In case you’re in need of a fashion fix or didn’t have time to stop off at your favorite newsstand or book store for a copy of Elle, Vogue or GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine, fear not. If you live in the Carolinas, you won’t have to search too hard to find the latest in haute couture or confirm the Carolinas are bursting with fashion flavor.

North Carolina is also the place fashion moguls like Andre’ Leon Tally (who passed away last year on January 18) and Alexander Julian have called home. That’s right, New York City, London, Milan and Paris might be known as the big four when it comes to Fashion Week, but North Carolina is surely a competitor to be on the lookout for. 

Fashion designer Tevin Baskerville sporting his own creation. | J.L. Boseman

Charlotte in particular is chock full of talented folks excited about showing their wares in various capacities. So, naturally we had to take a little time to pay homage to some of the designers, photographers and models who turn heads on the runway in the streets and on social media.

Tavin Baskerville is one of those people. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, he’s a multitalented, eligible bachelor who gleams inspiration from his supportive mother and famous and historic designers like Thierry Mugler and Pierre Balmain. 

Jamal Terry modeling Baskerville. | Ashley Riley

Baskerville is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University where he found himself “making things and noticing” he “had a different style than anyone else.“ With his passion for fashion escalating from there, in 2018 Baskerville presented his designs at Charlotte’s and York County’s Fashion weeks. He presented three different collections for three nights in Charlotte and one collection for one evening in York. That same week, he also had a fashion show that brought his style and texture to audiences in a manner that left mouths open and hopeful fashionistas ready to spend.

For Baskerville, participating as a designer in fashion weeks has been a long time coming. His love for fashion had been nurtured since he was a little boy. “For five years, my aunt taught me the basics,” he recalls. “By fifth grade we were making pajamas.” 

Today Baskerville designs for day and night and can sometimes be found working around the clock – using varied textures and colors one might expect to see at a Balmain show. “I love Balmain’s fabrications,” says Baskerville. “A lot of times there are patterns, dresses might be made of rope or PVC – they are technically making fabric out of these items.” 

It’s important to note however, though Baskerville draws inspiration from others, his talent extends way beyond replication. His designs are innovative and for more than just fashion shows. Though capable of creations that beg to appear in feature films, Baskerville has many items in his collection that you could easily see yourself sporting to brunch or that party you show up just late enough to be noticed.

Model Austin Pope sporting a Baskerville design. | Ashley Riley

It might surprise some to learn that Baskerville’s first love wasn’t designing. His keen eye for fashion first found its way to photography. “It was my first love, something I’ve been doing for 13 years. My major in college was graphic design but photography is what I fell in love with. It’s now more something I use as a [side] hustle and I still use my eye to make sure I’m capturing things well, with fashion as my passion,” says the designer, who is looking forward to presenting at the Carolina Fashion Awards, where he’s also been nominated for an Emerging Fashion Designer Award.

Singing Bakerville’s praises and donning his creations is a local law enforcer and model setting social media ablaze with his iconic looks – some that have been created by Baskerville. Ken Sings is Mr. Charlotte Black Pride’s given name, and yes, singing is one of the many creative passions he possesses and shares with the world. But it’s not the only one. Sings turns heads and creates smiles with his always ready for a GQ or Esquire Magazine cover looks. However, he’s so much more than a tall, dark and colorful trend setter. Sings is a rarity as a native Charlottean, with no plans of leaving the family and friends that keep him rooted in the Queen City.

 Ken Sings ready for work as a model, singer and officer of the law. | Paris Love Photography

By profession, he serves as an Adult Probation Officer who finds joy in modeling, acting and competing in pageants. Sings speaks candidly about  his love for fashion and how he hopes to create positive change through his career in law enforcement and visibility. “I’ve been competing on and off since 2016. I got introduced to pageantry by a former photographer of mine. He recommended that I compete for the Mr. United States Pageant and I did. The experience was wonderful. I found a brotherhood in pageantry. Eventually, I continued and ended up winning Mr. Ultra Continental USA,” Sings recalled about his journey in the pageant circuit.

Fortunately, folks don’t have to wait for a pageant to appreciate Sing’s keen and gender bending fashion sense. With over 13,000 Instagram followers, more than a few are watching the meticulously groomed Sings strut his stuff in everything from dresses to flowing wigs to bright and colorful business suits. Elevated by grace and his favorite heels, Sings appreciates the tradition as well. When asked what his favorite look or fashion go-to is, he proudly proclaims, “It’s my heels, with a nice blazer and slacks. I love the mashup of the masculine and the feminine. I think it’s very powerful to have them both coexist at the same time.”

Fashionista Ken Sings is ready in red. | Paris Love Photography

Sings may make the stunning looks and the high heels look easy, however, he readily confirms walking in heels as a model is a good deal more challenging than running through neighborhoods in the boots of a law enforcer. “Walking in heels can come with pain, but in my opinion, beauty is pain sometimes.” According to Sing, whether on the runway or at the supermarket, long term comfort depends on the quality of the shoe and shape of it, compared to your feet. “You might only be able to wear a stiletto for a little while,” he offers, “but an ankle boot with a stacked heel for several hours.”

Charlotte has a lot to offer when it comes to the fashion industry. New designers, photographers, image consultants and photographers are popping up all the time. If you’d like to get a sneak peek or simply need some inspiration for reinventing yourself, check out Mecklenburg’s International Fashion Week (May 12-13) at The Carolina Esports Hub; the Highlight Concepts Fashion Show (June 4 in Charlotte and September 24 in Raleigh) or the Carolina Fashion Awards Show (May 27 in Charlotte). Whatever you do, be seen, be there, be you and dress to impress.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *