Before HGTV was a thing, Black folks were blazing the trail for reality design shows. In the late 1990’s Chicago filmmaker Barbara Allen produced Urban Suite. She teamed up with TC Carson, yep Kyle 'Baaarker' from Living Single, to give design-challenged urban dwellers tips for making their houses more of a home. There were no reality show opportunities for Black fashion designers back then, but perhaps the tide is turning with the ascendance of two Black women who are taking the design and fashion industries by storm, on reality television and IRL!
In the recent season of Design Star: Next Gen, Carmeon Hamilton took the #1 spot, beating out seven other fellow designers. Memphis-based Hamilton is the creator behind Nubi Interiors. Architectural Digest named Carmeon a rising star in the design world and the latest news is that Carmeon now has her own show, Reno My Rental, premiering September 18th on Discovery+!
Brooklyn-based Andrea Pitter beat out nine Making the Cut - Season 2 designers to take home the $1 million dollar prize! Pitter has spent a decade or more making certain that “engaged women are transformed into breathtaking brides.” Her commitment to representing the unrepresented in mainstream bridal flows through her Pantora brand. The Amazon sponsored Making the Cut series has made Pitter’s winning designs available online, creating more opportunities for the public to access Black women's creations. YES!
Arté Noir congratulates these two beautiful Black women design leaders. Keep slapping the game hard, keep taking the winners baton, and keep us looking good and feeling good at home.
Shouts out to other trailblazing Black women, Urban Suite producer Barbara Allen, and writer Wilma Randle. Ahead of your time ladies!
PS: Check out this throwback episode of Urban Suite! 👇🏿