In 2014, Houston-based designer Tacharra Perry transformed her knack for sewing into her fashion label, CHAR. Now, nearly six years later, her trendsetting creations have landed her a spot in New York Fashion Week, nods from Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD foundation and Flo Milli, and a body positive commercial that premiered during this year’s Grammy Awards.
This laundry list of success stems from Perry’s ambition, creativity, and beautiful clothes, but these accolades didn’t just come overnight. We caught up with the rising innovator on the two-year break she took from CHAR, her collaborative commercial with Facebook, and how she’s manifesting Beyoncé all 2021.
CHAR amassed a great amount of success early on. Many would continue building on that wave, but you took some time off. How important was it for you take a break from the brand?
For me, it was very important because when I did have my first NYFW show, everything came so fast. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t understand the politics and the business behind fashion. Also, I did miss out on opportunities, such as sales, because Jordyn Woods wore my garment after the show, and that was my first experience with consumer demand. After fashion week, I continued with CHAR, but I took a simpler approach and just did the basics. But I realized that was not what I wanted for my brand. I always knew that I wanted CHAR to be a luxury brand, so I pursued school full time. After I graduated in 2018, I went to New York and started working for Calvin Klein on their design and production team and that was a very important part of my life. I was able to pick up on things behind the scenes, production from start to finish, creating a sketch, and focusing on smaller details. Calvin Klein definitely played a big role in CHAR today.
What are ways that you rebranded Char Workroom?
Just focusing on smaller details, for example, packaging. I released a hoodie last year and all of them have CHAR engraved on the tip. Also, mastering photography, knowing what I wanted to put out there and making sure that people always know that this is a Black-owned brand. I’ve also expanded the size chart, so now we go up to 3X. I didn’t have these sizes in my original launch, and my customers really do appreciate that it’s present now.
COVID-19’s presence has really reshaped (and continues to impact) many small Black-owned businesses. Back in November, the brand was a part of the lengthy list of Black-owned small businesses to receive a $10K grant from Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD impact fund. How important was this?
The most important part for me in starting CHAR over was being on Black Owned Everything first. Just the response from them reposting a photo of mine was crazy. Sales instantly went up; my followers instantly went up. So that was CHAR’s first push into an internet presence. [Black Owned Everything] is owned by Zerina Akers, Beyoncé’s stylist. I think being in that circle really led me to that opportunity to apply for it. I remember me and Whitney (her publicist) went out with some friends and … I’m obsessed with checking my emails, so I’m refreshing it at the table. I saw the subject that said something like "you have been selected …". So at first, I put my phone down and paused at the table. Then it hit me— wait, I just won $10,000 from Beyoncé. It was such a crazy night. But it did help me a lot, because I was able to create more inventory, have more supplies on hand, improve my website, and just overall expand CHAR a little more.
Your clothes were featured in a Facebook commercial during the Grammys. How did this come about?
Again, I was checking my email and I saw something that said "WK " (for advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy). Then I saw, "We’re interested in your shorts for this project we’re working on." I further looked into the links and the signature, and it said that the company worked with big brands like Nike, Pepsi, Coke, and so much more. I emailed my publicist everything and told her let’s try and schedule a call with them. In the call, they slightly told us that this would be a commercial, but they wouldn’t say for who and what. Everything happened so fast, but the craziest thing is the fact that the director of that shoot worked with Beyoncé. It’s like … wow, it’s aligning! We’re manifesting Beyoncé this year with CHAR.
There’s so many themes and shots within this commercial, and each one evokes happiness, carefreeness, pride, body positivity, and inclusivity. How exciting was it to see that vision expand into two commercials and reach so many people?
WK actually pitched that this commercial would be featuring different body types and I was in love with the concept. Especially because about two weeks prior, I made a tweet on my Twitter recruiting models for a photoshoot that ranged from XS to 2X. So, for them to reach out to me not even a month after that tweet? It was like it was meant to happen. Also, me being able to use that opportunity to expand on a vision that I have for my brand in such a big capacity was super important, because there’s definitely been an increase in sales for the plus-size clothing. Just to see how perfect the shorts fit them and how confident they are when they wear them? It’s just … chef’s kiss.
What’s one thing you’d like returning and new customers to take away from CHAR?
The brand’s consistency, the clothing’s quality and understanding that we’re remaining exclusive. Overall, I want everyone to have a positive experience with us and feel confident when they’re wearing CHAR.