After being a featured Fashion Designer at last week’s RAW, Natural Born Artists Event, Ebony White, who likes to go by Ebo (eee-boe), is a force to be reckoned with. With her Fun, Flirty, and Feminine pieces, her designs have been featured in top fashion magazines, and can be seen on many celebrities. Ebony was kind enough to take a moment from her busy schedule to tell us a little about herself, and her life in NYC’s Fashion Industry.
SceneStealersNYC: Where were you born, and what was it like growing up?
Ebony: I was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the land of Bill Clinton, and my family actually knows the Clintons. When he was President we got to visit the White House and everything. I only lived in Arkansas until I was about 5. My mom joined the military and so I grew up in Mississippi, Spain, and Colorado. In my adult life, moving has never been a big issue to me, and it is always an opportunity to open new doors. So after graduating high school, I moved to DC, New York, Los Angeles, back to New York, Atlanta, and now I’m back in New York again. I think I would like to spend a few years abroad.
SceneStealersNYC: Where did you attend college?
Ebony: I attended Howard University for undergrad, where I studied Fashion Design and Merchandising with a minor in journalism, and after graduating there, I got a second degree a couple years later from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Design.
SceneStealersNYC: What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?
Ebony: Dedicated, energetic, perfectionist
SceneStealersNYC: Where do you currently work, and what is your role?
Ebony: I am a swimwear designer for Juicy Couture, DKNY and newly TYR Redline, an updated lifestyle brand for TYR.
SceneStealersNYC: What made you pursue a career in fashion?
Ebony: I believe my mom passed off the desire to me in the womb because she’s always had fashion in her blood. She is an amazing seamstress, and used to design clothes for herself, and customers, in Hot Springs in high school. I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything different.
SceneStealersNYC: What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Ebony: A dress for my Barbie Doll out of a tube sock. My Barbie Dolls were obviously high society.
SceneStealersNYC: What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
Ebony: I have been in the industry for about 15 years, and I feel extremely fortunate to actually be working in a field that I chose, and that I love. Not so many people are so blessed. I was a Critic Award winner at FIT. Once I entered the industry, I was hired as an assistant, but within 3 months promoted to a designer. From my first job, I moved up and progressed at high speed. I’ve worked for many big name brands, my designs have been sold around the globe, in magazines, on tv, and worn by celebrities. It’s awesome to see when someone gets pleasure out of something born out of my mind. I was recently showcased at a RAW: Natural Born Artists event, and it was awesome. My biggest accomplishment is seeing how many people out there love and support my work.
SceneStealersNYC: Where do you get your inspiration?
Ebony: I am inspired by everything. If you gave me a piece of fuzz out of your pocket, I could design a collection around it. I am a completely organic designer, so much so, that I feel like the garments design themselves, and I am just a vessel.
SceneStealersNYC: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Ebony: I love everybody. There are no designers that I love every single piece, and there are no designers that I couldn’t find something that I love. Passion shows through it all, and that tends to be what I’m drawn to. I tend to buck trends. A lot of times designers have big names because they have big budgets to pay for marketing and publicity. End of story.
SceneStealersNYC: Who is your favorite style icon?
Ebony: That’s a tough one, I have a commitment problem.
SceneStealersNYC: Who would you love to outfit, and what would you choose?
Ebony: I would love to dress The Lady Tigra because I love her spirit and energy. A big name, I’d probably choose Angelina Jolie, because I love her spirit, the way she carries herself, and people pay attention to what she wears.
SceneStealersNYC: What are some of your favorite clothing stores/catalogs/websites?
Ebony: I tend to do a lot of shopping in the sale section of shopbop.com
SceneStealersNYC: What do you think are the current and future trends in fashion?
Ebony: Current trends: lace, eyelet, sheer, femininity, bra tops and jackets, full skirts, flowers, wide legged pants, colorful prints in primary colors. Future trends: printed denim, intricate detailing, beautiful embroidered crochet and forms of knitting, very tailored dresses, interesting plaids.
SceneStealersNYC: How would you define NYC’s fashion?
Ebony: People mostly wear black here. At big fancy events though, I love seeing people strut their stuff and go all out.
SceneStealersNYC: What fashion goals do you have?
Ebony: I want people to know my name, and my work. Fashion is a world where most of the people doing all of the work get none of the credit. I want people to know my name so all the people that have supported me along the way, especially my mom, my sisters and my friends, can be proud and inspired.
SceneStealersNYC: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Ebony: Believe in yourself, and don’t give up. A lot of people give up and settle. The ones who make it are the ones who never stop trying. Also, try to use every situation as a learning opportunity. Get involved in projects, work with other artists, work with people you feel are better than you, think outside of the square. If people see your passion, they want to help you, and they fight for you, even when things are a struggle and you have a hard time fighting for yourself. Jealous people will drag you down, but only if you let them. Instead, be an inspiration to them, and pull them up.
A few fun questions:
SceneStealersNYC: What’s in your ipod right now?
Ebony: A group called The Senate recently played during a fashion show I did. The song they performed was called Spanglish. I LOVE IT.
SceneStealersNYC: Is there any mantra/quote you like to live by?
Ebony: Set the trends. Let them follow.
SceneStealersNYC: Who’s your celebrity crush?
Ebony: Justin Timberlake. Still.
SceneStealersNYC: If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you say to them?
Ebony: A toss up between James Baldwin and Fiona Apple. They’re both so smart and talented. I just want to pick their brains.
SceneStealersNYC: If you were an animal, what would you be?
Ebony: A bird. An owl would probably be my best friend.
Thank you so much Ebony for interviewing with us.