Style designer Stevie Edwards, recognised for his avant-garde womenswear and operate styling superstars like Diana Ross and Jody Watley, died before this week just after a struggle with lung most cancers. He was 58.
A longtime Hyde Parker, Edwards was born in 1965 and grew up on the South Aspect. He attended Dunbar Vocational Large University in Bronzeville, where by he discovered to tailor. This led him to go after trend design at the Ray-Vogue College of Layout, now the Illinois Institute of Artwork.
It was in college in which Edwards caught the eye of Eunice Johnson, an executive and the matriarch of Johnson Publishing Enterprise, which produced Ebony and Jet Publications, and the founder of the Ebony Fashion Reasonable clearly show. In 1986, when Edwards was only 21 a long time aged, Johnson acquired quite a few of his leather night robes for her around the globe manner tour. His vocation soon took off.
That winter season, a single of Edwards’ dress patterns was highlighted in the February issue of Ebony Journal as component of a team of up-and-coming Black designers “making trend record.” He created an visual appeal on the Oprah Winfrey present in its inaugural time that year.
After the exhibit, Edwards started working as an assistant to notable Chicago designers these as Barbara Bates, who built numerous items for Michael Jordan, and Reginald Thomas.
The designer Edwards admired most was Chicago designer Keith Kendall, according to a 1999 Herald short article, who mentored him. In the posting, Edwards described himself as a “true designer,” declaring, “I sketch the designs, slice the designs and sew them alongside one another, as opposed to choosing an individual else to do the actual function.”
In 1996, Edwards opened Collections, a boutique outfits and shoe retail outlet in Hyde Park. Positioned at 1360 E. 53rd Road, the shop carried his models and the function of designers this sort of as Kenneth Cole and By using Spiga.
“I wished individuals not to have to go downtown,” he claimed of opening the Hyde Park retailer. “They can appear into the local community and come to feel an Oak Street vibe and buy their Italian sneakers here.”
More than the next couple of many years, he opened two Italian boutiques in Gold Coastline and the West Loop.
Soon after nine several years in the neighborhood, Collections closed in 2005 following the building’s buy by MAC Qualities.
In 2008, he launched his upscale women’s brand and South Loop retail outlet “I Luv Stevie.” Dionne Williams, creator and founder of the “Emerge! Vogue Show” at New York Vogue Week, informed WBBM News Radio that Edwards experienced a gift for building patterns that spoke to females. “You can be self-assured in regardless of what type that you like. You can be bold. You can be tender. I consider his patterns really kind of showcased that,” she explained.
Other celebrity dressings involved Tiffany Hadish and Terisa Griffin.
Edwards declared on social media in early July that he would be having a crack from style to target on his battle with Phase 3 lung cancer. He gained an outpouring of guidance — an on line crowdfunding campaign set up to enable cover medical costs brought in far more than $7,000 in donations.
Although undergoing therapy, Edwards died in Chicago on Sunday, August 13.
His spouse and children has asked for donations to be made in his honor to Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Most cancers Center.