A Local Fashion Designer’s Journey to London Fashion Week
Meet Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur and single mother who’s paving the way for herself and others like her, Daykeyla McGee. She loved to draw from about five years old and then first discovered her passion for fashion at the early age of 11 years old. Unfortunately like many children, she was bullied in school and used drawing as an outlet but eventually discovered a knack for drawing dresses. One day, she dreamt that she drew and created a beautiful dress that she wore, as a result she became the most popular girl in school and was no longer bullied. While this dream didn't come to fruition in school, it sparked her interest to take her drawings of dresses and make them come to life. Before she could get started there was one major obstacle standing in her way, she knew how to draw but not sew. Thankfully Daykeyla was gifted her first sewing machine at age 14 by her mother and the practice began. She struggled throughout High School to remain focused on her craft due to bullying, fighting and being suspended, but she finally got her act together and walked across the stage with a scholarship to Columbus College of Art And Design in Columbus OH waiting for her. While preparing the big move into college, Daykeyla found out she was pregnant and even though this type of news might put academic plans on hold for most, she was only slightly delayed and continued to pursue her degree while finishing her first semester of school and last trimester of her pregnancy simultaneously. Thanks to her mother who relocated to help her, she was able to complete all four years of her Bachelor's Degree and walked across the stage once again, this time with her son Rayshawn in her arms.
The Turning Point
After returning to Buffalo and attempting to rekindle the relationship with her child’s father, she found herself with child once again. She welcomed another baby boy into the world named Jeziah, but unfortunately the relationship with their father didn’t work out as she hoped. She was now a single mother forced to work odd jobs and wasn’t always living in the best conditions. She struggled to make end’s meat and so of course her dreams of being a renowned Fashion Designer was also put on hold. Eventually, Daykeyla was finally re-inspired to get back to her passion after being approached by fellow fashion designer Val Wallace, who tapped her to sew the majority of her collection for New York Small Boutique Fashion Week. It was then she decided to launch her home-based business so that she had more time to pour into her intended career. She designed her first post-collegiate collection in which she had hopes of debuting at NYC Fashion Week but found her self being scammed and out of money she really didn’t have instead. She dusted herself off and took her collection back to Buffalo and photographer Rick Warren offered to shoot it pro bono, it was the second wind she needed to keep going.
Finally, Daykeyla secured a better living situation for she and her children and even had space for an in-home deisgn/sewing studio. As she settled in, her dreams of NYC Fashion Week still loomed. To keep her passion alive she created her second collection called “SCORCHERING” in which she began to catch the attention of the local fashion community. She also caught the attention of the very company that would help her to make her dreams come true in the near future.
NYC Fashion Week
Daykeyla found herself once again at another cross-roads. She either needed to give up her hopes of watching her creations sashay down the NYC runways or make major sacrifices in her life and she chose the latter. Now working with a legit company who could help her realize her dreams, she had to come up with the finances to create a new collection and pay the necessary fees to get it in a show. So she cut costs like her cable and other things here and there and she made it happen! Daykeyla first debuted her new collection “Skitzo” in Buffalo, NY at her own show, then she took her show on the road to NYC Fashion Week at Pier 59 which was a door-opening opportunity for the budding creator.
The same company she went to NYC Fashion Week with, offered to take her to London but as a single mom, there was no way for Daykeyla to create another collection and her depression began creeping in again so she took another break. She began Working full-time in the corporate world and she started working towards her even bigger goal, creating a new collection and taking it to London, England. Daykeyla's newest collection was finally in the making and she named it “Anansi” which is a spider deity in Ashanti folklore, Ashanti being a west African culture in Ghana. Feeling like she’s had more masculine energy over the years as a struggling single mother, she wanted to do a collection that was inspired by femininity alo
ng with her heritage. She herself was working to tap more into her feminine side and began wearing waist beads and looked into their importance in Africa, and had actual authentic beads shipped to her from Africa in which she incorporated into her collection. She also incorporated Kente cloths which were said to have been created by “Anansi” as well.
A year and approximately $18,000 later, the “Anansi” collection was born. With the help of her village, fellow sewers, her mom and others who helped pull her vision together. After working day and night, taking care of her kids, and taking tremendous losses and sacrifices, the moment is finally came, Daykeyla arrives in London. Still having moments of anxiety she pushed through to the big day, with those closest to her by her side. The show was a major success as she and her collection “Anansi” was well-received and the only designer said to have received a standing ovation. Subsequently, Daykeyla has been interviewed for Fashion News and has since been featured in the blogs of major international publications such as ELLE Italia, Harpers Bazaar Spain, Marie Claire Italia, Cosmopolitan Russia and countless others.
The Mission & What’s to Come
Daykeyla’s mission is to use fashion to heal herself and help other women overcome their own insecurities. Wants women to be confident and and good enough. She loves how she can create a garment to help women feel beautiful. What’s next for this Queen City Fashion Designer? Well, she stated that she’s planning for something big, hopefully to be announced soon. She’s also in the process of creating more affordable renditions of her high-end fashions, in which you can purchase on her website at daykeyla.com. You can also contact her directly to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces from her collections. She also do custom orders as well. You can contact her at email@example.com and phone number 614-537-0741.
"Anansi" Collection by Daykeyla for London Fashion Week Gallery