Attention bold fashionistas: Bishme R. Cromartie is here to create designs with you in mind: “I design for women who are not afraid to be the center of attention.” This is no blanket statement for the 21-year-old owner and designer of a women’s apparel company of the same name. A Baltimore native, Bishme picked up his first needle and thread at the age of nine, and started out sewing curtains, chair covers, bed spreads and anything else he could get his hands on. Bishme received his first hint of success when a stylist in New York City requested his printed floor length gown for an important project. He traveled from Charm City to The Big Apple only to discover that the shoot was for Elle Vietnam, and his piece would be shot by one of his favorite fashion photographers, Jamie Nelson. Bishme has also been featured in Vogue Italia, and he dressed R&B singer Ashanti’s curves for her Good Morning America appearance.
Bishme’s initial line of T-shirts and hoodies evolved into a collection of structured, feminine women’s garments that stretch the limits of the female form, with exaggerated waist lines and padded sleeves that could reach the heavens. The designer says: “I love to experiment with the body of a female. I like to make things come across as art and very dramatic. Sometimes an exaggerated hip helps complete the feel I am going for.” He draws inspiration from “anything that has a shape,” including buildings, weather, art and music. He is also noted for his one-of-a-kind creations during prom season, and even meets with girls similar to wedding consultations.
After applying to the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parson The School for Design and not getting accepted, he pressed on to pursue a career in the fashion industry. On September 28, his hard work paid off. Bishme held his first runway show in New York City to debut his Spring/Summer 2013 line at Midtown Loft. His next stop: Los Angeles to show this line at the Papillion Institute of Art on October 13 for Africa Fashion Week Los Angeles.
Click through the gallery to see more of Bishme’s designs.