MODEL WEARING BERIQISU FALL 2014
We caught up with the founder of Beriqisu during fashion week to check out what the Harlem designer label has in store for the upcoming fall delivery. Belkis Whyte is now a fashion industry veteran who started the uptown collection at a young age and has notably dressed none other than Beyoncé. The new Beriqisu collection will be at the upcoming Sugar Hill Market on Sunday, September 21st at the garden gallery of 259 West 132nd Street: LINK
HB: What is the inspiration behind your company?
BW: The inspiration behind my company is vibrant colors and electric prints. What better place to derive from than my own background, Ghana, West Africa. I love the people, food, energy, and booming market places. The brand, Beriqisu, continues to mold and find it's place in the fashion world while consciously leading support to women and children in Ghana. This season, after my trip to Ghana, we have set a system I'm place to use fabrics from the women in Ghana directly. It's not an easy task but it inspires me to work hard because someone is depending on the line.
HB: Has it been difficult launching a designer line in Harlem?
BK: I do not think it has been difficult launching Beriqisu in Harlem at all. It has been as welcoming as when I arrives in May 2007, bright eyed college student, to start my internship at Ralph Lauren and Natori by Josie Natori. Harlem will always be home!
HB: What are your favorite pieces in the collection?
BK: Ahhhh it's so hard to pick because I love them all so much!!! I guess I would say my favorites are the Aleyda Button Dress and the Fre Sleeveless Shirt with White Collar. Aleyda dress is a classic A-line dress with great detailing....easy for on the go! Fre to is striking in it's print to solid contrast and tailored structure...pair with denim, matching skirt, or legging and you're ready!
HB: As the season changes, how will the line transition?
BW: As the season changes the line changes with it! So going into Fall'14/15 there's more icy colors instead of the brighter colors. Also the prints transition into tighter patterns in darker saturated coloring.
And of course the silhouettes have to change to compensate for the colder weather. This Fall we have a lot of easy to layer pieces like the FahFah Strap Dress easily layered with a blazer or chunky cardigan. And Savannah pencil skirt which can easily be layered with a tee and sweater combination or for more formal look a wool blazer and silk blouse!
HB: How long have you been in Harlem?
BW: I have been living in Harlem for 4 years but have been having a love affair with it since my freshman year of college. The first time I visited Harlem (my girl friends and I would come for NYC weekend trips!), I knew that it was the place I wanted to call home. I love Harlem!!
HB: Is there anything you find unique about living in Harlem?
BW: What I find most unique about Harlem apart from it's rich history, beautiful architecture (I hope to one day own a brownstone here) , cultural blends and amazing cuisines at every turn...would have to be the misconception of Harlem by the outside world. Friends, strangers and chance encounters have all commented on how they thought Harlem was a violent ridden, segregated, dangerous and unlivable place. But that's not true, like any community it's gone through it's high and lows and continues to thrive!