As I get closer to seeing my brand on the racks at Belk, I can’t help but remember the day I received my very first sewing machine, a birthday gift from my parents my junior year of high school. I had just learned to sew and had begun sketching and designing dresses for friends and family. Because my career path was set for accounting, I hadn’t yet imagined my life as a fashion designer.
My first official design was my senior prom dress. It was a two-part design that included a gown and jacket with detachable cuffs inspired by a zigzag lamp I had seen in my guidance counselor’s office. A deacon at my church offered to make the dress for me and I’ll always remember the look on his face when I presented my three immature sketches to him.
Wearing my original design to prom was such an amazing feeling. I knew in that moment that I had a gift, but never in my wildest dreams did I see my future as NATT TAYLOR. Today, I am walking in my purpose, designing lifestyle apparel for women to make them feel as strong, beautiful and sophisticated as I felt when I wore my first design.
My first Natt Taylor design.
I began this journey making custom designs for individual clients, specifically for proms and weddings. Seeing the look on my clients’ faces when they wore their dresses was inspiring and it encouraged me to keep going. Being able to apply the feedback I received, both good and bad, without getting too upset and giving up, confirmed my love and passion for this industry.
Being a woman designing for women inspires me the most. When I sit down to sketch, I think about us . . . how we function, how we start and end our days. I love the fact that I can design a garment that could change the way a woman feels about herself. It’s why I love to find any opportunity to meet my customers face to face, hear their stories, and see what they like and dislike about my designs.
For the Belk collection, we drew inspiration from some of our top selling styles. I haven’t met a woman yet who didn’t fall in love with our LOLA dress, so I knew we had to bring her to Belk! We completed the collection with mix-and-match separates that speak to a woman on the move.
I feel so blessed to have made it into a major retailer like Belk. I am so grateful to be able to witness and enjoy this accomplishment. The goal of any fashion designer is to dress the world in his or her designs. I’m extremely thankful to Belk for this opportunity and am really looking forward to seeing our collection, and our name, on the floor at Belk!
Years from now, NATT TAYLOR will be a globally recognized brand. People all over the world will wear our designs and I will continue to share my story, encouraging young people to pursue their passion and do what they love.