Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA students model for Kermochi fashion

Courtesy of Moochie Kearri

Local fashion designer and creative director of Kermochi, Moochie Kearri, showcases her new lines with the help of student models from The University of Alabama.

Kearri, a second-year business student at Shelton State Community College, started her fashion brand in 2017 to explore her love for coordinating colors and designs. 

“My grandma taught me how to sew in like fifth grade, and I have been designing ever since,” Kearri said.

As she cultivated her brand, which includes a collection of accessories, she began to meet students at the University who were a part of the Student Fashion Association.

Kearri decided to network with different models from SFA to promote Kermochi through events like model calls, photoshoots and pop-up shops. 

“I started utilizing the students as an audience. I got intertwined with SFA around the time I did that first pop-up shop with House Plant Collective,” she said. “I got in cahoots with them to help me promote the pop-up shop and from then on I was utilizing models to use for projects from the program.” 

Most people find Kermochi through Instagram or on its website.

Selena Spaight, a Tuscaloosa native and junior majoring in graphic design with a concentration in marketing and communications at the University of West Alabama, said Kearri contacted her through Instagram. 

Spaight, a member of SFA, said the two started working together this year and have an upcoming photoshoot planned.

Spaight said she likes supporting Black-owned small businesses.

“She’s very nice and is always focused on body positivity and body sizes,” Spaight said. “She makes me feel comfortable.”

As a size extra small, Spaight said Kearri is very accommodating and always strives to make her models comfortable with what they are wearing.

SaNiah Dawson, a senior majoring in psychology and the education and philanthropy head of SFA, said she was thinking about applying to be a model for Kermochi when Kearri messaged her about an upcoming model call. 

“I’m a plus-size model, so a lot of times, I don’t look forward to model calls, because a lot of them aren’t for me,” Dawson said.

However, she said Kearri was looking for more plus-sized models so she was encouraged to come to the model call.

Dawson said Kearri truly cares about her models and wants them to feel comfortable.

“I love how she appreciates ‘different,’ which is kind of hard to find in Tuscaloosa,” Dawson said. “There’s a certain look everyone is going for, but she wants different vibes and personalities.” 

Kearri describes her brand’s style as fun, colorful and even a bit unorthodox.

“I would say it’s not too serious,” she said. “I just like things that are out of your regular norm but making it into everyday fashion.” 

Kearri said she gets her inspiration from the world around her and different perspectives.

“I’m inspired by nature more than anything right now, anybody can tell that from looking at the brand page,” Kearri said.

One of Kearri’s most popular products is her nature-inspired handbags, the Willow Bag, which are plushy, mini-clutches attached to a uniquely shaped handle. 

Kearri said she has also designed insect bags, which consist of a handbag with an insect — a butterfly, a scorpion or a spider — placed in a see-through film that allows people to view it while wearing the bag.

Camille Sealey, a senior majoring in graphic design, said Kearri reached out to her last year about modeling for a new collection.

“It was definitely a new experience for me as I’ve never really modeled for anyone else before, but I feel like it turned out really well,” Sealey said.

Sealey said she admires how Kearri works hard to make each vision for her brand a reality.

“She works really well to critique what needs to be critiqued in a way that doesn’t come off as personal,” Sealey said.

Even though Kermochi is Kearri’s brand, Sealey said the models are still able to remain true to their sense of style and personality.

“I feel like each person is able to be their own individual and express themselves in a way that is still true to themselves,” Sealey said.

She said Kermochi is a very soft, feminine brand but is also streamlined.

“She mixes both traditionally darker symbols, like scorpions, with a very soft look. This brings out the idea that not everything is considered dark or a bad thing,” Sealey said.

After graduating from Shelton State, Kearri said she hopes to attend a fashion school and pursue a degree in design. She said she is currently working on a collection of willow bags with new colors and designing ready-to-wear garments, and will continue to design insect bags. 

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