Cassandra Smith, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, had a dream and turned it into her reality.
Witnessing showcases with very talented designers and studying fashion daily, gave Smith a niche within the industry. She knew, however, that simply designing fashion threads wouldn’t be enough, so she went to The Big Apple in pursuit of business knowledge.
“Serita Bell by Cassandra Smith” debuted during two major Plus Community Showcases, “Curves Rock Weekend 2013” in Baltimore, following Plus Night Out 2013 in New York City. The shows gave Smith just the bit of buzz she needed to begin to spread the word that “Serita Bell,” was on its way. Gearing up to steal the show for the Finale Season of the biggest showcase in the Plus Community known as “Full-Figured Fashion Week 2014,” Smith is enthused, excited, and more ready than ever to show the world that, “Serita Bell” is what you all have been missing. Ladies, meet the woman behind the creation of the Plus Line, “Serita Bell!”
A.C. – Who is the woman behind Cassandra Smith?
C.S. – Strong, loving, independent women.
A.C. – Being a native of Baltimore, Maryland, a city with much diversity, culture and a tough background history must have its pros and cons. Can you tell our readers a bit about the effect (positive or negative) your hometown had on you growing up?
C.S. – I lost my mother and father at a young age from the fast life in Baltimore. It was hard growing up without them, but I had a praying grandmother by my side the whole time. She made sure that I would not go down that path. It made me strong as nails. [Smiles]
A.C. – How much of an impact (if any) did Baltimore have on you creating your own clothing line, “Serita Bell by Cassandra Smith?” One that has a very unique flair.
C.S. – Baltimore is filled with talented designers. I remember going to fashion shows and how amazed I would be by all the local designers. They were all unique but had great taste to be in any high fashion magazine. So I wanted to do exactly that, however, I wanted to take it one step up and work in an actual fashion house in NYC to learn the business side of the fashion industry. So to New York I went.
A.C. – Your line caters to the fashion needs of the women in the Plus Community. What inspired you to tap into the full-figured market instead of that of the straight size?
C.S. – I’ve been working in straight sizes for over six years now and seeing head designers not taking the plus fashion serious, boils my blood! [Laughs] I mean, we do exist and want to feel pretty too. So this line is a: BIG FAT F.U.! [Laughs]
A.C. – Who or what is your biggest inspiration behind your innovative designs that will keep our curvy women fashion forward; down to how you select the materials, create the fit, and categorize your pieces?
C.S. – I would say my biggest inspiration is, working on 7th Avenue. It keeps me knowing what’s new and what’s next. Plus, working with talents and big dreamers keeps me on my toes. I love shopping for fabrics. OMG! I can literally create a whole collection in Mood Fabrics. [Laughs] I usually pick out materials with some stretch for comfort and fit silhouettes that flatter the fuller figures.
A.C. – When you think of fashion, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think there’s something missing?
C.S. – I think of fantasy and what I want to be. And yes, I think true modern style is missing – the trendsetter.
A.C. – You are about to be apart of one of the greatest productions in the Curvy Community known as “Full-Figured Fashion Week.” As the finale show, what fire can we expect you to bring to the last runway of FFFW?
C.S. – I’m bringing Paris street style. I’m so excited! [Laughs]
A.C. – Who have you worked with and who would you like to work with during your professional career in the fashion industry?
C.S. – I’ve worked and learned from many talented people since moving to N.Y. I would love to collaborate with fresh, innovative designers [who] are on the come up.
A.C. – You dreamed a dream, and turned it in to your reality. At what moment did you realize that you were a, “Dream Catcher In Heels?”
C.S. – When someone told me it will never happen. [Laughs]
A.C. – What can we expect in the near future from Cassandra Smith and “Serita Bell?”
C.S. – Expect professional and creative growth!
“Don’t ever be afraid to help yourself, love yourself, and build your confidence level up. We are our own worse critics, so take the time out to figure out what you don’t like and then take the steps to fix it. Chase your dreams until you awake them. Second guessing yourself is not an option. Don’t be afraid, for God gave us the spirit of love, use that love on yourself first!” – Signing off, Aliyah Cherrisse!