Alma Pittman, co-owner of Chatham Parkway Toyota/Lexus of Savannah and Odyssey Media recently hosted the fifth annual “In The Black” Tour. The tour kicked off in Fort Pierce, visiting several cities including Savannah and ended with the finale in Detroit. This year, our new Platinum Sponsor is Toyota. They highlighted their minority-owned dealerships across the country! The entrepreneurship panel sponsored by The Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative focused on access to capital, and the audience-favorite style segment featured fashion icons.
Attendees received a bold, fierce and unforgettable experience with digital workshops, resource guides and engaging conversations.
Every woman needs the right accessories to compliment their signature look – handbag designer Mark Paige hit the stage to show the latest trends. Paige is the owner of Mark Paige Accessories Collection. In an interview with The Savannah Tribune, Paige discussed his upbringing and his inspiration to become an artist/designer who now operates from New York City, Palm Beach, and Los Angeles.
“As a child, I was always creating, building, and designing things. I’ve always wanted to create and bring to life the essence of what is within my deepest thoughts and feelings.
“When I was seven years old, my mother gave me a book that illustrated how to create animals and other interesting objects out of paper and clothespins. Something inside me would not allow me to put the artbook down. At that moment, I declared that one day I would be a great artist. I continued to be intrigued and fascinated with art. In my 5th-grade art class, I discovered my love and passion for making handbags,” said Paige.
Paige received his BA of Arts in Sociology and Religious Studies at Saint Leo University of Saint Leo, Florida and an AAS degree in Accessories Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) of the State University of New York.
While studying theology, Paige learned how to create liturgical vestments, religious robes, from other vestment designers. He began to design the liturgical vestments for priests, bishops and ministers, but he did not possess the technical skills in designing production.
It was not until he attended FIT that Paige developed the technical skills needed for designing and engineering accessories. “FIT brought out the realization that I was indeed an Artist,” Paige said.
As he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, Paige learned how to produce a full range of accessories, from high-fashioned handbags, shoes, belts, small accessories, but he also learned how to better design, build and produce liturgical vestments. At FIT, he was also well educated on leathers and textiles, skins and exotic skins, as well as materials needed to execute the ideal concept design.
“As I mentioned before, I have always been an artist. Accessories to me are pieces of art objects to be used to make the owner’s life easier to manage,” Paige said.