Michelle Ragland is the owner and founder of Elegant Evenings Boutique. She has been in business for four years. In conversation she reflects on when she was a little girl and how she use to dress her dolls up and have “fashion shows” and from there, at the age of nine, she discovered fashion was her passion.
The first design Michelle did was a dress that her cousin wore to a formal event. She showed it to one of her seamstresses that she currently works with; she was so proud of herself, and excited because her cousin looked absolutely gorgeous. The person who inspired her to start her brand was Monif C, and God. She always prayed and listened to what God was telling her before she took a leap into anything. Her brand caters to all types of audiences from bridal, elegant events, pageants, kids, and couture clothing. Her latest fall fashion style are designs with a lot of orange and browns incorporated in her designs. She has attended 20 shows since her brand has been released.
One of Michelle’s major setbacks’ was trying to get her brand out to the world while not having enough family and close friends believe in her vision. It was only her mom and herself financing her vision and the cost of getting her brand out to the world was really expensive. With the help of God and the determination of herself and her mother, they made Elegant Evenings come to life.
During Michelle’s time as a Fashion Designer, the best advice she was given was: “You must crawl before you walk.” She uses that advice to inspire other models and during her selection process. She does have a method of choosing models. She loves to chose models who are passionate and serious about their career. She knows with those models they will be loyal, and will make her designs look more beautiful. She also uses models that are given to her, but, she prefers to do casting calls and speak with the models.
If Michelle could design for any supermodel it would be a mixture of these amazing models: Kimora Lee Simmons, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Roshumba Williams. She sees these ladies as powerful and independent women. If she could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world to represent power, she would do the shoot in Africa.
Michelle would love to thank everyone who has believed in her and her brand. She would love to thank her mom Josephine Brodie, her son Javon, her aunt and assistant Beatrice Gill, best friend Tracy Andrews, and Antoinne Duane Williams for the amazing networking and shows they have done together. She would also like to thank Aly Camara, and Alvin AJR Imagery for the amazing photo shoots that they have done together over the years. She would also like to give a thank you all the beautiful and dedicated models she has met over the years.