BXTRA with Edwin Reyes

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–Tatyana Turner

 

In the words of iconic French fashion designer, Coco Chanel : ” Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, and what is happening.” Bronx fashion designer, Edwin Reyes, is someone who understands the broader concept of styling. In 2017, the urban creative introduced, ” FINE,” a fashion brand that is based in the Bronx and is dedicated to highlighting all women, regardless of their skin color, background or size.

It all started when Reyes was a sophomore in high school. He recalled being someone who was into crafting and making things by hand, so the opportunity of joining a fashion club in his school was something he did not want to pass up. In fact, the fashion club awakened his passion and desire to design clothes. The teen then took his growing knowledge of fashion beyond school hours, started watching sewing tutorials and went right to work.  Little did Reyes know, he was stitching together the future of FINE.

For some people who grew up in the Bronx, leaving the borough seemed like the rite of passage needed to be taken in order to be successful. Whether on television, social media, or by word of mouth, a negative narrative was being told about the Bronx. However, Edwin and a wave of blossoming creatives in the borough are writing a different script. ” Honestly, when I started out FINE, I wanted to be like the rich designers of Manhattan,” said Reyes. ” [But], something just turned in my mind where I really want to be based in the Bronx…and from that I started getting inspiration.” Recently, Reyes completed a video campaign featuring women who shared their stories about growing up in the Bronx. The production, titled, ” Hunts Point,” was shot in various places including a basketball court, a laundromat and a train station. Each women featured could be seen sporting FINE dresses and jackets.

” My brand is about embracing women of color,” said Reyes. According to the Statistic Atlas website,  Blacks and Hispanics make up 83.8% of the population in the Bronx; Reyes wants to break the norms of beauty and perfection by  showcasing the diversity he sees around him. He also has the goal of perfecting clothing for women who wear a plus-size. Though the self-taught designer learned his styling skills through years of practice; his lessons also come from his role models, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. ” If you really look into their history, you will get inspired,” said Reyes. ” Coco Chanel changed the way that women wore clothing…it [was] a revolution.”

For those who want to take the fashion route, Reyes advises that you organize, research, and have passion, ” If you have the passion, just go for it.”

In the future, Reyes hopes to design clothing for Cardi B. In the meantime, he will be on tour where you can see his latest works. Follow him on Instagram @finebyedwinreyes for more information.

The material in the clothes makes a statement. The character in the clothes tells a story. Thank you, Edwin Reyes for creating a platform that allows stories of all types to be heard.

 

 

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Tatyana Turner is a Bronx native who grew up in the Mott Haven and Grand Concourse sections of the borough. She has experience in print journalism and photography. In December 2016, Tatyana graduated from Temple University with a degree in Communication Studies and returned to her home in the Bronx where she is applying her skills to further discover the extraordinary people and places in the place she calls home.

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