Angela Watts is helping Atlanta look its best by discovering and promoting emerging local fashion designers with her organization, RAGTRADE Atlanta. Her goal is to build the City of Atlanta as the new fashion capital in America that embraces cutting-edge designers and shows the world the type of great talent that is in the South. Get to know this lifestyle and branding expert and learn more about Georgia’s newest FACE in fashion, Angela Watts!
Why is RAGTRADE Atlanta important for our city? What are your plans for the future of RAGTRADE?
RAGTRADE Atlanta is very important to our city because as an organization, our goal is to provide a vast amount of resources that fosters growth in Atlanta. Resources include grants for emerging fashion designers to launch and/or sustain their business, promotional opportunities, networking and education/workshops. Our future plans will include a full week of runway shows for emerging fashion designers, a mobile app and a couple other projects we can not talk about now, but will in the near future!
What is your favorite item hanging in your closet right now?
My favorite item hanging in my closet right now is a vintage-inspired, long, leather coat. It is a fabulous coat. Each time I wear it, people ask about it.
With regard to RAGTRADE Atlanta, the Atlanta Apparel Mart, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and other fashion-related endeavors, where do you see this city’s fashion footprint heading?
Atlanta has always been known as a startup city. I believe Atlanta will become the city for emerging fashion designers to successfully launch their brands and their careers.
What fashion trend needs to be retired/avoided/put out of its misery, like, today?
I know I am not the first person to say this, but can we please retire the leggings? Leggings are not pants! (Even though they are very comfortable … LOL)
What’s the biggest challenge of putting on a runway show? What trends/designers were people most talking about after this year’s runway event?
For me, the biggest challenge of producing a runway show in Atlanta is convincing our city that this is not a regular runway show and we are more than entertainment. We are truly committed to producing a show that can compete with the major fashion capitals, but most importantly brand emerging designers from the South.
This year, our guests enjoyed all the collections and the diversity each designer brought to the runway. A lot of people loved the striped, wide-legged pant designed by Natt Taylor — definitely on-trend for spring/summer 2016.
Have you ever been interested in designing your own line?
When I was in high school, I designed a vest inspired by a Ralph Lauren Polo print (the print was on-trend during that time). After my first design, I lost interest as a designer — but not the industry!
How do you maintain a work/life balance as you juggle RAGTRADE and 10 Squared, your marketing communications agency, with personal commitments and expectations?
At the beginning of my career, it was all about work. I would arrive to my office around 7 a.m. and return home at 6 p.m. Once I had a chance to cook and walk my dog, I would jump back on my laptop to continue working. After a while, I realized my personal life and family were neglected. I made a commitment to myself that I needed to enjoy my successes more and spend more time with my family. Going forward, it was important for me to get the most out of the nine hours I commit to my businesses per day. It was not an easy adjustment, but I realized that I am only one person and cannot complete a week of tasks in one day. “Turning off,” even for a couple of hours a day, was one of the best decisions I ever made.