Seven Questions with Designer Derrick Perkins

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Greenville, Mississippi native Derrick Perkins recently debuted his first runway collection for his DorettaLang Company label at the Pink the Runway Fashion Show in Jackson, Mississippi. Pink the Runway is one of the biggest fashion shows in the Jackson area. It gives many new and up-and-coming designers an opportunity to showcase their collections. The show was also created for a good cause. It is to raise awareness on one of the most common cancers diagnosed in women in the United States: Breast cancer. I had the opportunity to interview Perkins about his first fashion show and collection. Check out our seven-question interview below.

Jarquita Brown: One question I always ask my interviewees: What does fashion mean to you?

Derrick Perkins: To me, fashion means being so creative that you make people question and want what you have created. Being able to self-express through the creativity of wearable things really sparked my interest in fashion.

JB: I saw that your collection was showcased in this year’s Pink the Runway. Tell me about your collection and the inspiration that came with it? What was it like seeing your designs on the runway?

DP: This collection was actually my first collection and first time in a fashion show, which was so surreal. This was a fall collection and was simply me freestyling. The feeling of seeing my work walk down that runway was a feeling of accomplishment and motivation. That was a moment I’ve always dreamed of.

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JB: Are you self-taught? How has your work evolved since you began your label?

DP: I am self-taught. I started off with a small sewing kit from the dollar store and started practicing on my favorite pair of jeans. I went from that to an old vintage style sewing machine to a modern sewing machine and serger.

JB: How would you describe your own style?

DP: My style is kind of abstract but wearable. You would not see my designs in a regular store. All of my pieces are couture and unique.

JB: I see that you design for men and women. I’ve known most designers who start off only design for one gender. Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?

DP: Being that I tailor and do alterations to men and women clothing, it made it easier for me to figure out both genders while designing. The clothes that I design can almost be unisex in some instances besides dresses.

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JB: What’s your favorite piece of clothing you have designed? And who influences your designs? Who do you envision wearing your clothes?

DP: My favorite design would have to be the original DorettaLang Kangaroo Pocket Shirt. Kanye West and Gucci have a great influence on my designer mindset. I would love to collaborate with them. I envision people that want quality and to be different while trying to set a statement of self-culture.

JB: What does the future hold for your brand, DorettaLang Company?

DP: I plan on making DorettaLang a house that holds many occupations. I also do photography, videography and small graphics. I am currently working on my tailoring skills and finishing up college, so I don’t know when the next collection will be here.

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