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Linda Rowe Thomas's Extraordinary Journey to the Runways


When people experience life-changing ordeals, there are some who·succumb to it and those who rise above it.· Then·you have·extraordinary folks who triumph over adversity and create inspirational lives for others to·marvel and wonder.Fashion Designer and loving mother, Linda Rowe Thomas·is one of these greats and her story is a true testimony to that.· When Linda was two years old, a house fire left her facially marred and absent of one hand, but it never deterred her from living her dream of becoming a fashion designer and conquer the catwalks of the fashion elite.

Last year, Linda debuted her glam 2011 Fall Women’s line, during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City and took couture designers by storm. As she infuses her creative emotion into her Romás Collection, she takes classic wardrobe pieces and gives them a chic rebirth with an extravagant flare. Linda finds a way to encompass imaginative glamour with contemporary functionality in all of her exclusive hand-stitched designs. Her passion towards organic elegance and timeless garments engage the well-groomed woman in all of us. B.Couleur recently had a chance to speak to this phenomenal woman about her style, her inspiration and why it is important to never to give up on your dreams.

BC: Where did you draw your inspiration from this season?

LRT: The muse so to speak is Jackie O’ and other epic fashion icons.· Since I was I little girl I had this idea of sophistication in fashion during your everyday life while still having a contemporary flare.· It does not take a lot for a woman to a look sophisticated.

BC: So you focus on timeless wardrobe pieces choosing collector’s items that can be interpreted by the character of the woman and her own individual style.

LRT: Exactly!· I would like to be able to have a jacket that I can wear this year and 5 years from now and no one know that it was designed in 2010 or whatever it may, be.· Since its soo classic, it just transcends through time.· That is how I love to shop and that is how I design.

BC: Some young women are losing sophistication in their modern day- to- day dress.· There is not a balance.· Nowadays it is about overt sexiness or young women chose non- flattering garments that do not highlight the essence of the female bodice.

LRT: That is right.· I am aiming to show my daughter as she grows up the concept of a truly classic woman.· Now, she will see more than the first black president’s wife, but a trendsetter throughout fashion history.· With Historical icons like, Michelle Obama and others, young women now positive examples of taste and style that are close to home.

BC: You are truly inspirational.· It is great to watch you explode in the fashion industry and setting the precedent for young designers to look up to.· What are the advantages or disadvantages in being a black businesswoman in the fashion industry?

LRT: I do not necessarily know if I get disadvantages more for being a black woman or from the first impression of me to having to prove myself, because of my outer appearance.· It is a constant battle having to prove that I am worthy of being here.· For me it may have been because I am a black woman, but the fact that you can see differences in my outer appearance, takes precedent over that.· I have to prove myself at the door.· That is life for me; it is the greatest disadvantage. Advantage wise, I feel that I put myself at an advantage.· I say that by having the faith to know that I can do anything.· No- matter how many doors you close in my face or how many people say no.· I was fortunate to have the family right there telling me that I could do anything regardless of any obstacle.

BC: Can you tell our readers about Camp Sunshine, the organization you have been working with for some time now.

LRT: Camp sunshine is a wonderful organization for young burn survivors.I have been on the committee for two years now.· The way it works is that we literally take kids to camp while also providing emotional support.· It is a full week for kids, giving them the opportunity to be around others, experiencing one another living through similar circumstances.· We expose campers to fun places, theme parks, giving the children a chance not to be made fun of and get out from the norm.

The reason it is so important to me is because I was burned at two and I started treatment at Shriners Hospital in Dallas Texas.· I went from the age of two through eighteen years old, and my mother never paid a dime.· You can imagine how costly it must have been at the time.· However, there was someone in place that took care of that and gave her the opportunity to take care of her child and that was most important to my mother.  I’ve recently began a small organization of my own to give back to the community, support medical facilities for transportation of the victims, while giving parents the stability to concentrates on their child’s health.· This foundation is in the works, called The RMA JEAN FOUNDATION in memory of my beloved sister.

BC: If you had to wear one garment for the rest of your existence, what would you wear and why?

LRT: Wow, one garment huh!· It would have to be a simple dress that could be dressed up or down with flats and a scarf or heels with outrageous jewelry.· This dress would need to be a little bit above the knee.

BC: Are there any secret passions, guilty pleasures that you may be willing to share?

LRT: Well, I love to write.· I actually published a book years back called “Moca” written when I was in my twenties. This book is a coming of age story about the adventures of a woman in the Deep South. I had tons of ideas in my head and “Moca” is what came about.

BC: What advice would you give to upcoming designers?

LRT: To always, believe in yourself.· To perfect your craft.· To just never give up on your dreams.· It does not come overnight.· I have been doing this for a very long time.· When you really want something, it is worth putting in the time and the effort and it always comes out in the end.

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