The Creative Director -
Hi I'm Undra - the founder and creative director of Undra Celeste New York. This brand has grown and become my true labor of love. I started designing as early as 10-years old in Brooklyn. I've always looked at the world through design, color, shape - more abstract. Growing up I didn't know I could get paid to draw and sew and make pretty things, so I took the advice of my good West Indian parents and went to school for business as the illustrious Howard University. HU was a transformative experience. After college I moved to LA to work in "business", I didn't like anything about my life in LA (sorry West Coast peeps) until I enrolled in a fashion illustration class at Long Beach College. That 2 hour class every Tuesday night became my life. It felt like home in a far away land. A year later I quit my job, sold everything in my apartment and moved back home to NYC.
Once back in NYC I quickly started my fashion career, working for Calvin Klein and Marc Ecko to name a few. But my passion was always in fashion entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship was ingrained in me from a very early age. Working in fashion product development for over 10 years was great and allowed me to travel and learn so much about the industry, but I knew I needed to do more. In 2008, I co-founded a handbag company, Cousin & Co with my cousin and bestie Shekima. We saw some great wins in that business, such as getting Tory Burch as a mentor, gaining tons of national press and landing in some great stores. But eventually the business had exhausted its reach and in 2013 we decided to end the party.
My desire to be a fashion entrepreneur wouldn't go away, it was a part of me. So in 2015, probably against better judgment, I founded UCNY. This brand is my growing baby and has exceeded most of my plans for it. It was profitable in its first year. Landed 6 retailers in that same year and continues to grow as I continue to stretch myself and what is possible for me as it's owner and creative director.
In 2018, I've put most of it in God's hand because what I've also learned is that talent is great, a drive is necessary but without a divine plan and appointment I'll find myself spinning in a circle in my studio.
Welcome to my world and hope you enjoy the ride.
The Brand -
Defining the brand’s aesthetic can be difficult to put into words. Not because I don't know, but sometimes words don't fully express the feeling, you know?!
In 2015, I started the brand with 6 principles: Fashion, Dance, Persistence, Friendship, Timelessness and LOVE. As I look back on the last 6 collections, all embodied each those principles perfectly. I don't set out each season creating collections thinking, "I must be true to the principles of the brand - or else" it just happens, each and every time seamlessly.
Other elements have evolved into the brand and will continue to hold true as we go forward: BOLD (color and prints), MODERN (clean lines and silhouettes) and FUN (embellishments and metallics).
BOLD (color and prints), MODERN (clean lines and silhouettes) and FUN (embellishments and metallics).
A natural evolution of the brand with all the things I LOVE!
Love will always be the tagline. #LOVEUCNY
Stay Connected -
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