The Future Belongs to Those who Believe

Taylor Crosley won the Avessa Editorial Award at Miami Swim Week 2022. She presented three outstanding designs, which wowed the editorial staff at the magazine, and naturally, we had to feature Taylor and her work.
Fashion Designer: Taylor Crosley Hair & Make-Up Artist: Lia Tseluyko Hairstylist & Production Assistant: Keisha Volmar Model: Sophia Whipple Modeling Agency: Trendsetter Models Photographer: Flávio Iryoda Retoucher: Luiz Camargo special thanks: betty davis reliford
When I first met Taylor,
I was immediately intrigued by her stylish clothes, especially her fantastic shoes! Looking more fashionable isn’t always about wearing the coolest trends, mastering complicated styling tricks, or wearing the most expensive clothes. I noticed that Taylor was simply and quietly confident, which is the key to looking fabulous. She knew how to accessorize, use a remarkable statement piece, and had this attitude that epitomized the French saying: “Vouloir c’est pouvoir.” I could tell from our first encounter that Taylor would complete whatever she put her mind to. At Avessa, we believe that editorial design should be evocative, connect to the audience, and be a gut-punch reminder of how beautiful clothes can be. We also think editorial designs should never merely be visual “garnish.” Brilliant editorial work creates an instinctive connection with the audience and eventual customers. For this award, we wanted the winning designs to add depth and meaning to the story that the Miami International University of Art and Design student was telling at Miami Swim Week. Taylor’s designs won the Avessa Editorial Award because they were artfully executed and because they stopped us in our tracks. Taylor Crosley was born and raised in Naples, Florida, and in 2013, she moved to Miami to pursue her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Her grandmother taught her the basics of sewing at a young age, so she started a love for designing and creating clothing. She meddled in crafty DIY pieces throughout her childhood and taught herself more technical sewing in her early twenties. Taylor worked in retail for about 15 years and previously attended college right out of high school. In our interview, Taylor mentioned how her professional and personal friends have helped her learn more about what drives her. I had the opportunity to meet one of her best friends, Keisha, who demonstrated that Taylor has a knack for instilling passion in her work with the people around her. I was also delighted to discover that Taylor has two children (I need to steal her moisturizers), a 4-year-old boy named Zaïre Sax and a 1 ½-year-old girl named Yvette Dupree. Taylor told me, “They are my whole world, and I am following my dreams so that I can show them to do the same.” After Zaïre Sax came into the picture, Taylor decided it was time to commit to her dream of returning to design school. She eventually enrolled in the program at MIU.
What ignited your passion for fashion?
I have loved playing around with clothes since I was a child. As a young adult, the women I worked with, Lisa Jo and Claudette, influenced my style and knowledge of the fashion world. While in high school, I started working in retail at a local boutique in Naples owned by Claudette and run by Lisa Jo. They were the most fashionable and fabulous women I had ever met. They introduced me to the world of fashion. From them, I learned how to style and dress women of all ages; this started my retail career.
Did you know you wanted to design early on?
At about ten years old, my grandmother taught me how to sew. With this skill, I began making new things from old clothes and customizing garments for myself or my friends. Making things with my own hands brought me joy and gave me a creative outlet.
You had some fierce competition on the runway; how did it feel to receive the editorial award?
I felt so proud and grateful to receive the editorial award. I was shocked at the moment.
How did it feel backstage at Paraiso? Stress, fear, or pure confidence?
Being backstage and seeing the models in my garments was pure excitement!
You presented three beautifully designed pieces with some great details, like the top with the cutout and the mermaid skirt. What inspired you to create these aspects? Your other design also was beautifully made. What drew these pieces together? Did you have a specific influence? What was the inspiration for the color palette?
My color palette was drawn from rich hues seen in nature. The navy reminds me of the deep blue ocean. I was inspired by naval uniforms; I used subtle details in the jackets for each look. I wanted the looks to be sexy as it is a swimwear collection. The use of the open weave knit and sheer silk gave a glimpse of the model’s figure under a full-length skirt. I wanted these looks to be elevated and glamorous. The appliqués and shiny faux chainmail knit helped me to achieve the look I was going for.
What aspect of fashion (e.g., design, styling, construction, sales) is your favorite, or do you want to do it all?
I really enjoy constructing garments; bringing an idea and drawing to life is what drives me. The process of getting to the finished garment, figuring out how something can be done, and learning a new technique, these are the parts that are exciting to me.
What is your overall aesthetic for your design work?
I draw inspiration from the past. The ’70s was such an amazing time in fashion. As I design, I continue to see these silhouettes showing up in my work. As a student, I continue learning about myself and where my design will go.
What are the types of clothes that you prefer to create? e.g., ready-to-wear, couture, evening, etc.
Couture and evening, I find to be more exciting as they can be over the top and out there.
What are your plans for after school?
My plans for the future are to keep learning and practicing my craft.