Born in Jamaica, New York-bred Designer, Terese Sydonna Brown is an alum of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s, holds a dual degree in Economics & Business and Studio Art from Lafayette College, and a Fashion Design degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). After obtaining a strong business foundation at Lehman Brothers and Goldman, Sachs & Co., Brown pursued her fashion career in design, production, buying, sales and merchandising for NYC Alliance, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, and Lord and Taylor to name a few.
Her line, Terese Sydonna is a contemporary ready-to-wear and accessories brand designed for the superhero in all of us. Inspired by bold prints, sculpture, and unexpected detail, Terese Sydonna’s collections celebrate a modern landscape where art, fashion and comfort intersect. Stylish, yet maintenance free, 95% of the collection is machine washable, quick drying, and wrinkle-free.
Terese believes that within all of us lies a super hero capable of saving the day in color, print, and comfort. Her clean lines infused with unexpected detail leaves the individual feeling powerful and confident while navigating an ever-changing busy lifestyle.
The Terese Sydonna superhero is a game changer with a busy lifestyle; realistic; sophisticated; reveling in the finest of quality; and remaining confident and cool in any situation.
Terese carefully designs each piece in the collection to be versatile without compromising on comfort. Hi-tech luxurious novelty knits and stretch wovens are transformed into beautiful multi-functional outfits that can be worn for any occasion. Her love for her culture, superheroes and the unexpected is evident in every collection. She credits her grandmother along with her experiences working on both the corporate and creative sides of the fashion industry for her understanding of fit, construction, prints and mixing fabrications. These experiences have set Terese apart, as she thoroughly understands the point of view of the customer as well as the buyer. She knows that the customer wants a wardrobe that not only is playful, but also adds value to every aspect of their lifestyle.
Terese Sydonna has quickly become one of the freshest contemporary brands to watch, is stocked at the finest retailers on the east coast, Canada, and proudly made in New York.
Writer Gloria Hartley for Fashion Mannuscript caught up with Terese Sydonna Brown to find out more about this inspired designer.
GH: How did your upbringing influence your career as a designer?
My upbringing has heavily influenced my career as a fashion designer. As a child, I was constantly surrounded by fashion. Though my parents were not creative people my mother worked in the industry, and was always stylishly dressed. Oftentimes I would play dress up with her wardrobe and pretend that I was somewhere fancy with Barbie. My parents pushed me to do my very best in all endeavors, and instilled in me the importance of taking pride in one’s appearance.
GH: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion has taken me on a journey that has been challenging, but rewarding. It leaves me wanting more. Through fashion I have been blessed to travel to different countries, experience different music and peoples. I have been able to connect to others in a way that I could not have before I became a designer. Fashion is its own language, and when I travel to countries where I do not speak the language I find that there is no need for words. Fashion just is.
GH: Who is your biggest inspiration?
My parents constantly inspire me to do better. My mother is always telling me in Jamaican patois that ” if yuh want good yuh nose a guh run,” which translates to, if you want something bad enough you must work hard, for there will be challenges. Another of my mother’s favorite sayings is, “Rome was not built in a day.” There is always a proverb for every one of life’s challenges and rewards! My parents brought me to the US in search of a better life for our family, and taught me to dream big. Each day I remind myself to do just that.
GH: If you could design a look for anyone, who would it be?
It would have to be for the First Lady Michelle Obama. I admire her poise as well as her spirit. She radiates color from the inside as well as the outside in any ensemble she wears. She is a true role model for young girls and women alike.
GH: Where do you see your collection eventually selling?
Terese Sydonna is currently carried in small specialty stores on the east coast, Canada, and on my website, www.teresesydonn.com. I dream of one day seeing the collection carried in exclusive specialty stores around the world such as Opening Ceremony, Nordstrom’s, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Shop Bop, and Net-A-Porter, to name a few.
GH: What advice do you have for women wanting to grow in the fashion industry?
I would advise women wanting to grow in the fashion industry to find a good mentor, whether formal or informal who is going to be honest with you. Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely, but having a strong support system of friends and family certainly alleviates some of this. I would also advise not to rush; really spend time building your resume and discovering your voice as a designer.
GH: Who is Terese Brown—the woman?
My personal style is an eclectic mix of high-low pieces that create unusual combinations—sometimes colorful, but minimal. Comfort is foremost important to me, so I tend to dress for my mood. I want to look like I tried, but with minimal effort.
What was the inspiration for your Spring 2017 collection?
The Terese Sydonna Spring/Summer 2017 collection was inspired by artist, Romare Bearden’s painting, Blue is Smoke of War, White is the Bones of Men.