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Grayling Purnell designs couture looks for some of hip-hop’s biggest stars

Freshman mistakes are common when you are learning. What are two that you made in your first collection?

[The first mistake] I made in my first collection was that I created the gowns too long for the models to walk in. The second was one of my gowns had crooked zippers because I stayed up all night sewing. I was exhausted.

How do you select a price point for your designs? 

I select the prices for the garments based on the fabric cost, [and] then I calculate the hours it takes to construct that garment.

How do you want to impact the culture with your creativity and designs?

As a child, I did not have a Black couture fashion designer that I could look up to. I wanted to become that Black designer that could inspire children. I became a fashion designer at 30 with no experience in designing or sewing. I literally got up one day and decided to become a fashion designer and did it. So, with that being said, I want to assure anyone reading this that dreams do come true. I am a living testimony to that.

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