A friend and I bumped into Washington Roberts as we were leaving an event during Fashion Week, last September. We found each other on facebook the next day, and we've been pals every since. Washington's story peeked my interest because he says that fashion was always a big part of his life, but it was never on his radar as a career. While growing up in Nigeria, Washington carefully observed his grandmother, Beatrice, a skilled seamstress. Throughout his childhood, and to this day Washington says that his grandmother has always been his greatest source of inspiration. Washington attended Igbobi College Yaba in Lagos, Nigeria and upon graduation he relocated to the United States to pursue graduate school. While studying chemical engineering, he started designing clothes as a hobby and quickly realized that his true passion was in fashion. Washington's designs have been featured in numerous New York fashion shows, issues of Hype Hair Magazine, and on Envision Style & Substance during NYC Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
I had a chance to ask Washington a few random questions and here's what he had to say:
CC: What's your favorite material for garment making?
WR: I love luxury fabrics such as silk, wool flannel, cashmere, and blends of different fabrics.
CC: What ingredients are essential to pulling together the perfect winter look?
WR: Trench Coat, or a very stylish coat, nice timeless bag (designer of choice), boots, and a nice pair of gloves.
CC: If you could dress any model or celebrity, who would it be?
WR: If i could dress a model it would be Arlenis Sosa, because her glowing skin and radiant smile represents exactly what Washington Roberts stands for: strong, beautiful women. And as for celebrity i have a couple on my list I would love to dress. Joy Bryant and Nicole Kidman, I love their presence, how they carry themselves -- both are very classy.
CC: Who are the major style influences that you find inspiring?
WR: I find regular everyday people inspiring....
CC: What's your favorite snack to munch on while working?
WR: I love gummy bears and Sun Chips.
CC: What charities/causes do you support?
WR: At the moment I'm looking to set up a charity in Nigeria and I want to collaborate with some charities here in the States. This past Thanksgiving some friends and I feed the homeless at different shelters and gave away clothes and shoes. I really hope to do more of this in the near future. I believe we can all change the world with one soul at time.
photo : © Lesley Williams, 2010