Fashion is usually thought of as a woman-dominated industry but this time around, we decided we had to chat with Atlanta’s own, fashion designer, Cedric Brown, a Black man, who brings his love for art and his love for fashion together to create everything from scarves to kimonos, to ties, and more. I promise the pieces Cedric designs are nothing you have ever seen before. Cedric Brown Collections is beautifully and uniquely designed to cater to any and everybody who loves fun and enjoy color! He’s had everyone from rappers to actresses/actors to everyday people wearing his pieces, helping create more buzz around his brand and showing the world his many talents. At only age twenty-eight, Cedric has accomplished many accolades and is beyond passionate about all that he does. I’m so happy we were able to dive deep into how he got started, all the hard work he’s put into his craft, and so much more.
Cedric isn’t new to art, he’s true to it and it’s something that has been a huge part of his life since day one. Being raised in a single-parent home, Cedric saw his mom dabble into many different entrepreneurial endeavors, which gave him the courage to also do whatever he put his mind to. His mother was always super stylish and as a toddler, Cedric would draw sketches of her and other fashionable women. Cedric’s mom currently helps him run his business, being so supportive and traveling with him to do pop-ups as well as tradeshows. As a child, doing hard, manual labor was never something he was interested in but being creative and using art in its many forms to express himself always mattered most. Being so inspired by big fashion brands like Sean John, Ralph Lauren, and Phat Farm, each run by successful men, Cedric knew he had to go to school for Fashion Design. He did just that and graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). While attending SCAD, one of his professors gave him the idea of putting his paintings onto apparel, which completely changed the game!
There are so many different avenues you can dive into with designing, how do you even know where to start? Cedric saw the constant rise and fall of many emerging apparel designers who’d be a runway shows with big press but not getting a return on their investments. He didn’t want that for himself or his brand. Anything you’re passionate about requires a ton of research and that’s what Cedric did. Brands like Ralph Lauren, Emilio Pucci, and Versace all started off designing small accessories and then built their way up. Cedric decided to take that approach by starting off small with scarves and then kimonos and eventually ideas and business began to grow. Every single one of his designs is colorful, abstract, and reflects his childhood. He’s always had an eye for color and not only wants people to wear his pieces and look good but also feel happy.
Any and every time Cedric sees anyone wearing his pieces he’s filled with joy. Why wouldn’t he? People are rocking his art! Divine timing is so real and it’s proven in Cedric’s career from a story he told me about getting Young Thug to wear his scarves. Being from Atlanta, Cedric had already created a list of people from his city who he wanted to wear pieces from his collections. At the time, he was working at Carter’s, close to Lenox Mall, and while visiting the mall he ran into Young Thug and gave his security guard a scarf for the rapper. Cedric waited but never saw him wear it. A few months later, while on his lunch great which he rarely did, Cedric went over to Lennox Mall to get food, and once again, who’s there? None other than Young Thug and Cedric just knew he had to make it happen this time! He followed Young Thug into Neiman Marcus and was able to chat with him, and show all the pieces he had on hand. Thugger pulled out stacks and paid for a duffle bag filled with scarves and would, later on, rock them on Instagram and for the world to see. Cedric was so thrilled and that was just the very beginning of it all.
Now, Cedric has had a number of celebrities wear his pieces and it still feels so surreal. The legendary actress Lynn Whitfield has worn his kimonos on a number of occasions, especially on the show “Green Leaf”. Lisa Smedley, the costume designer for the shoe, had been a huge inspiration for Cedric. From all that she’s done and continues to do has helped him understand and respect the industry more. Also, researching and watching old performances of TLC, Lil’ Kim and even NSYNC have kept him inspired when his creative juices have seemed to run low. Always and forever Cedric is trusting God’s path and believing in his journey. Especially thanks to COVID-19, he’s seen how different each year can be in terms of making money and traveling but he continues to push forward and things just keep going up from here!
Cedric has many new ideas and plans for the near future. He’s in sample mode right now for a good slip dress and button-down silk top! Those far, Cedric has broken boundaries and continues to break into the industry, creating new levels for himself and his brand. I’m so excited to see all that he does and am here to support and watch it all flourish! Below are two video clips of the OWN’s ‘Girlfriends Check In’ and ‘Greenleaf’ segment wear his kimonos are worn. Also, the link is available to shop Cedric Brown Collections and to follow him on Instagram!