A month after her 21st birthday, Houston designer Tacharra Perry debuted her first collection at New York Fashion Week.
“The day I landed, I had a fitting with my models and it just felt so surreal,” the now 23-year-old recalls. “I walked into my room and saw a rack that said 'CHAR' on it and was just blown away.”
A stylist quickly pulled looks from Perry's first-ever collection, and Kylie Jenner's best friend, Jordyn Woods, was spotted in a CHAR piece the night of Perry's show (pictured above). Now in her last year of college at Texas Southern University, Perry has seen her designs on a number of celebrities and influencers.
Childhood memories of her grandparents' small upholstery business and her grandmother's drape designing served to influence Perry, who got more creative with her own style in middle school after her mother bought her a sewing machine one Black Friday. In high school, she ventured into business making high-waisted shorts; in college, she collaborated with popular Los Angeles-based brand ShopMatte.
Now, Perry is gearing up for her spring/summer drop—set for a March release—and preparing for a return to NYFW for her second show. Between all that, she caught up with Houstonia on how she's challenging the industry's status quo.
Where did your phrase “An Unseasonal Womenswear Brand” come from?
Spring/summer shows are shown before fall, and fall/winter shows are shown before spring. I feel like it’s pointless because if I like it, I want it; I don’t want to wait [until] months later just to be able to purchase something. Also, living in Houston, we don’t really get major winters–normally our winters are super chill. I just want to drop things when I feel like it and not be boxed in by what’s the “norm” [for] the fashion industry.
What's it been like trying to establish your brand in Houston?
Houston is just such a weird city. We focus so much on the social scene, we forget about quality. If you take a look at our music industry alone, so many of our artists have gone off, made it, and then came back. I feel like if you’re a designer in this city, it’s the same thing. You have to go off to these cities like L.A., New York, and even overseas to the U.K., China, Japan—the list goes on, not only for recognition, but resources. It’s hard to establish a high-end luxury brand out here because most don’t understand it.
How did it feel to debut at NYFW?
All of my friends and family came down and supported me; the adrenaline rush was amazing. You always see things like that happening on TV, and you never really think it’s real. It just made me feel really good, especially knowing all I went through to be there at that moment.
NYFW is intimidating. What gave you the courage to enter?
I think me just trusting myself, my journey, and knowing what I want. I wanted that experience, whether I was ready or not, and I’m glad that I was able to put myself out there because that show was probably one of the biggest sacrifices I have ever made in my life alone. I put myself against my own odds and did something I never would’ve thought I could’ve done. It was one of those situations where I wasn’t going to allow fear to control me because you miss out on so much.
How did it happen that Jordyn Woods was seen in your piece at NYFW the day you premiered it on the runway?
I had some friends who were working with her. After my show, all my friends came over and had a day party to celebrate. The friend who was working with Jordyn was there and said he was heading to her hotel, so I gave him a garment bag with my things from the show. Some of us had gone out for the night, and the next thing you know, one of my girlfriends was scrolling on Instagram and saw [Jordyn Woods] in my jacket. I could never forget that. It was a start. I wish I was more prepared for that moment, but it just goes to show that anything is possible–like literally anything.
What type of woman do you design your clothes for?
I’ve been trying lately to step away from fabrics I’m most comfortable with and do some unusual stuff, but I just love things that makes a woman feel badass. I’ll always design a cool biker jacket, low-cut garments, just things that make a girl feel confident about herself.
What's next for CHAR?
Another pop-up shop, fashion week show, and more photoshoots. I plan on releasing a subsidiary company to CHAR for men soon; I’m so excited for that.