Designer Sergio Hudson was rushing through the airport when someone approached him asking if he would sign their copy of ESSENCE magazine. He was puzzled by the request, immediately responding, “Why?”
“I didn’t even realize, oh, I’m on the cover of it,” he told HelloBeautiful.
Hudson has gone from one of the South’s best-kept secrets to a fashion powerhouse. He dresses former first ladies, movie stars, and prominent executives. His New York Fashion Week presentation is one of the most coveted invitations in the industry. HelloBeautiful cover stars Tamron Hall, June Ambrose, La La Anthony, Marsai Martin, Jordyn Woods and Bresha Webb attended this year. Ella Mai, Quinta Brunson, Danielle Brooks, Karen Pittman, Patina Miller, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Yvonne Orji also showed their support.
Sergio Hudson serves the Community
Hudson feels obligated to create opportunities for those coming into the industry after him. He partnered with Diageo to launch his Spring/Summer 2024 collection as part of the company’s Society 2030 plan. The initiative intends “to shape a more inclusive and tolerant world for multi-hyphenate creators.”
“It feels amazing, and it feels like a responsibility to be honest, to do the things that were done for me,” he said.
Hudson was the recipient of a grant from Harlem’s Fashion Row’s Icon 360 fund in partnership with Vogue and the CFDA. He appreciates Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniels, wearing his clothing. “I don’t give them to her. She actually goes out and buys them,” he said.
“I feel like the ultimate compliment is when a Black woman loves what you do and believes in what you do,” he said.
The award came at a time when many fashion businesses were plummeting due to economic uncertainty, a common challenge for designers. “If you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re never going to make it,” Hudson advised.
“You’re never going to be able to sustain in this business because it’s such an up and down business. If you don’t sustain the love for it, then you’ll give up.”
Sergio Hudson serves his clients
His love for saturated jewel tones on dark-skinned beauties and fluctuating proportions show up in his designs. Social media erupted with praise for his Met Gala looks for Keke Palmer, who was only a few weeks postpartum. Hudson believes the best creative collaborations flourish when friendships are formed. He shares the September/October 2023 ESSENCE cover with his muse, Keke Palmer.
“Me and Keke are like really good friends,” he said.
Hudson was initially just supposed to dress Palmer for the Met Gala, but the pair clicked instantly, and he became her creative director. “It’s always love and just inspiring each other. She has so many projects going on. I have so much work going on, so we kind of bounce off of each other when it comes to things like that.”
Sergio Hudson Serves Black women
Palmer told ESSENCE that Hudson was breathing life into her at the Met Gala. That action was intentional from a man with supreme appreciation for Black women.
“I don’t want to go until like a whole dissertation about how the world doesn’t respect the Black woman, but we know what it is,” he said.
“I feel a responsibility as a Black man that came from a Black woman that has Black daughters, that has a Black sister, nieces, godchildren, I feel a responsibility to put them in a better place than I found them when I came to this planet,” he continued.
“My mission is to let the world know.” He has dressed Blake Lively and Kendall Jenner but still dreams of his designs adorning Halle Berry.
Sergio Hudson serves his guests
Hudson’s fashion show after-party is an exclusive affair. His home is a hot ticket as well. He loves consistency in his home fragrances and sticks with Le Labo no matter what anyone says. “I love the Labo. I know I’m a generic at this point, but I’m a Labo fan,” he revealed.
Hudson surprises his guests with restaurant-quality stuffed salmon. “I’m a trained chef,” he added. “Everybody thought I was going to be a chef, even though I told everybody I was going to be a designer.”
He offers cocktails served in quality glassware. “I eat and drink from the best,” he added. “It’s definitely a Baccarat glass. I have some great Ralph Lauren glasses, some great Jonathan Adler glasses,” he said. He prefers Crown Royal neat, but he ensures his guests have their choices of mixers. “I’m a stocked bar cart type person,” he continued.
“I love luxury. I love serving things that you normally wouldn’t get this in a home,” he said.
It brings him joy to cater to others instead of relying on others.
“I serve a lot when I have guests over. It kind of mortifies them that I’m serving them, but it’s fun for me,” he said.
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