Cultivating Dlang | Dlang Ferguson
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Who is Dlang? I befriended her on Facebook. . . .
Dlang Ferguson, an Indiana native and graduate of Harrison College with degrees in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandising, who's passion is to assist female entrepreneurial plans and execute on their world changing dreams in the style of their greatness. Dlang was the creator of "The IFT-UnZip the Runway" fashion show which was launched in her hometown. Over the years designers and guests came from so many places like Chicago, Ohio, Atlanta, Kentucky, Michigan & St. Louis to be part of the show. After years of learning and growth, Ferguson believes she is close to achieving her vision. UnZIP the Runway was giving fashion lovers another reason to visit Indiana during it's 6 annual shows. UnZIP the Run Runway has now evolved into an online Magazine .
**For more on Dlang checkout my Q&A with her below
1. Were you named after someone?
My name is Denisha (which I love), but I go by Dlang (da*lang). As a youth, I became very interested in fashion and event production. I was quiet and reserved, but very imaginative. I wanted to showcase my creativity more, but I was nervous to talk about it..
Nonetheless, I was determined to do what I love. I found every article I could about Damon John, the creator of FUBU who is now an Investor on Shark Tank. I loved how FUBU had a meaning; For Us By Us. I wanted a standout name to call myself and my future clothing line. So with the help of my cousin, the name Dlang (da*lang) was born. It’s a combination of my first and maiden name.
It’s not an alter ego though. I see it as an extension of me. Dlang stands for Be Different, Live life, take Action, Never Give-up and for me it’s putting GOD first. This helped me so much. I would literally say this to myself (and I still do) to help me not be so quiet, but to boldly embrace my genius. I never wanted to sit on the sidelines of my goals and dreams. So, creating a name helped me build confidence as a teenager.
2. How did you get involved with fashion design?
My love for fashion design began when I modeled in a fashion show as a kid and then progressed in high school when I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew. I was determined to learn the art of fashion design so that I could put my own spin on it and embrace my inner muse. I went to the library and bookstore and found books on sewing. I also saved my own money and bought a sewing machine. From there, I started to learn how to sew by making many, many errors along the way. I see life as a journey, and my learning to sew has been no different. Throughout the years, I’ve taken workshops and even hired a seamstress to teach me sewing techniques. I believe that you have to study a craft to perfect it but some of the best lessons are learned through the imperfections. I also went to Cosmetology school in high school, and I have an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising. As you can tell, designing for me has been all about learning as I go. I don’t know everything about garment construction from a technical standpoint, but from a visionary perspective, if I can sketch it and break down the steps, then I can sew or create it. 3. What or Who inspired you?
I am inspired by creativity which inspires me to take an idea and bring it to life. I am also inspired by my son to live now and not get so caught up in my dreams of the future that I miss out on the here and now. Last, but not least, I am inspired by myself to be the best me which allows me to continue to evolve in my contributions and purpose.
4. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I didn’t want to talk about my creative side, so I remember saying to school mates that I wanted to be a Lawyer or Doctor. I think it’s very important for kids to be exposed to different careers, so they are not limited in their belief of what a career entails. As a Doctor, I saw blood, not the research side of it. I now work a full-time job with Doctors from a research perspective, and if I would have known this side of being a Doctor, I would have pursued a PHD, as well as created fashion. My Name would Be Dr. Style…(lol)
5. What were you doing before you started officially pursuing your passion with fashion design?
I’m 35 and I’ve spent the last 21 years, learning, volunteering and trying to find my niche and grow in the Fashion design and event production sector. I was producing fashion events in high schools. I also had an interest in health research, so then and even now I’m also in that field. My goal is to work on projects that mix the two together.
6. What has been the hardest part and best part in developing your career as a designer? The hardest part is that it hasn’t been a sustainable career for me and certainly not a quick fix. It’s taken over 20 years for me to start seeing more momentum with my career as a fashion designer. I love reading about designers like Vera Wang whose careers didn’t take off until later on in life. These stories remind me of God’s ultimate timing and that we should enjoy the ride. The beauty is not just in the destination, it is in the journey. The best part has been, being in purpose. I feel called to not just create a fashion line but to also create opportunities for others to develop in their genius too.
7. What would you tell your younger self when it comes to where you are now in life?
Ooooh, LOL. I love this question! I’d tell myself to not put off college and to take advantage of my scholarship. The irony is that I wouldn’t have listened. I was determined to produce fashion events, and going to college was not at the top of my list. After producing several events and seeing how I didn’t know the business side, going to college eventually became my focus. In addition to still being involved in fashion productions, I’m excited to be able to say that I finished my MBA in 2017.
I’m grateful that my parents made my brother go everywhere with me because I would also tell my younger self not to be so trusting. In hindsight, I saw that as a teenager and young adult with big dreams, others with ill intentions may try to take advantage of you. So, it’s important to check out opportunities before you go and also to have someone you trust with you. I put myself in environments that I thought were good opportunities and it ended of not being. I Thank God for my parents, brothers and overall protection. 8. What do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for building a legacy and showing others how to do it as well.
9. How would you describe your style as a designer?
Chic with an Edge. I love wearing classic pieces that have interesting details.
10. Do you have a goal(s) for 2018?
Yes! I have big, scary goals (LOL). I’m excited because this Spring, I am launching a Kickstarter with one of my fashion designs. It’s an interesting concept because Kickstarter is all or nothing, but I believe that it’s worth putting my designs on this platform to build awareness and pre-sale the designs before going into production.
11. What advice would you give aspiring fashion designers?
I would advise aspiring fashion designers to not go at it alone. Find a mentor and be part of fashion communities to grow faster. I’d also say don’t rush into mass production. Test your idea in your local market and build from there. It may seem slow, but this is an important opportunity to research and develop your product. I would also say you will have challenging times and you will hear lots of No’s and sometimes nothing at all, but to keep building.
Now for some fun questions.
12. Who are some of your favorite designers?
I have a loooooong list….. Tracy Reese (for her Vibrant Colors and Chic looks), Elli Saab ( for clothing that looks like a beautiful dream), Vera Wang (for her Simplicity meets Regal elegance) and Anna Sui (for her rebellious free spirited designs).
13. What is your must have item when you are in the mood to create?
A sharpened pencil. If I can see it and sketch it, I can create it! Plus, I’m big on getting ideas out of my head so the ideas can continually flow.
14. What is your must have accessory?
My glasses. Mainly because I need them to see. I don’t wear my contacts often. I like to go back and forth between a chic and a creative pair of glasses. I just purchased a new pair from See eyewear. I would love to be an ambassador for them. I love that store.
15. Who would be your ideal client?
Ashley Graham. I love how she is changing the fashion industry standards of what beauty is through her curvy confidence. I’d love for her to wear my fashion designs and I’d love to produce an event where she is a guest speaker. It’s on my list of goals. Do you have your list of goals ready? I’m a firm believer in imagining and then putting actions to your goals. It may not be exactly like you pictured it or it may, but either way your dreams will start coming to life.
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