Powell, a native of Piedmont now based in Chicago, stole the show at last year’s Oscar’s awards, winning the 2011 Oscar’s Designer Challenge with his feathered “Black Swan” dress. Now, the fashion designer has turned his attention to the music industry. Tonight, music producer Ralphi Rosario will wear a custom-designed Powell suit at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles (7 p.m. on CBS).
Rosario is nominated for Best Remixed Recording for Rhihanna’s “Only Girl” song.
“Rosario has worked with some of the biggest artists, and it’s an honor to dress him in something of mine for this year’s show,” Powell said from his studio in Chicago.
The Grammy suit is a slim-fitting, one-button style in wool, navy in color, with a silk/satin shawl collar and steel grey silk lining with gold trim. Powell says he loves the suit’s mix of wool and silk/satin, which gives the suit a polished, tuxedo look with a bit of glimmer. Perfect for the bright lights.
When it came time to find a suit for the big show, a mutual friend suggested Powell to Rosario. Powell said designing men’s suits can be a challenge — but he’s never been one to turn down a challenge.
“I automatically think women’s wear; that’s what I’m known for. It seems like it should be much easier, because I’m a guy and I wear men’s clothing, but it’s not,” Powell said.
Since opening up shop in Chicago five years ago, Powell has made a name for himself by designing glamorous dresses. But when wives of NFL Chicago Bears players come to fashion shows with their husbands, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks for a suit.
Since his first suit a year ago for then-Bears wide receiver Rashied Davis, Powell has made some 20 original designs for men. He will launch his first men’s line at his fall/winter collection fashion show on March 18 in Chicago.