CarmellaXRosella Fashion Show: Where Fashion Meets The Culture
Summertime in Downtown Detroit is where the culture of the city thrives. The heat has set the city ablaze as a hot location for upcoming entrepreneurs and creatives. Carmella Rose Hobson, creator of the new Detroit fashion brand “CarmellaXRosella” or “CxR,” has been catching fire as well, utilizing her skills to embrace all of the city’s culture, it’s people, and it’s energy to input back into her clothing and to make an impact in the city. CxR isn’t just a means of expression and impact for Rose but it’s also an avenue to fund and provide for her “Plan A” which is to be a surgeon. “I’m doing my plan B and my plan A at the same time,” Rose expressed to me.
The twenty-year old entrepreneur held her tenth fashion show last Sunday. Instead of just holding a normal runway show, she decided to create a festival throughout the day that leads into the show intending to embrace and showcase not just fashion designers, but other black entrepreneurs, musicians and artists. Of course, Rose and her team worked tirelessly to pull off this massive but remarkable vision. They all had a sense of pride and dedication attached to this show and even her models had that same level of dedication and pride that they helped in anyway that they could to assist Rose and her team.
I attended one of the CxR rehearsals which was held in a dance studio at Wayne State University. Rose utilized the talent that is here at Wayne State University with many of her models being students. In the dance studio, Rose and Gabrielle Bonds (a model and a member of her team) were working with the models on a lingerie dance scene while outside the studio, Justin Hatchett, the creator of the clothing line “TopShelf or Die,” was working on his scene in the fashion show. In the rehearsals, the energy was infectious. You could see the dedication, the effort to perfect the mistakes, the hard work, and the stress but also feel the fun, the encouragement and the love each person had for one another.
“She (Rose) is trying to do new things that nobody else has ever done. She wants to be different and she wants her models success to be known and for them to grow exponentially even after her event,” said one of her models, Shannel Chambers.
Sitting down with Rose at the rehearsal, you could see how much she was balancing as she gave an equal amount of time and effort into each aspect of her show, even giving me that same attention as an interviewer.
“Detroit has so much potential in every field. Having us explore that black talent is great especially with my journey. To be in that environment with people who are like you is very heartwarming,” Rose said. A piece of her inspiration behind her clothing line came from other black Detroit clothing lines and famous black designers, such as Virgil Abloh and Rihanna, but she credits her former high school, Cass Tech, for being the reason she tapped into her creativity. Coming from a Detroit Public School is a sense of pride for Rose, and she decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the show to DPS schools as a means to give back to a school system that is known for not caring about the students enough.
Creatively, the inspiration behind her looks comes directly from the youth she’s surrounded by. “Younger generations do impact my style. I always look for what’s new and what’s fresh while keeping it a little old school. I have an “old-ish style” look but I also incorporate modern things. Younger kids bring untapped talent and rawness you don’t see everywhere else.”
You could see the youth at the fashion show. They ran the event, their clothing brands were showcased, they modeled on the runway, they were cheering in the crowd, they performed their music but all together, everyone, youth or not, felt connected to an event that was made for us from one of us.
Rose’s imagination is big when she considers the future of CxR but she just thinks about the next five years. “My huge imagination would have me host my own show during NYFW. That would be great. Also, owning a store front next and running it while going to med school.”
For Rose, the sky is not the limit. This remarkable show proves that she can go anywhere her mind takes her and succeed at it for as long as she wants.
Words and Photos by Miles Reuben, a WSU student, dancer, director, and culture enthusiast