The third time is the charm for Hinds Community College sophomore Keiamber McCay of Port Gibson. The fashion design major on the Utica Campus started her college experience unsure of what she wanted to do after college. A long journey led to her recent big break interning with a clothing line in New York.
She started college in 2015 at Copiah-Lincoln Community College studying in the athletic training program but that did not work out. That is when she decided to make her best decision and come to Hinds’ Utica Campus. She majored in physical therapy and graduated in May 2018 with a 3.0 GPA. After a short stint at Alcorn State University, she decided to really figure out what she wanted to do.
“I had to sit down and think about what I wanted to do, and I really liked fashion. I was doing fashion design before I even wanted to be an athletic trainer. So I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer,” said the 23-year-old. “I was trying to find schools that provided that major and Hinds Utica Campus was the only one that fit the description I wanted.”
Now that she had found the right school, she was on the path to becoming a fashion designer but an unexpected opportunity gave her an even greater push. “My mom was working in Vicksburg in the Corps of Engineers building when one of her co-workers asked me what my major was. That is when he told me about his sister who owned a fashion line,” she said.
McCay took the opportunity to contact Marnita Miller, owner of E. Fabb clothing line. And before she knew it, she was heading to New York for her very first fashion show. The trip began in Manhattan on a rainy day in September 2019. McCay, Miller, her daughter, her granddaughter and the two models stepped off the plane and went straight to work. “We did last minute touches on the clothes. Sewed buttons on and made sure the clothes weren’t wrinkled,” McCay recalled. They went to bed so they could get up bright and early the next morning to prepare for the fashion show.
McCay was an assistant so she helped dress the models and made sure they were set before going on stage.
“I mostly was back stage so I didn’t get to see the show. It was nice because I got to experience how a fashion show works. It was a lot of work I want people to know that it is not easy at all,” McCay said.
“I was trying to find schools that provided that major and Hinds Utica Campus was the only one that fit the description…”
Now that she has had the experience working on a fashion show, McCay is looking ahead to her future after she graduates from Hinds in spring 2020. She plans to go to college in Los Angeles and obtain her business degree all while working to develop her own brand. “After college I plan to have my own brand in stores and I want to be able to make all women feel beautiful in my clothing. Any shapes and sizes.”
And her instructor Jontea Luckett is confident McCay can reach her goals. “It is an honor to teach students such as Keiamber McCay who are passionate about the field of fashion and take strides to accept opportunities that arrive in our community,” said Luckett. “Keiamber is a very talented student who accepts challenges, rises to the occasion and is destined to be great. Her journey and her story is one that I am sure will be written in the stars.”
Be sure to look out for K. McCay in stores in the future.