Bright African Fashion

Garden-style fashion show at art gallery showcases new African-inspired clothing line

New African-inspired clothing line brings out bold and bright colors

Models A Leap of Style
Models pose at A Leap of Style spring and summer fashion show.  Photo by Kai Dunna
RUles of engagement a leap of style
Rules of Engagement dress made by A Leap of Style's Karissa Lindsay. Photo by Kai Dunna
A Leap of Style karissa
La Belle Femme owner, Angel Cornelius, left and A Leap of Style owner, Karissa Lindsay, right. Photo by Kai Dunna
A Leap of style model
Model wearing The Kate Blouse and Solo Culotte pants by A Leap of Style. Photo by Kai Dunna
Leybon A leap of style
Houston band, Leybon, performed jazzy tunes while models strutted the runway. Photo by Kai Dunna
Karissa and models A Leap of Style
A Leap of Style's Karissa Lindsay standing with her models in the spring and summer collection. Photo by Kai Dunna
Models A Leap of Style
RUles of engagement a leap of style
A Leap of Style karissa
A Leap of style model
Leybon A leap of style
Karissa and models A Leap of Style

A stylish crowd of Houstonians recently gathered at the Gite Gallery to celebrate the launch of the dream of Karissa Lindsay, the founder of the African-inspired fashion line A Leap of Style.

The runway show was the debut of Lindsay’s spring and summer collection filled with bright, Ankara details and classic menswear-inspired pieces. Lindsay pulled the old Hollywood glam vibes from icons Dorothy Dandridge and Katherine Hepburn to inspire her new collection. The looks alternated between the bold and colorful African textile patterns, and designs with subtle Ankara details.

 "There is such cool art and culture that is coming out of Houston and I love to be able to support and mix that all together,” Lindsay said. 

“The fashion show was everything that I hoped for, everything came together and was literally a dream come true. To see it all come together was affirmation for everything that I’ve been working on,” Lindsay said.

The Gite Gallery provided a dramatic backdrop for the show with every room filled with beautiful sculptures, paintings, and artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa. Founder and curator Lloyd Gite felt that his gallery was the perfect place to showcase the brand that draws its inspiration from Africa.

Houston Chronicle fashion and beauty editor Joy Sewing emceed the event, applauding Lindsay’s story an example of the American dream.

Lindsay celebrated her collection with a VIP cocktail reception sponsored by several local businesses. Guests enjoyed South African wines catered by Branwar Wine and swag bags with goodies from La Belle Femme products, Salon de la Soul Sister, and Melodrama Boutique.

Local band Leybon swooned the crowd with a selection of jazzy vocals, giving a classic spin on a selection of modern tunes. Houston designer K Jones Jewelry also collaborated to make custom-made jewelry pieces to go along with the looks in the show.

For Lindsay, her dreams of being a designer became a reality last summer when she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, and surpassed her $15,000 goal to launch the African-inspired line. After a successful launch event last year, Lindsay knew that she wanted to do a garden-style party for her next event and started working on the spring collection in December.

On the heels of her successful show, Lindsay plans to continue to work on producing more pieces, which can be found at Melodrama boutique, Zuvaa Marketplace online, and the brand’s website

“Partnering with local businesses is huge to me. I am all about everything that's going on in this city. There is such cool art and culture that is coming out of Houston and I love to be able to support and mix that all together,” Lindsay said.