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Generation Next: Samantha Black

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Samantha Black showed her Spring/Summer 2012 collection for her namesake line, Sammy B, Tuesday night to a star-studded audience that was front and center to see what trendy and fashion-forward pieces would come down the runway. And considering that Samantha acts as her own muse for the line, customers expect her clothing to be fun, fearless and ooze sultry sophistication -- just like she does.

Sammy B came to life after Samantha Black graduated from Pratt Institute in 2005, where she majored in Fashion Design while interning at Jill Stuart, Michael Kors and even in London at the late Alexander McQueen's design studio. She channels all of this experience into her line, and throws in her individual style and personality -- and you have Sammy B!
We talked to Samantha Black to find out how the journey has been for a young, Black designer.


ESSENCE.com: What struggles, if any, have you encountered as a new designer? 
SAMANTHA BLACK: Some of the struggles I have encountered are trying to build a line with no funds. Not having backing or financial support makes things very hard, adding obstacles that can be unnecessary.

ESSENCE.com: Do you find yourself fighting against being labeled an 'urban' brand?
SB: YES! Because I am a Black designer they assume I have an urban line, when it's not the case at all.

ESSENCE.com: Do you feel like that old 'Black tax' is something you've noticed in the fashion industry? 
SB: Yes very much so, I fee as though if I did a gold sequin piece exactly the same as a non-Black designer... mine would be considered urban and the other designer luxurious. So it can be hard.

ESSENCE.com: What has been your biggest tribulation? Biggest triumph? 
SB: My biggest tribulation has been setting myself apart from the many many designers on the come up. There are  a lot of talented people out here.

ESSENCE.com: How, if at all, has your journey as a new designer made you better?
SB: I have learned to do so so much with very little. I don't get disappointed easy, and when I am, I'm better at picking myself up and moving forward. All in all, with all the ups and downs, I'm very excited to be doing what I'm doing, and as I progress fast or slow, the progression keeps me going. 
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