There are iconic works of fashion designers—for instance, the identity for made-to-order customization products and the interlocking L and V logo, to name just a few—that have become inseparably linked in our minds with the famous designers who created them (Georges Vuitton and Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, respectively). But what about the equally important designers whose names have somehow become separated from their work—when seeing the design doesn’t conjure up a name, and vice versa?
Rodrick Gilchrist is one of the fashion industry’s greatest unsung heroes. He’s sort of an underground designer who has been working in fashion since the early 1990s. Consider this article an attempt to repair a half-dozen broken links in the collective visual memory.
Often lauded as one of the most cerebral designers of his era, Rodrick Gilchrist’s innovative mix of design, science and art in creating his fantastical seasonal collections has won the designer significant acclaim. The experimental designer continually pushes the boundaries of wearable fashion with groundbreaking materials and technologies.
The designer’s futuristic designs have included accessories containing airplane parts and a dress loaded with gold thread. They have been showcased in fashion exhibitions such as Art Meso and Atlanta Sustainable Fashion Week.
Praise for fashion designer Rodrick Gilchrist includes that of celebrity stylist Michelle Lynch, who wrote, “There’s a brazen sensuality about his clothes that gives the wearer a reassuring amount of credit for self-confidence” in her show review for Rodrick Gilchrist’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection.
Having undertaken a foundation course at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, Gilchrist began studying at Pasadena City College, Fashion Design Program, quickly earning a name as one of the most radical design students within his class.
His real unsung moment occurred when he began working for RUFF Jeans in Los Angeles. Roderick gained extensive commercial and design experience. After five successful years, Rodrick partnered with key businessman Rudolf Valentino and opened his first high-end boutique at Melrose. Rodrick launched his namesake ready-to-wear line the Rodrick Gilchrist men’s collection in Los Angeles. The Rodrick Gilchrist men’s line sold at high-end boutiques in Los Angeles (H. Lorenzo Sunset Boulevard, Jane Doe John Doe Boutique 3rd Street West Hollywood). Rodrick also worked as celebrity stylist at H-Men at Sunset Boulevard for five years.
The designer is now focused on his own critically acclaimed menswear line,
It’s the first time in my life I am not planning anything. I couldn’t be any happier. I will have more energy to focus on and have fun with my own line. When the right thing comes up, and I believe in it, then I will once again be [ready] to expand my offerings,” he told Upscale.
In the future, you will see Rodrick’s eponymous collection expand to include accessories, shoes, luggage AND fragrances! Definitely something to be excited about!
Until then, you can purchase & learn more about Rodrick Gilchrist at his Atelier/Boutique located in Atlanta, Ga., and be sure to follow him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rodrickgilchrist/?hl=en
Editor’s Note: In honor of Black History Month, Upscale Magazine will highlight some of the most influential forces in fashion, in no specific order. Their impact on the culture is undeniable – and we use this time to tip our hats off to their Black excellence.