Buffalo’s hidden fashion culture brings a new outlook to shopping in a fast-paced world.
Motivating, influencing and inspiring are all attributes to Buffalo’s fashion designers and their work. Throughout this series, the emphasis of Buffalo’s fashion culture will be highlighted through a set of talented designers and their journey to how they got to where they are today. These designers will include: Phylicia Dove, Novi Paluch, Rashaad Holley and Pete the God.
Rashaad Holley has an expansive knowledge in fashion culture, but Holley’s talents don’t stop there. Rashaad Holley, creator of The Ruth, not only creates and designs but he also inspires. Holley has been teaching youth in Buffalo about sewing.
From the U.S to Europe, Holley’s talents have gone worldwide, but what about where it all started?
In this video, Rashaad talks about how the “city of good neighbors” helped him as a creative and how he carved his own path in the fashion industry.
Born in Buffalo, Holley started his professional career at the University at Buffalo where he studied in the School of Management. During his time at the University, Holley suffered a leg injury, causing him to be out of work. At the time, Holley was working as an intern at a Buffalo brand. One of his cousins who worked at an after school program, mentioned that he should share his interests in fashion with the students there. This is something that Holley considers, his “entryway to working with youth.”
“Paying it forward to the youth…was my gameplan.”
Since 2015, Holley has been teaching youth in Buffalo how to sew. In his workshop sessions, Holley teaches sewing development. In his summer sessions, he teaches fashion, photography, fashion styling and creative development.
Through music, sports and art, Holley mentions that Buffalo is beginning to develop its own Identity, stating that it is “beneficial to be a part of [Buffalo’s] emerging and forming identity…” Holley credits a lot of his success and Buffalo artist’s success to creating, “because that’s all we have.”
“I create to inspire and I work to inspire.” Holley’s love for fashion was never for monetary gain.
“Discovering that this is something that I can do, I can use this as a way to inspire people… is the main thing.”
Buffaloians continue to be an inspiration for Rashaad Holley. In fact, all the designers featured in this series draw inspiration from the Queen City, each bringing their own unique talents, imagination, and creativity to their craft, helping to shape what the look of Buffalo fashion will be and what that means to the greater fashion community.