If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a stunning, successful, high-fashion designer in New York, now is your chance for a glimpse. Undra Duncan, fashion designer and founder of Undra Celeste New York, shares a little bit of her world with us in her blog. Here are some excerpts to learn a bit more about her day-to-day life!
The Power of Getting Dressed
"Last week I had a very important Zoom call which I needed to pull myself together for. Although brushed hair and a glossed lip would have sufficed, I felt the need to do more. So I did. I put on a full face, jewelry and my UCNY Sp 2020 linen suit with mesh turtleneck and immediately I felt uplifted and empowered. I nailed my presentation, twirled around my house, took some pictures and felt like Undra for the first time in a long time.
It's funny how getting dressed almost instantly makes you feel better about yourself. I know I am not alone. So I admonish you, swap the leggings for some jeans and a cute top. Put on a full face for that next #ClubQuarantine party - it doesn't matter who's around (or not around) do if for YOU. As a nation we are dealing with so much, it's necessary that you take some time out to get back to you."
Dope Clothes: Our Work Armor
"As I hope many of you know, Undra Celeste New York is a modern workwear brand. The more I get into the nuances of the brand and what modern workwear is all about, the more I think back to my time in the corporate fashion industry. I spent twelve years doing product development for various corporation fashion brands. I know that my experience as a black woman working in corporate fashion was, well…different. I can go on for pages and pages about how things are different, but I have an awesome friend who's working on an insightful book about this very topic, so you’ll just have to wait to read that. But one thing I know for sure is that during some of the most difficult times in my career CLOTHES WERE MY ARMOR:
the helmet of prayer, the gauntlet of a designer purse and the body armor of a dope outfit."
Creating While in Quarantine
"While under stay at home orders I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to keep this business alive. Honestly, it can get overwhelming because I had so many amazing projects, collections and experiences planned for you all this year. Now, I'm here just figuring out how to stay in the game. These last few weeks have been tough, but this week I decided to add to my never-ending to-do list: Create for creativity.
I had mixed feeling about it too. You would think a designer would be excited to carve out time just to design, cut and sew. But a part of my felt like I didn't have the time. I should be figuring out strategies and pivoting marketing plans... But this week I decided to close the computer, planner and notebooks to just create.
To be honest, I felt so much better when I was done. Of course, the next thought was - should I sell them, do I post them, what do I do with them? I’m a mess…lol, but I’m glad I spent some time doing this. It reminds me of why I started. It also reminds me how bad I need my assistant and factory back!"