by Charlisha Renata
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A few weeks ago, I received an email from a local fashion designer about Memphis Fashion Group’s services. Derrick Gooden was interested in how Memphis Fashion Group could help build his brand. I took a look at his website and was very impressed. Who would have known that Memphis was the residence of a such a talented designer? Well, I do and I want to share his story with you. I meet with him last week about his business and decided to ask him a few questions to share with all of you.
How/Why did you start your career in fashion?
My mother is a seamstress and I always had an eye for fashion. As a child, I was nicknamed “Urbandel” by my family members. Even years later I am still referred to as Urbandel. I thought my nickname was unique so I decided to make it a brand. Seeing the nickname as unique, I decided to turn the name into a brand in 2002
Who inspires you? Do you have a favorite major designer?
My favorite designers are Tom Ford & Mark Jacobs.
What makes you special/different from others in your field?
What makes me different & very unique from others in the fashion industry is that I’m a one-stop-shop guy. I do it all, from designing it to actually producing it. All my garments are tailor made. My jeans and even my t-shirts are “made from scratch”. I start with raw fabric and construct each garment myself. I am also told that my logo really stands out.
What is your staple product?
I like making jeans. The first thing I ever made with a sewing machine was jeans and I am pretty good at it. I taught myself and I am proud of my work. I use the best fabric for my jeans, Selvage Denim. Selvage is a type of denim which forms a clean, natural edge that does not unravel.
What are your future plans?
My plans are to make Urbandel an international fashion brand. In the future I want to become a “high fashion” designer by branching into luxury menswear and maybe womenwear as well.
How do you feel about the Memphis Fashion industry? Do you plan to relocate or stay, why?
Although, Memphis isn’t known for fashion like NYC or LA, it has the potential to be one day. Memphis actually has some very talented individuals here. I would love to stay here in Memphis, it’s where I was born. But being a new designer, I’m open to relocate for opportunities that will get my brand where it needs to be successful.