Sherita Jennings , a’07 fashion design graduate of Moore, will debut her fourth clothing collection for Spring 2011 during New York Fashion Week this fall.
Jennings established her women’s ready-to-wear luxury line, VISCERA NY, in 2009, while working full time as assistant designer for Cynthia Rose, a private luxury women’s wear company. Jennings sells the line privately through the Victoria Watson Showroom in New York’s fashion district.
Her collection for Fall 2010, entitled “Mechelle,” (which means to “embody God” in Hebrew) is inspired by 1940’s jazz performance and old Hollywood. All items from the collection were named after jazz singers: including gowns Billie (Holiday), Josephine (Baker), and Etta (James).
Jennings is currently at work on her fourth collection which will debut in Harlem (the neighborhood she also now calls home) during Fashion Week. This season the emphasis is on hues of chocolate, green, and black. The collection features the finest organza, high quality silk chiffon and jersey, with impeccable attention given to detail.
As designer and president of VISCERA NY (short for “visceral”), Jennings’ appreciation for indigenous cultures takes form in her signature hand-beaded embroidery and colorful prints. The burgeoning fashion designer also uses the Japanese shibori hand-dying technique to create unique color palettes for much of her work.
“The VICERIAN woman is someone who is confident in whatever walk of life; whether she is a CEO at the helm of a corporation, or a jet-setter traveling to the next exotic destination,” Jennings said. “When she steps into a room, people want to know who she is, what she does, and where she comes from.”
Jennings, a South Carolina native, was born into a family of self-taught artists: her grandmother specializes in sewing and pattern making, her father in painting, and her grandfather in carpentry.
As a student at Moore, Jennings interned for Cynthia Rowley and Philadelphia’s Sarah Van Aken, and worked at Douglas Hannant, a luxury womenswear company in New York. During her junior year, Jennings was awarded the Tiffany & Co. Women’s Leadership Fellowship, which enabled her to visit Ghana. There, she studied native West African techniques like Kente Cloth Weaving and Adinkra stamping, which she incorporated into her senior collection at Moore. The trip continues to inform her design aesthetic today.
“Moore awarded me opportunities that have inspired and helped build my repertoire,” Jennings said. “The focus of the brand is to celebrate the world through fashion. My experience with the local artisans in Ghana helped me understand my subconscious attraction to certain colors, patterns and natural materials.”
VISCERA NY is currently sold privately and through showrooms, trunk shows and by word-of-mouth.
For more information about VISCERA, NY visit www.viscerany.com
Moore College of Art & Design celebrates 160 years of educating women for careers in the visual arts. The nation’s first and only women’s art college, Moore’s student-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural district. The College continues to offer nine bachelor of fine arts degrees for women. New coeducational graduate programs were launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the 85 year old acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.