Pastor with Style Design Expertise Opens Inaugural Flagship Style Retailer in Annapolis – The Baltimore Occasions On-line Newspaper

Bishop Craig Coates started his foray in trend design by sketching and designing fashions within the tenth grade in 1983. His grandmother was a seamstress who owned a Kenmore stitching machine. Coates recollects taking a visit to a neighborhood material retailer along with her, then buying a bit of terry material material to make a trendy Dolman sleeve costume, which is understood to look like a bat wing. The creation was worn by a buddy at college. Coates progressed to creating fashionable jackets, skirts, and MC Hammer fashion pants when he was a scholar attending South River Excessive Faculty.

His fashionable journey finally led him to develop into the director of trend exhibits at Annapolis Excessive Faculty each spring for about 5 years, after graduating from highschool. In Coates’ early years, he was influenced by Ebony Style Honest touring exhibits and Baltimore’s trend icon, Travis Winkey.

Over time, Coates held on tightly to his trend design calling. He graduated from College of Maryland Faculty Park with a level in trend attire design. Coates later started making authentic clergy clothes and choir robes below his Fashionable Priestwear model. He labored his manner as much as linking with Anthony L. Williams, who was the costume designer and stylist for VH1 TV’s “Single Girls” present. Coates ended up designing gadgets for Nicole Arie Parker who was an actress on the present. Coates’ expertise was viewable on tv for a season.

Reaching one other pivotal milestone just lately occurred for Coates shortly after Black Enterprise Month kicked off in August. He hosted a grand opening of his new bridal store known as Craig Coates Couture. Attendees celebrated the entrepreneur’s new enterprise at 1910 Forest Drive, Suite 2A on August 6, 2022 whereas catching glimpses of his unveiled, new assortment items.

On August 6, 2022, to see his unveiled, new assortment items.
Photograph credit score: Zyah Williams

“My retailer is an expertise,” Coates informed The Baltimore Occasions.

Coates’ different position is serving because the lead pastor of Recent Begin Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland. He has been devoted to the ministry as a pastor for 29 years. This month marked a time when Coates took an enormous step to embrace his dream to open his first flagship retailer. Followers of his design work have sought him out to create customized promenade and bridal items. Staff now work on the entrepreneur’s retailer full time. Clients come to the brand new location for fittings, too. Craig Coates Couture is an eclectic mix of trend extravagance and upscale assertion items. It’s divided into three sections and presents a various choice.

“There’s the bridal couture part, which is the entire bridal suite the place I do couture robes,” Coates stated, noting that he acquired optimistic suggestions in regards to the featured costume he made. “The opposite space is the place I’ve[sic}selectedgownsanddressesthatarevintagedresses”[sic}selectedgownsanddressesthatarevintagedresses”

Coates defined that he handpicks stunning robes that initially price hundreds. Buyers could at all times buy them at Craig Coates Haute Couture for below $1,000.

“The third part of my retailer is known as Free Your Thoughts. So as a result of I went again to varsity as a Black historical past main, I infused that into my design work. Each month I will likely be highlighting the lifetime of a traditionally Black designer and their affect on tradition. This month for the opening we selected Elizabeth Keckley,” Coates stated.

He famous that Keckley was the primary African American designer who was a slave. For 30 years she sewed till she may purchase her freedom. Her expertise led her to develop into First Woman Mary Todd Lincoln’s private designer and confidant for 4 years within the White Home, in accordance with Coates.

Moreover, Coates’ unisex t-shirt model known as Free Your Thoughts is ready-to-wear. He additionally creates all menswear, each customized and in any other case.

When Delegate Shaneka Henson’s husband wanted a tuxedo for his or her marriage ceremony on the final minute when the couple’s preliminary apparel plans fell by, she contacted Coates. He stepped in to create an authentic tuxedo.

“Bishop Coates has constructed a trusted model that makes an announcement in any room. I am thrilled that he selected to find his new retail store within the coronary heart of Parole and produce his worldwide expertise house to Annapolis,” Del. Henson stated.

Bishop Craig Coates, left, proudly shows a marriage robe that he created for the grand opening of his flagship retailer. Alina Wayson, proper, is an worker and seamstress who works for Coates.
Photograph credit score: Zyah Williams

Coates’ buyer base is numerous however primarily African American. He believes that it’s due to his longtime group roots that results in word-of-mouth publicity. Nevertheless, Coates’ trend affect extends past blackness.

“My prospects are people who find themselves in search of distinctive, authentic designs and are keen to pay for it, as a result of it is price it,” Coates stated.

Go to to study extra about Coates’ retailer, or to attend the net digital launch on the primary Saturday in September. Orders should be positioned on that day to obtain a sale worth on ready-to-wear and classic gadgets.

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