pride in their designers.”
As a new year starts, the emerging Baltimore designer has expansion on her mind. She will be opening an online store in Spring 2012 and expanding her line’s range.
“I have a few other boutiques in the works that may be carrying Irregular Exposure soon, but nothing is final yet,” Williams said. In 2012, I hope to have my pieces in a boutique on the west coast. Like I said a few things are in the works in Baltimore, but I want to have my pieces in California. I know that’s hard to do, but it’s very possible with the right team.”
From being a pioneer at a historic Baltimore fashion event to the creation of her own design venture, Williams is an inspiration for aspiring designers. Her recipe for success lies within a familiar four-letter word.
“Find your love and stick to it,” Williams said. You know this is the right profession if you would do it for free. Every year I give away a few free prom gowns to teen girls in Baltimore that can’t afford a dress. You just have to love what you do first.”