Cori Davis has taken her love of fashion and her daughter and created something beautiful. We spoke to Davis about clothing, the choices she makes and how the love for her daughter motivates her.
Talk about your passion for women’s fashion. When did you know this would be something you would do?
When I think about fashion, it makes me excited. When I see a fabric, I get butterflies — like first love. I fall in love with fashion over and over again with every new sketch. I knew that I wanted to be a part of fashion in high school. Once I realized that I could go to school for it, I did. I was fascinated by drawing paper dolls and making clothes, and I am glad it turned out to be my career choice. I love being a fashion designer.
Recently for your fashion show on Feb. 24, you mentioned your inspiration for the featured designs was from the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. What was it about that movie that inspired you?
The Mad Max movie inspired me with the metals in the costumes. It felt as if I was looking at female strength while looking at the garments. I wanted the collection to showcase a feminine sex appeal while still showing the strength in the garments as well as confidence. It is very important to me to show that a woman is feminine [and] she is strong, as well — from a lace dress with a camouflage jacket. I wanted my collection be bold while making a statement.
You and your 8-year-old daughter Reign are very close. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. How has this informed your work as a designer and why was it important to create the first autism emoji?
With my daughter being on the autism spectrum, I started looking at life from a different angle. I learned that anything is possible. She pushed me to work harder. Reign was diagnosed as non-verbal. I was not sure when or if she would ever speak again. Now, every morning she wakes up and says, “Hi momma.” It was important for me to create the first autism emoji because in a world where everything is so digital, I felt that it would be a great way to bring awareness, as well as be a fun way to express one’s self. It is a tool for parents and caregivers to express what is going on in the autism bubble that we live in.
What is your superpower?
My superpower would be multitasking. The more chaotic my life is, the more I feel like the universe is challenging me, and I am always up for a challenge. I like to push myself to see what my limits are, such as doing a collection in 30 days. I now know that I can complete a collection in thirty days if I need to. As a designer, it is very important to know your strength and capitalize on it. It is also important to know your kryptonite. Knowing your weakness only makes you better.
What words of encouragement do you have for those who are following their passions?
My encouraging words would be never give up on yourself. Trust yourself when it comes to your talent and passion. The universe will let you know when you are on the right path. Be comfortable in who you are and don’t become consumed with someone else’s success. We all have a path to follow.