"To see those drawings come to life on the runway, was very emotional. Think about the number of people who draw and sketch. To see and hear the awe of the audience, was amazing," Taylor said.
Fashion writer Kai Leicester said she fell in love with Taylor's designs at first glance.
"Taylor has an eye for innovative design concepts that are ultra feminine and classic. She understands how a woman's body is supposed to look in clothing and designs to accentuate the natural curves and extensions of the body," Leicester said.
Taylor recently added a few celebrity clients to her list, including Brittney Dear, who wore LarureNicole during the BET gospel competition show Sunday Best.
The Tougaloo College graduate credits her faith in God and a prayerful church family with both her success and ability to remain focused. As she works on her Fall line, Taylor said she looks forward to manufacturing her own clothes and seeing them in boutiques and major retailers across the globe in the near future.
"My relationship with God has kept me motivated, grateful and humbled. I have prayed incessantly and have a great church family who help and encourage me. They remind me that it is a process and that I should always remember where I am going – and where prayer can take me," Taylor said.
Also, among the most promising new models-turned designers, are D.C.-bred identical twins Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim. Born in Ethiopia, Ayaan and Idyl launched their fashion line, Mataano, which means "twins" in Somali, in 2008. Their clothes have been touted as innovative and bold by critics; while the designers themselves, see more than simply an opportunity to show off their clothing in the industry.
"We always try to represent the multicultural world we live in; fashion publications and fashion shows routinely portray the world as nearly mono-racial. For this reason we always use Black, Spanish, white and Asian models. Sometimes, you feel pressure to use white models so that your brand will be more mainstream, but we've decided we'd rather use diverse models and grow organically than to succumb to the pressure of using white models in order to gain more appeal," Idyl said.
Mataano is sold exclusively in W Hotels worldwide.
Another shift in international design is the "rediscovery" of the African continent. October 2010 saw the slow migration of design elements that mimicked or were totally inspired by African tribal cloth, custom, and life. Spurred by a vibrant Nigerian film industry (Nollywood), and the theater-driven rage created by the musical Fela! (that celebrated the life of Afrobeat innovator Fela Kuti), African and European designers began the incorporation of natural stones, materials, and concepts directly from Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, and Sierra Leone.
Michèle Pouani is the brain and body behind Pyromaniac by mp, one of the most exciting lines in recent years. Pouani hails from Yaoundé Cameroon, but began her career in 2002 in Paris after graduating with a Fashion Design and Technology diploma. After her French degree she worked for various maisons de couture, including Isabelle Beaumenay and Allali Ferouz. She crisscrossed the globe in 2006 and settled in Vancouver B.C., where she acquired a diploma in International Business Management. Pouani later relocated to Montréal to continue her Business apprenticeship while working with the renowned Quebec designer Isabelle Elie.
"During my years of fashion school in Paris, I had the opportunity to work for two fashion houses and got to realized that fashion is 20 percent design and 80 percent business. That's why I decided to move to Vancouver to complete a degree in Business Management. Looking back, I think it was a smart move because it made me more aware of what to expect as an entrepreneur, and more confident in my abilities to run a business. Today I'm able to master my art and passion without overlooking the business side of the things," Pouani told fashion magazine Jumati.
For her debut collection "Be Wear", the designer was inspired by the pin-up look of the 50s with the defined bust and cinched waistline.
"I had the chance to live on three continents so part of my inspiration is drawn from my diverse travels and also from my African heritage. But really I am vintage clothing freak. To me vintage is timeless and that's why it is important to me that my designs are not too trend-driven so that they can easily be incorporated in any current wardrobe, season after season! The collection simply celebrates the haute fusion of timeless style and African glamour," Pouani said.