Beautiful, daring and unique. These words resonate whenever you think of Sammy B Designs. And that’s just one of the reasons why popular retail corporation Target contacted Jamaican designer Samantha Black about collaborating on a Black History Month showcase.
The overjoyed designer recently shared an exciting discovery with her fans on the Instagram social network. She traveled to Brooklyn to see her collection in person. This is where her passion for fashion was discovered and it was the most surreal experience to celebrate this incredible milestone as a black woman and an ‘old lady’ in one.
“The feedback on the collection has been incredibly great. It feels good to offer your designs, at great quality and price, nationwide in the United States and online. It makes all my hard work pay off and it’s great to see all the new Sammy B fans,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.
Born in New York, 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 nurturing all the cultural norms and values of the homeland while adapting to a foreign life.
A great way to bridge the gap while staying true to her roots was a style statement.
“I’ve always been a fan of dressing up. And it was important to my family growing up, so it’s always been important. I remember how my cousins and I, all under the age of 10, were getting ready for parties and talking about how we would be the best dressed – she said.
The act of grooming, as simple as it may seem, paved the way for her successful career. This has increased her confidence in how she presents herself to the world, both in her personal style and in her brand as a designer.
Others began to notice her creative role models and suggested that she pursue fashion in high school. Until college, she enrolled in art school, but moved to London for six months, which changed her life. There she worked with the great design studio Alexander McQueen. “It was really great! Very practical with a lot of elements,” she enthuses.
Armed with knowledge and unique experience, Black returned to America to work in corporate fashion. Years later, Sammy B Designs was born.
Eclectic, comfortable, vibrant and bold with notes that reflect the trends of the Big Apple, SammyB is a ready-to-wear brand that appeals to the modern woman; those with a natural personal style who are both risk takers and trendsetters.
“Some of my signature pieces are hand-knitted items, three-piece sets, a skirt with a ruffle hem and the use of stripes. It’s important to be bold and comfortable,” she said.
Her designs have been in the spotlight thanks to 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’s important to note that a copy of the island’s lively fan ‘flair’ is sewn into the fabric of her stunning pieces. It pays homage to its Jamaican roots in its use of brilliant colors.
But that journey wasn’t always rosy, “One of my biggest challenges would be self-funding. [The] the fashion business is very expensive, with a lot of start-up costs. I just find ways that work best for me, produce in quantities that also make sense. It takes a lot of trial and error.”
Black continues to stay true to the authenticity of her designs and is grateful that people gravitate to her fashion vision. “My designs reflect 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 continue, rise and grow with every step. “Style is personal, so put out what you want people to wear.”