Marquel Bowden is the creator of Niquelle, a clothing brand that specializes in handmade, show stopping looks for young adult trendsetters.
Marquelle mixes her love for streetwear and high fashion to produce memorable, high-quality garments.
Tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you.
I'm a fashion designer, I went to Virginia State University (VSU), graduated in 2020 and I've always had a love for fashion! I've been designing clothes since I was 12 years old; my grandma taught me.
So you had the chat code with your grandmother teaching you how to sew!
Yes, she taught me the basics of sewing and every summer me and my sister would go to her house. She'd have us making aprons and dresses, little stuff to keep us busy, but that was when I started to take sewing seriously.
When did you decide to go to school for fashion?
In high school we had apparel design classes and for the longest time they wouldn't let me take these classes because it wasn't part of my curriculum. At the time I was part of the technology based curriculum, but I was determined to take those classes. Once I finally got into them my senior year was when I really started falling in love with fashion. I started teaching myself on the side how to design clothing and make it look realistic as a drawing and then from there it slowly developed into me actually designing collections. So when I got to college I was like, "yeah, I already know what I want to do. I want to be a designer."
Where did you find determination to get over the obstacles that you faced along the way?
I always knew that I had to do it. I know that if I let one little thing stop me, what does that really say about me? So I've always been hard-headed when it comes to following my passion and doing the things that I really, genuinely want to do.
What is the hardest part about being a designer?
Finding inspiration. I'm the type of person that's inspired by everything, constantly, and I always get new ideas. I would say between finding inspiration and also, there's so much stuff out on the market today that it's easy to get influenced by other people's creations. You don't want your stuff to resemble anyone else's too much so that you can have your own identity.
How do you want to make a difference in the fashion industry?
I really want people to take notice of black designers. We still have the Chanel's and Dior's and all of these brands that have been here for a long time, which a lot of people love, but I would love to be a part of the new wave of designers that are black-owned and for us to have booming fashion houses.
Also being a black female, I think that's huge. During fashion week you don't see a lot of women, or black women owning a fashion house. I don't really see that, and that's what I want to bring to the table with fashion.
Click here to watch the full interview on YouTube and learn more about Marquelle's inspiring story!