Borris Powell worked hard to catch his dream
by Chantay Robertson
Special to The Star
May 22, 2013 | 1725 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For 130 years, Jacksonville State University has served as a roadway for dreamers to travel in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations. Dreamers come and go for many different reasons; some see themselves as missionary doctors who help people around the world; others see themselves as instructors imparting knowledge to others who could help change the world.

Borris Powell is one of JSU’s dreamers who worked hard to actually catch his dream.

Powell, who is a native of Piedmont, attended JSU in 1993 and majored in psychology. He was a member of the Marching Southerners and has great memories of traveling with the band and just being “crazy musicians.”

“My favorite instructor was Ken Bodiford [JSU music instructor]…“He allowed me to express myself through music,” said Powell.

Powell loves to capture beauty through travel, music (which he feels to be such a beautiful form of art), and all the lovely things that surround us every day.

However, Powell’s fascination of fashion and beauty was formed at a very young age. As a young child, Powell was inspired by his mother. He would sit and watch her prepare for a night on the town, observing as she selectively chose her hairstyle, makeup and the perfect dress for the occasion.

Today, Powell, who resides in Chicago, is climbing the ladder of success in the fashion industry.

Powell began his fashion dream with evening wear. When his dream became a reality, he expanded his fashion line to outerwear, a ready- to-wear collection and unique handbags.

“The world is my muse,” Powell claims.

He explains that his “passion for fashion comes from within and from everywhere -- clouds, buildings and travel; from anything beautiful…I often sleep and dream of designs.”

Throughout his everyday career, Powell wears many hats. Just to name a few tasks he performs, Powell manages his own studio and all of his own marketing, organizes and hosts his own fashion shows, designs all of his own garments and chooses his own fabric selections.

In 2011, Powell’s famous dress “Black Swan” won the Academy Awards Oscar Designer Challenge. He was honored when his dress was worn by the model that brought the Oscar statuettes on the stage during the ceremony.

When asked about his favorite hobbies, Powell responded, “Hobbies? I’m way too busy for hobbies. But any second I can break away, I enjoy working out, which is a great stress reliever. I also love music.” Powell recently purchased a guitar and plans to teach himself to play.

Another former JSU dream catcher is Timothy Brown, who is also putting his fingerprint on the fashion industry.

Brown, like Powell, has several favorite memories of JSU, such as meeting one of his life-long best friends Ebony O’Bryant, an exchange student from Trinidad. Another high point at JSU for Brown was when he joined a fraternity – the Brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi.

He currently resides in Miami and works for the successful company Am Bespoke, where they design and make custom suits.

“I don’t just create suits, but I create a new lifestyle for people,” says Brown.

Like Powell, Brown was inspired by the world of fashion at a young age. He recalls his mother raising him alone and being unable to provide him with the same wardrobe that others had.

At the age of twelve, Brown started sewing. “I would take clothes apart and create something new,” he explained.

In his spare time, Brown enjoys watching movies. Two of his favorites are The Wiz and The Count of Monte Cristo.

“It would have been impossible for me to be where I am without JSU. People like Robbie Medders in JSU’s Office of Small Business Development encouraged me to venture out and dream,” says Brown.

If all the current and future dreamers that journey through JSU will view life as Powell and Brown have, there will be many more dreamers actually catching their dreams.
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Borris Powell worked hard to catch his dream by Chantay Robertson
Special to The Star

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