Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve been excited to bring you fashion news from none other than Chicago’s very own fashionista and designer, Ms. Tennille White. Last year, Tennille made a splash in New York as her designs were cause for audience standing ovations in BET’s Rip The Runway. Tennille White is back for a 2nd consecutive year, showcasing her Spring 2011 collection for the full figured woman, ranging in sizes 8-14. The designs are described as bolder, brighter and better . Tennille will be joined by designers, Rachel Roy and LaQuan Smith in this year’s extravanganza! After talking with Tennille for the 3rd time about her designs, this doesn’t really seem like an interview, so, here’s clara54 on the dish with Tennille White!
c54- Hey Tennille, what’s going on? How’s the business going?
Tw-Oh my gosh, we’ve been selling, selling, selling! After the show premiered last year, Clara, the sales have been through the roof. The show re-aired I don’t know how many times. It’s been such a blessings. In a weird way. I mean, I didn’t even know the show re-aired. It’s been such a blessing. It’s been just crazy!
c54- I’m sure. You know I sent you an email asking what the heck was going on~laughter- so are you showing many new designs for this year’s line?
Tw- Oh, of course! I mean, we’ll be showing our Spring 2011 collection & it is so awesome! So full of bright colors. Every single piece is easy to wear, figure flattering and reflective of your personality. My gosh, the line looks like a bag of skittles. It’s a lot of color working. I mean, yea, Spring is about color anyway, that’s a huge trend and it’s so amazing because I designed all of this stuff early spring of last year. To see the pieces on the stage-the colors are like orange,pink, reds, greens and linen whites-we love our linen which come in a variety of colors.
c54- Sounds awesome. Now you know last year’s Rip The Runway was huge! So, are you just a bit concerned about this year and are you constantly trying to top yourself?
Tw- Oh, I mean, if I was a hit last year? I don’t know what it’s going to be this year because I’m being honest, Clara, I never been this passionate about a line before. I don’t know what it is-I am in awe. Honestly, God has put such a calm-such a energy in my body- where there’s not even a tenth of a 100% of a concern. You know when you top yourself? It’s almost like, what are you going to do next is the concern- not about now,you know what I’m saying?
c54- Yes, definitely. To be clear, I want you to tell my readers where they can find your designs.
Tw- I want everyone to go to my website. We get a lot of people that want like, “Can we fly you?” “We’re gonna have a little party” blah, blah, blah and I love to meet with the customers. I’m so passionate about their thoughts, issues; but, I want people to go to the website at www.TennilleWhiteChicago.com We’re relaunching the website to coincide with the airing of BET’s Rip The Runway- airing 9pm Monday, March 21st. The line will be available as well. So, I’m hoping that of course, everyone goes and obviously look at the show first.
c54- I know that you mentor young people who want to become fashion designers- any lessons you want to impart?
Tw- You have to really be… when you get people to work with you and work for you, you have to really be on the same page. If their motives are any different than yours, it’s not going to work. I can now tell other people and be able to help someone else, especially younger people. Keeping them from spending and giving all that they have to someone is more valuable than that money could ever be. I’m grateful that God gave me that experience and I’ve learned from it. “I’m over it. I’ve let go and let God” (Tennille is talking about a bad experience she had placing her monies & trust with someone she hired as a recommended representative for her fashion line, only to lose lots of money and netted “0” sales- the valuable lesson)
c54- Tennillle White Fashions are seemingly everywhere. Would you ever move your business from Chicago to New York?
Tw- I’d never say what I would never do. I have no intentions, that’s not in my plan. Like if I met some sexy man in New York! hey, it is what it is! (laughter) but I love my city. My family is here, my business is here.
c54- Thanks for giving me this feature interview Tennille. I know it’s only going to get bigger and better from here.
Tw- I’m claiming it Clara and I have the best feeling about it!
Clara54 enjoyed this delightful interview with Chicago’s very own Tennille White. Make sure you guys tune in to BET’s Rip The Runway,Monday March 21st at 9pm Est and 10pm Cst on the BET network.
- Tennille White Debuts Her Spring 2011 Plus-Size Collection on BET’s Rip the Runway (pasazz.net)
- Chicago Fashion Designer Tennille White On BET’s Rip The Runway! (wwwclara54.wordpress.com)
- Wiz Khalifa, Fabolous & Keri Hilson ‘Rip the Runway’ With BET (theboombox.com)