Designing Woman: Yolanda Adams weaves a new direction with knitwear collection
Yolanda Adams is in bed most nights by 7:30. She’s no wallflower, just insanely busy, juggling her recording career, radio show, job as a mom and her latest venture — clothing designer.
Over the past 24 years onstage, Adams has learned a few things about fit and fabric. She has translated that knowledge into her new knitwear line, the aptly named Yolanda Adams Collection.
Adams is full of energy, fresh off the air from her Yolanda Adams Morning Show, which runs from 5-9 a.m. everywhere from Houston (on KROI FM 92.1) to New York to Orlando to Washington D.C. The show mixes gospel music with uplifting and informational chat, which is fitting since Adams is a Grammy-award-winning gospel singer.
Adams has the title of model on her resume along with her other endeavors and at 6-foot-1, she knows the struggles many tall women have with fit.
Despite the schedule (she released her latest album Becoming exclusively with Walmart in May), Adams insists she is the creative force behind the collection. She teamed up with the designer knitwear company Toula and has been involved every step of the way.
“I have been working on this for one-and-half years and partnered with Toula because it is an impeccable knit line. I have been very hands-on. This is not a line I just lent my name to,” Adams says.
Unlike many celebrity-titled clothing lines, you won’t find the Yolanda Adams Collection in mall department stores. She wanted luxury, sophistication and the ability to alter a piece to fit and flatter every woman. The collection includes jackets, which range from $455-$2,000, dresses ($365-$ 920), tanks and shells ($165-$260), skirts ($125 - $380) and pants ($325-$520).
Sizes range from zero to 28W and after 25 pieces of a specific style and color are sold, it will no longer be available and Adams will then release a new version of the item.
Rather than roll out the clothing through traditional retail avenues, Adams is introducing the collection in a series of trunk shows around the country. A Houston native, Adams naturally chose her hometown to introduce the line at the Westin Galleria Thursday in an invitation-only event. Friday and Saturday, women can shop the collection with a YAC specialist. Two years of alterations are included with collection purchases.
“This is a luxury brand and women should be able to add two inches to make something work for them. You should get to have your clothes the way you want,” Adams says. “So many great stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales are fighting for the same customer and I think one-on-one attention is important.”
Adams has the title of model on her resume along with her other endeavors and at 6-foot-1, she knows the struggles many tall women have with fit. Adams also understands the fit challenges are not the same for a petite woman or plus-size woman, so tailoring is crucial and so is the fabric. She has always loved knit and says it’s flattering on all body types.
“I’m a people watcher and I see who needs some ease in the bustline or how an hourglass shape needs to cinch in the waist. There’s simplicity in the design, but there are also options,” Adams says. “I wanted a clean finish.”
The collection’s look combines a bit of classic Chanel with the detailing of St. John, but Adams has used lots of bold colors and versatile pieces, allowing women to shop head-to-toe or just a few items at a time. She is a fan of the coats and likes how the collection includes capes for women who may not shop for other items.
“A size 26 woman who is not comfortable shopping for pants, can buy a cape in a great color and feel good in it. Those pieces to me are my favorite,” Adams says.
Adams believes there are still many Southern women who wouldn’t dare leave the house without their “face on” and like to dress for everything from a luncheon to church and a night out. She hopes the collection speaks to them.
“Part of the Southern nature is when you walk out that door you are representing your family, so you need to look polished and if that means you dress up for lunch, that’s what you do,” Adams says.
After Houston, the YAC heads to Washington, D.C, Philadelphia and Dallas, but Adams already has her eye on the next fashion frontier-evening wear.
“Knits fits so well and can minimize or enhance. We think we have the best knit and longer, more elegant formal wear and accessories is definitely next,” she says.
In the meantime, look for Adams at her trunk shows. She’ll likely be one of the tallest women there, wearing something colorful and sophisticated from her namesake line.