Unlikely success has been a theme in Borris Powell’s life—star fashion designers don’t typically sprout from Alabama, and Oscar Design Challenge winners usually have more instruction than just a sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabrics. “My entire life has been about making it happen when it’s not supposed to happen,” said Powell. That same serendipitous twist occurred when he opened his March 18 Without a Shadow of a Doubt fashion show by driving a cherry red Ferrari through the River East Arts Center—a spectacle that almost didn't happen since the Ferrari delivery man took the keys with him.
Even with such an over-the-top opener Powell’s 2012 fall/winter collection continued to impress, featuring a mix of edgy, shimmery gold and more understanded black. The line’s tight leather dresses, rabbit-fur accents, and even menswear, signaled a bold departure from the luxurious gowns and eveningwear he’s known for. “[The looks] are out of character but still elegant, still Borris Powell,” the designer said.
Powell hopes that by taking such risks, he’ll help bring Chicago fashion out of its comfort zone. “I love this city so much that I can’t wait for the world to see all of the amazing talent it has to offer,” he said.
And he won’t rest until he’s made that happen. Success for Powell means becoming a household name worldwide. “I design for people, I don’t design for the dollar,” Powell said. “Without a shadow of a doubt, I want people to feel as amazing as they ever have by wearing Borris Powell. That’s how I want to be able to touch the world.” Unlike the other fabulous twists of fate he's experienced so far, we think his rise to the top will be no accident.