Chicago’s Borris Powell Takes on NY Fashion Week

Local designer continues successful 2010

Of all the designers showing at Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week, Chicago resident Borris Powell may be the biggest surprise.

Click here to view pics from Borris Powell's Life of Two Fairies show.

The self-taught designer known for his stunning evening gowns, will showcase his Spring/Summer 2011 collection on Sunday at Skylight Studios West at 500 W 36th St.

"I never thought in a million years that it would be happening so soon," Powell said before leaving for New York. "That I'm able to go there and represent Chicago, the city I love, is amazing."

Powell's New York Fashion Week presentation, "A Life of Two Fairies," is a mixture of the evening wear he's known for and some daytime dresses.

"It is light, flirty and very feminine. It's really youthful, with fun and bright colors," he says.

Unlike most designers, Powell never went to fashion school, dropping out of Columbia College 13 years ago because he couldn't afford it. But he still had designs swimming around his head, and five years ago he took a Joann's Fabric sewing course to learn how to make his creations a reality.

And 2010 has turned out to be a breakout year for the Alabama native. He showed his designs at London Fashion Week in February after being discovered online.

"I was flabbergasted when they sought me out. They really enjoyed my aesthetic, and the buzz following that was wonderful," Powell says.

And now he prepares to take on New York, where he'll be showcased along with four other emerging designers in front of buyers from retailers such as Bloomingdales and Macy's.

"In a nutshell, I want people to see what I see in my work, and I want them to buy my pieces, get the exposure in New York and build relationships with buyers and boutique owners," Powell says. We need the buyers to love me."

Powell's designs are available for purchase online at

Click here to purchase tickets for Powell's New York showing.

Chicago's Christina Fan is also showing at NY Fashion Week, unfortunately at the same time as Powell. Click here to check out her story.

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