Studio Access: Bishme Cromartie

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Fashion designer Bishme Cromartie. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

Fashion designer Bishme Cromartie. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

As we entered Bishme Cromartie’s studio, located on the third floor at Maryland Art Place, downtown, a shimmering long pastel pink bodycon dress was standing in the corner. “Oh, it’s not even done yet. I still have to hem and tweak a few things on it for the show. You know us designers, we like to work until the last minute.”

The 24-year-old designer is talking about his upcoming show that is the highlight of the Maryland Art Place benefit, Where Fine Art Meets Fashion, this Saturday. There, Cromartie will premiere his fall 2016 collection. Although he won’t reveal the inspirations behind the line, he does say it’s one that holds a special place in his heart. “It’s funny how designs are sparked by different things in life and emotions,” he said.

“My new collection is meant to [be] seen in person. Attendees will see 20 new garments that I am extremely proud of.”

What he has accomplished in his career, so far, is something to be proud of, as well.

After attending Reginald F. Lewis high school in northeast Baltimore, Cromartie applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, but was rejected.  He had a moment of doubt, almost giving up on sewing altogether, but eventually kept at it. Now, he’s created pieces for a number of celebrities, including R&B singer Jill Scott. He actually has another outfit he needs to make for her, for an upcoming awards show.

With his talents and our first-hand experience of his charisma as he chatted with us in his studio, we’d think he’d be in L.A. or New York, “living the dream.” But the Baltimore native is proving that it’s not always about the location.

“I want to prove to people that you do not have to move to chase your dreams,” he said. “A lot of times, you hear talented people say they want to move and start their career in another city. Just because you relocate does not mean you will be successful.”

“If you can create a brand that is worth having, people will travel to you.”

We continued our conversation with the designer as he worked on his pastel pink piece to the sounds of Amy Winehouse. Arrow right to check out more of our time in studio.

Fashion designer Bishme Cromartie. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.