Dust off the tiaras and bow ties, Georgia State’s 2016 Homecoming Royal Ball has arrived. One business that offers custom made designer gowns, alterations, adjustments and more, is also making clothing that has a powerful message.
Youth United Clothing, an upcoming clothing business is quickly gaining in popularity as fashion curator, and seamstress Uma York incorporates meaningful messages into the designs of every custom piece. Each custom design symbolically represents a portion of York’s life and ancestral roots, which are deeply seeded in African culture. The concept behind the clothing inspires youth to learn more about their culture, while wearing clothes that represent African Royalty.
“[My] designs inspire the youth through culture and fashion,” York said. “I think it makes them embrace their culture and [it] unifies [them] on a different level.”
When the young designer first discovered her hidden talent, she was preparing for a fashion show last year with her brother. Her mother-in-law saw the duos potential and decided to help. During the designing process, York’s curiosity for sewing grew.
“Me and my brother were doing a fashion show, in the process it became very hard, [because] I didn’t know how to sew,” York said. [My] mother-in-law saw [us] going through it, she knew how to sew, and in the process I started to ask more questions.”
Sewing is a generational skill set that York’s mother-in-law wants to pass down to her grandchildren. The young designer became a natural at sewing, and decided to bring her designs to life. Youth United has done nearly 10 fashion shows, and the number will rise after completing a new collection.
“I never said I wanted to be a designer, I just woke up and did a fashion show with my brother,” York said. “After that I got offered to do other fashions shows.”
Making a statement, is something that the new business enjoys. So far, Youth United has done collaborations and fashion shows with Walk Fashion Show, Bronner Brother and the Peachtree International Film Festival. Within a short period of time, the young designer is ready to make her impact in the fashion industry.
Passing the Legacy
A piece of African history is inserted into every collection. Before creating something new, York does intensive research on royal attire worn by certain African tribes. All of the pieces from York’s collection visually represent culture, history and childhood memories. Current collections, such as Oyo, has a green and gold color scheme. Asud, meaning black in Arabic, is a royal collection with the color scheme of black and gold.
“I was brought up on culture, and I go off of the tribes that I know, [such as] different families that were raised around me,” York said. “I’m American, but I was raised differently, my family is royal, and that’s where I get all of my history.”
York’s designs are inspired by her connection to family history. From Brooklyn, New York to Atlanta, Georgia, the young designer has always had an interest in learning more about her Sudanese and Egyptian origins.
York expressed pride and passion when she talked about her family tribe in Africa.
“I come from a large family of 216 brothers and sisters,” York said. “My family is originally from Sudan and Egypt, my father came to [America] as a child, and [his] mission was to have a [large family].”
At the age of seven, York moved to Georgia, where she lived in a family community. During her younger years, she spent majority of her time with family. Today, the young designer and her brother, Mahmuwd Muhammad are working hard to express their African heritage within every design.
“We were raised on our own land of 475 areas,” York said. “We only lived with brothers, sisters and step mothers, and I was raised in a community settling.”
Coming from a family tribe has created a large network for York. Youth United, is a form of expression illustrated in a fusion of cultural, edgy couture fashion.
The idea behind the business, Youth United, is to create clothing for all ages. According to York, a lot of young women around 15 are still trying to find themselves and their own style. With clothing from Youth United, a young girl can style up a pair of custom slacks with their favorite pair of heels or sneakers. The designer personally likes clothes that are baggy and comfortable with a classy flare.
There are variety of materials, such as Dashiki fabric, Kente Cloth and fabric from Egypt, that are used to make the clothes. Each piece is made to be aesthetically stylish, while conveniently catering to a wide range of clients. For instance, Youth United has a line of skirts with hidden pockets for women who might not like carrying purses.
A revolutionary concept fuels the young designers expectations for the youth, because she believes the youth has the power to create social change. According to York, even a few of the business models expressed excitement, when it came to learn about different cultures.
“When I’m teaching the girls about these clothes (the models), it makes them interested in their culture, and they learn more,” York said. “I love the fact that you can teach the youth about how different cultures intertwine with one another.”
The main goal is to create clothing that inspires youth to learn more about their culture. York would like to continue educating people on African history and hopes to one day start mentorship programs to teach young women about basic edict, how to strut in heels and public speaking.
“If we could change the children through fashion and make them aware, that would make a big influence on the youth,” York said.
Youth United Clothing specializes in one of a kind designer gowns, evening attire and more. For questions or inquires about custom made pieces, alterations or adjustments for this year’s Homecoming, contact the business through their Facebook page by searching their name. Clients can also contact the designer by calling (347)-940-3499.
Dressing for the Occasion
Find a dress to fit your size and style. Plush boutique is dedicated to providing dresses for curvy women. The retail store has a inventory of dress from size four to 24, that can be worn during a special occasion or for a fun night out. The boutique also sells accessories, beauty products and shoes.
The boutique accepts customers by appointment only. Their headquarters is located at 3060 Pharr Court, Suite 22, Atlanta Georgia 30305. For more information visit their website at https://the-plush-collective.myshopify.com.
C.A.U.S.E for Elegance
The fabulous C.A.U.S.E for Elegance is a retail store and nonprofit organization that sells men and women’s clothing. Find a one of a kind evening gown with matching accessories and/or a snazzy button-down collared shirt to match a tux.
As a nonprofit organization, C.A.U.S.E for Elegance teaches youth some business savvy skills for working in professional environments.
The retail store is located in Phipps Plaza at 3500 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta Georgia 30327, on the second floor next to Belks. For information about the store or the nonprofit organization visit their Facebook page by searching the business name.