BALTIMORE (WJZ) — You may know Bishme Cromartie from “Project Runway,” but the Baltimore native is going beyond the screen to make a name for himself in the fashion world.

Stitch by stitch, woven deep into the material of his work is a message.

“Right now I feel like it’s important more than ever to speak how I feel and showcase my opinion and my views and how I feel as a black man through my garments,” he said.

His runway to success stretches as far as his talent, but he also said global fashion brands use black fashion designers’ work without giving them the shine they deserve.

“Without us creating the movement, the bigger brands wouldn’t exist,” Cromartie said.

Thanks to companies like Harlem’s Fashion Row, that’s changing. It’s created a platform to showcase black designers and creatives, putting Cromartie’s art front and center at New York Fashion Week.

“Seeing everyone that I wanted to meet, seeing Ciara there, hugging her at the end of the runway was just crazy,” he said.

Now, he’s moving to another stage back in Baltimore, where his handcrafted couture will hang in the fashion exhibit for the Maryland Historical Society.

“I think once I see it, I might tear up,” he said.

Off the runways and into reality, Cromartie said the time to be a budding black designer is now.

Giving back to his community is also important for Cromartie; he will be supporting CityWide Back To School Night at the Maryland Science Center Monday night.

 

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