Michelle Cole, one of the most sought-after fashion designers in the Guyanese American community, certainly earned the honor of “Fashion Designer of the Year” award which was bestowed on her at the Young Gifted and Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards event in celebration of Black History Month.
Cole was adamant that “an artist of any sort puts their heart and soul into their work, and receiving an award is a way of the world validating what comes natural to you. That is the best encouragement one can get besides client satisfaction.”
“As a designer, I create clothing for the person who wants to be confident when they step into the person who is sophisticated and playful, and who is not afraid to shine,” she said.
The designer’s Cole Facts label which took the fashion industry by storm 14 years ago has certainly qualified Cole for the YBG program. This program which recognizes the stellar work of individuals such as Cole whose flair for excellence continues to shine.
Presented with a sewing machine at the tender age of 11 was the ultimate stepping-stone for the Brooklyn-based designer who overshadowed her competitors to become a first-class designer to beauty queens and high-society clients. She compares designing to the air that she breathes, saying she cannot live without it.
Cole was awarded top prizes for her lavish gowns and for dazzling judges with her colorful Mashramani costumes, which were a part of the Large Mas Band Competition on the streets of Georgetown. With such talent, Cole, who has a passion for creating stunning outfits from natural and hand-printed and decorated fabric, was described by YGB as one of the unsung heroes of the African-American and Caribbean professional communities.
The mother of three up-and-coming fashion designers, Cole has showcased her phenomenal collections on runways in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and North America, while expanding her knowledge of the industry at demonstrations and workshops. Her work has been featured in Sister-Sister, Shaubau and SHE magazines, Caribbean Life and many other media.
With numerous accolades already under her belt, Cole is ready to take on the challenge of bringing home the Miss World title, as the current director of the Miss Word Guyana 2014 pageant, where her focus will be alongside top designers, Roger Gary and Natasha Martindale — the new franchise holder. The pageant will be held on May 26 in Guyana.