I Am Dangerous!

by | Feb 6, 2022 | Fashion

I am, in truth, a risk. Unorthodox, unconventional, eccentric, and even seen as a bit schismatic.

I’ve also been labeled a “troublemaker”.  I suppose that makes me a dangerous figure in an otherwise hegemonic industry. So, it seems, while I may be more than the label “biker,” I still evoke those same trepidations as if they had met me in a dark alley. A definitive nod to the notion that “other” is bad. Isn’t that Ironic for an industry that now publicly decries change and diversity?

I suppose the question is, does it matter? I’ve been asked numerous times, do I feel the pull to change my designs, my aesthetic, who I am, to accommodate the preferred view of a Fashion Designer? That answer is obvious now, 5 years later. Nope, in fact, I work hard to remain exactly what I’ve always been. Just me.

Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I’ve got no room to improve, or that I’m not open to learning new things, or even admitting to things I’ve gotten wrong. My arrogance can still be an obstacle. Being self-taught leaves tons of room for improvement. I’ve lost customers because I messed something up or got in over my head. I’m often faced with challenges that are frankly beyond my skill level. But this is something we all face.

I think often people have forgotten my journey. Not that I need any special treatment or that my failures are valued less because my road was tougher than others. It’s just this, the path I have traveled is hardening, when facing adversity, I won’t give up. I’ll improve, learn what I need to know, implement changes where I’ve made mistakes. In the end, I’ll persevere. Hence the next step and plans for the Spring Season.

“Retaliation”

They hoped I’d fade away, but that was my motivation…

What did they think I’d do?

This month we’ve finally launched the full Spring 2020 “Biker” Collection.

After years of being asked, and stubborn resistance to it, I’ve created a collection that embodies the “Biker” in me. Debuting last Fall during Kansas City Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, it’s now available to you.

Simple, elegant, bold, and rebellious, many of these pieces are now separates. Traditional we’ve only offered entire outfits. But we’ve learned to listen to our fans and customers, and now YOU get to choose which pieces fit your style the best. With two additions added to the collection, there’s plenty to choose from.

We’ve also got a few additions to the original debut and introducing…

The NEW “Duane Topping” Yoga Pants.  These are not your traditional pant.  They feature a Brazilian cut and as always, it’s in the details.  I designed these with a unique ruching split on the pant hem, making them both functional and elegant!

 

#MORETHANALABEL

In honor of Black History Month, a little forgotten history.

Nine months before Rosa Parks sat in the wrong seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL, there was Claudette Colvin.

A then 15-year-old girl on her way to school defiantly sat in “whites only” seats on a Montgomery Bus. When asked to move she refused. She was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, violating the segregation laws, and battering and assaulting a police officer. A group of Black civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr., was organized to discuss the arrest with the police commissioner. After a terrifying experience at the police station, she was bailed out by her minister. The aftermath sparked a fire that many historians and civil rights leaders credit with ending segregation in the south. Her minister said she had brought the revolution to Montgomery.

 

 

 

So why do we not remember this key figure in Civil Rights and instead talk about Rosa Parks? A strong debate mills around this very question. You see, for many years, Montgomery’s Black leaders did not publicize Claudette’s pioneering effort. Claudette has said herself, “Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all. In the end, civil rights campaigners dropped her case. Why? Claudette, at 15 years old, was unmarried and pregnant during the proceedings. It is now widely accepted that she was not accredited at the time due to her circumstances. Rosa Parks has stated: “If the white press got ahold of that information, they would have [had] a field day. They’d call her a bad girl, and her case wouldn’t have a chance.”  It was a choice the Civil Rights Leaders had to make to ensure their message was heard. Today, we can look back at these unsung heroes, laying the groundwork for those we know. They paved a path, lit a fire, and burned down a cultural ideology of hatred and racism. And although the work isn’t done, we can take inspiration from them, and continue their work!

 

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