Weeks back, I attended the “Refined Rebel” collection by Keesha Craig, who had been attending the Art Institute at the time. I also attended this event because my friend, Shalanda was modeling in the show.
Keesha is no stranger to sewing and fashion. She started sewing at the age of eight, making pillows, make-up cases and other small projects. When she was twelve, she started sewing clothes- mainly simple blouses and dresses. She felt that department stores didn’t give her options that fit or flattered well or that looked like it came out of her Grandmother’s closet. She also knew that she was not the only plus-size woman to feel like that, so she showed her friends and other women her sketches of clothing she liked, getting their opinion as to if they liked it or what they’d change. She later formed CC by Kee, named after her Grandmothers Emma Cooper and Cora Craig. “Cora (aka mom) passed away when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, so I don’t remember her all that well but from the pictures and stories I hear of her this lady was all about fashion! She used to sew my uncles, aunts and my Dad’s clothes when they were babies. She also taught my Dad and his siblings (which there are 10 of them by the way) all about dressing for every occasion. Now Emma (aka granny) made all of my sisters and my dresses when we were kids. She also made my Mom’s and Uncle’s clothing too, when they were growing up. I added the by Kee” part because I wanted to be different and also not to get confused with the famous CoCo Chanel since her logo was the ‘CC.’ ‘Kee’ is also my nick name.”
Her Refined Rebel collection is for the curvy woman, ranging from an 18-32. She drew her inspiration from the fabrics she used and the Fall/Winter seasons. Keesha goes on to explain, “I have always been in love with fabrics and I let the fabric tell me what it would like to be. My fabrics for this collection were the black, red and white Tweet Wool, Metallic Linen (I also used the reverse side of the fabric which was black), and the red and black Ponteroma Knits. When I looked at the Wool and Linen I instantly saw the capes and jackets I wanted in my collection. When I looked at my knits I saw all my blouses made out of it. I choose Fall/Winter because it my favorite time of the year and I love to see how creative a woman can be during that time since you have to cover yourself so much to protect yourself against the elements. She gets to wear hats, gloves, scarfs, jackets, capes, throws, boots and the list goes on! I added grommets to most of my pieces to revel a little skin but also not too much since my woman was dressing for colder weather.”
The show was amazing and I’m sure her Grandmothers were certainly proud. All the girls looked great (not to mention- warm and cozy). The clothing fit them well, keeping with the brand’s mission of high-quality clothing. Neutrals with pops of red and layers were the trends of the evening. The capes were very chic, while maintaining their usual versatility. I believe a couple styles were also reversible. In all, Keesha knows her customer and that the clothing exudes confidence. CC by Kee is Houston’s answer to a new evolution in the plus-size market.
You can reach CC by Kee via Facebook.