Fashion Warrior… Tracy Nicole

Share

Learning you are diagnosed with breast cancer is one of the most terrifying moments in a woman’s life, but taking the diagnosis and turning it into the motor that drives you to conquer your dreams, is nothing but a sign that woman is a total warrior. Atlanta designer, Tracy Nicole Prather is the vivid example of what women are capable of doing and overcoming when faced with a dramatic situation in life. Prather was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, and while she had a stable job as an occupational therapist, it became apparent it was time for her to listen to her inner self and follow her dreams to become a fashion designer.

Fast forward to 2016 and Tracy Nicole has been highlighted in publications like Essence, Lucky Magazine, Jezebel and Atlanta Style, while being selected as one of the four winners of Belk’s Southern Designer Showcase. This annual competition hosted by Belk, is dedicated to finding new talent in the Southern area of the country, where Tracy triumphed among a group of 18 finalists. Her designs are modern and her ultimate goal is to make every woman feel and look like a million bucks every time they wear one of her pieces.

Fashion 360 Magazine had the opportunity to talk to the designer, where she dished out everything from the beginnings of her career, to how her life changed after surviving breast cancer.

How did your career in fashion begin?
It all began by mistake! I really did not know I had a talent when I started designing because it was so easy for me. I had no formal training at the time, and I could think of something, cut it out and wear it, but it wasn’t until people began to tell me I had an eye for it that I actually understood my talent. I grew up in a household were creative talents were not considered a career. Therefore I majored in Occupational Therapy and became a therapist, and while I was practicing therapy I was going to fashion school at night time.

How would you describe your design aesthetics?
I would describe it as comfortable but sexy. I am known for my off the shoulder and ankle design, and I take pride in the quality of the fabric. I go more for the feel since I need to make sure everything is soft a comfortable

Who is your target market?
My target market is the Working woman that juggles and has to run to pick up the kids after work, but still wants to look good. The fabrics are typically wrinkle free, which makes it great for commuting. I want my customer to be able to go from the office to happy hour with a simple change of shoes.

How did you prepare for Belk‘s Southern Designer Showcase?
I am very particular about detail and for this event, I went a step forward for everything. I made sure all of my judges had the appropriate materials and I named each of my garments after women that inspire me. This it’s much more than a clothing line. There is a motivation behind it, and I believe that came across the presentation. Each of these garments is named after a woman. Some of these women I have never met, but they inspire me with everything they have done.

How did battling with cancer changed the way you designed?
When I was going through recovery, the only outing, I had was going to the doctor. I therefore, found myself running to the sewing machine and making all of these outfits to the point that it turned into a thing at the doctor’s office of “what is Tracy going to be wearing today?” and that sparked a conversation about my clothing. Throughout the recovery I kept designing, and I finally launched my first collection right after my recovery. It made me want to accomplish more and truly living my purpose. My collection is very versatile for any age bracket

Any advice you have for new designers, specially women?
Hone in on what makes you and work on creating your own name. There is always room for everyone so I would not worry about any competition because you can grow in your own niche.

While we have to wait until the next sprint to shop her exclusive designs at Belk, you can go to http://tracynicoleclothing.com/ to get your hands on her current collections! You can also catch her traveling and educating people about taking charge of their health by getting a mammogram.