AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Etu Evans brings color, light and soul to design.
He explains, “my designs are timeless. I think the panache and cache that I add to the things that I do as a content creator, as a designer, as an educator, as a speaker exemplifies that which the ancestors have paved the way for.”
Presently dually based in Harlem, New York and Atlanta he never forgets his past.
The road to his success started at home in Orangeburg with his grandmother laying the foundation.
“She would sit me on her bed and she would always ask me what should she wear to church. So, I developed a very keen eye from dressing her. Then, I would notice how her body would change when she put on her stilettos and that’s how I discovered the magic of shoes.”
That magic evolved to accessories, hats and interior design all based upon creative seeds sown at home.
“So, I credit my mother, she’s really a creative genius when it comes to education. I mean you could put her stuff in the MET that she would create out of cardboard paper. Anything you give her she could create magic. So, she would always have me to decorate. So, that’s why I always say interior design is my mistress and I always end up doing all of these special events projects.”
As a student at South Carolina State University, he received more than an education.
He got a jumpstart in his career.
“I actually was the first Mr. SC State and my talent was I had the whole stage covered in floral designs and I used the flowers as you would see at an art exhibition. I talked about them and the expression of them and what it meant.”
Since then, he has launched a shoe line becoming known for his purple soles and attracted a long list of celebrity clients that includes Tyra Banks and Halle Berry.
As this star in fashion rose, he admits there were some downsides like racism.
However, Etu Evans took negative connotations and turned them into something positive.
“I remember when people would make jokes and call me “blackie” and all these things. I use to say, ‘stars have no power without me.’ Everything comes out of black. Black is excellence. It was then. It is now.”
Design has been the vehicle taking him from South Carolina to New York and beyond.
As he moves forward this innovator is giving back through his foundation called “Solesville.”
“That’s dedicated to eradicating poverty by saving souls one step at a time and Solesville specializes in global shoe drives, shoe box Santa toy drives, art exhibitions and we provide advocacy against sex sex trafficking and sexual abuse of youth and children.”
Etu Evans is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and won the organization’s “District Citizen of the Year” award for his philanthropic work in “Solesville.”
He also earned an “Everyday Hero” award from McDonalds.
To learn more about Etu Evans, his philanthropy and to see his designs go to www.theevansguild.com