Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2016. This week, meet Emmanuel Hightower, the fashion designer behind the brand ForgivenLove, a comfortable lifestyle brand, representing a new chapter in style that inspires change.
Hometown: Fort Washington, Maryland
First fashion job: Ralph Lauren was my first fashion job working as a sale professional in the men’s department. I quickly fell in love with being a part of the Ralph Lauren community. I was blessed to learn and gained a greater knowledge, understanding, and insight to what a top brand should ultimately look like. I often utilize my work experience at Ralph Lauren as inspiration and motivation to one day become just as successful.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion? In the 9th grade, I believed in the concept looking your best empowers you to be your best. This has been a motivation dating back to the “first day of school outfits”. You want to give off a vibe of confidence, that comes from within and overflows externally, which fashion can control.
In my opinion, fashion is also an opportunity to embrace who you are with artistic form. It provides the ability to be free and communicate to others without verbally speaking. It excites me when people pass by, recognizes my brand, and laugh, smile, or even cry tears of joy. Knowing what they saw, gave them faith, hope, and love to keep going. Who wouldn’t want to have the passion for that?
Person who has impacted your life the most: Sean R Moore, my pastor at Faith Christian Center located in Phoenix, AZ. Pastor Moore is a man of wisdom fully committed to excellence and integrity. He leads by example and I have watched the fruits of his labor continue to grow. I see a man that is full of passion and purpose to empower people to be their best. Pastor More has often been my voice of reason when I tend to blur my purpose in life.
Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: Selling my very first design! It’s one thing to design something that you think is great, it’s amazingly different when somebody actually buys it, wears it and becomes inspired. #HumbleBeginnings
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: My most memorable challenge was finding my voice. Expressing myself verbally has always been difficult for me, and merging into creating and designing gives me freedom to express myself in other ways. I find comfort in visual art that interprets messages beyond what the speaker is saying. As I grow into a better designer, it gives me the confidence to use my voice in a more efficient and affected manner.
A Designer who inspires you: Ralph Lauren has always been my favorite! His attention to detail and quality stands out right away. I can identify with his idea of sophistication and how it can truly embody a person’s absolute lifestyle. His sensibility to address the need to have timeless style with the perfect mesh of a fresh new look is remarkable. Ralph Lauren welcomes a heartfelt experience as he refers to the consumer as a guest entering into his home. Lastly, I enjoy knowing fashion can be more than just selling clothes in his efforts to make available a home department that offers furniture, wallpaper, candles, decor, and even books along with other interest that a “guest” would find valuable.
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, it is actually life without a purpose.” – Dr. Miles Munroe’s
“Power to define is the power to fulfill.” – Dr. Michael A Freeman
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Never ever give up, that’s the only way you lose.
Favorite piece you have ever designed: Once again I must go back to my humble beginnings, way back to the first design I’ve ever created. This design means so much to me because it would give birth to the continuation of ForgivenLove.
For more information, visit forgivenlove.com.
If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2016, you can purchase tickets here: bit.ly/PHXFWFABAZ. Use promo code FABAZ for $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).