I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the creative talent of Starr Thomas owner and designer of Tinka's Baby Designs during Pittsburgh Fashion Week 2014 and now Sonita's Designs has the pleasure of featuring Starr in our first blog piece of the year! We are truly honored.....
Starr's designs were literally jaw dropping! Star does not only design baby and children clothing she designs and creates couture women and men's clothing that touches the souls of designers and stylist alike. She designs with such passion and intricacy; her designs are classy, modest and elegant. As I sat and watched her scene at the show, I was refreshed and inspired, what every stylist strives to experience during a runway show. Starr's Designs represent what fashion is..... individuality, uniqueness and passion. She designs for various body types and each design flatters each physique . This is sometimes rare in the fashion world, most designers only cater and design for one body type, not Starr, she thrives in this area. Starr is also socially aware of the times we are living in and expresses her heart through designing. In 2016 Starr designed a Black Lives Matter gown that spoke volumes and brought such emotion gliding down the runway, I was in tears! Starr is a mom, a designer, entrepreneur, and Pittsburgh's hidden treasure. Starr is definitely the designer to watch in 2017! I can't wait to see her designs hit New York Fashion Week! I will be in the front row watching and routing her on! See you at the top Starr!
How did you begin your designing career? How long have you been designing?
My mother influenced me to begin sewing. When i was little she used to make a lot of my clothes and costumes. She taught me how to sew when I was 8 years old. My first real interest in sewing began in my high school years. I made my own Kennywood outfit and I also made my own prom dress. My senior year was when I ultimately decided to pursue my fashion career seriously by enrolling into The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I have been designing since 2002.
What were the challenges you faced in the fashion Industry, and how did you overcome them?
One of the main challenges when I first started out was enrolling into a well known fashion school. Back then Pittsburgh didn't have any schools with a great fashion degree program. I had request information from a school in New York and didn't get a response. After a summer visit to my Uncle in California I decided to attend college out of state. I'm grateful that I did because the experience was great! I learned so much about the fashion design, the fashion industry and how to sharpen my skills. I'm happy that I am able to use my gift here at home in Pittsburgh.
Who is your support system?
My support system is so extensive! It includes my family! My Mom, my Uncle Mark and Uncle Marty, my cousins, my sister-friends, my models and last but not least my customers!
What is your motivation to continue Designing?
My motivation is definitely my children! Accomplishing my dream will ultimately mean that I am creating a better life for them. It is so important to me that I leave my children something that they can continue to build upon.
What was the highlight of your designing career in 2016?
The highlight of my year thus far was the creation of my African Royalty collection! It was my first collection that I created since the birth of my son (in January 2016). I am so very proud of my collection and what it stands for! Best work I have done thus far. My vision couldn't have come to reality without my amazingly talented makeup artist Ashley Canada of Purple Kisses Artistry and hairstylist Brittany Collins of The Hair Hive!
What do you think is the most important thing a person entering into a career in designing should know?
I believe that as a fashion designer you must have patience and knowledge of sewing and the fit of a garment is key!! Never stop believing in yourself and your designs! The right fabric will make everything fall into place! Also you must never stop sharpening your skills and learning! Draw inspiration from everything! Last but not least Never Give Up! With God all things are possible!