You never know what will come from a chance encounter. Some 20 years ago, Vernice Watson was looking at fabric at a Michaels store when a manager handed her Ella’s card. The sharing of the business card sparked the design of a skirt and jacket and grew into a wardrobe and a friendship that has lasted as long as the first pieces sewn.
“This is my treat to myself,” shares Vernice, who explains that instead of spending money going out, she prefers to save and then splurge on a special outfit. Since Ella’s styles are made to last decades, just about everything in Vernice’s closet is a result of that chance meeting in Michaels.
Vernice is the founder and executive producer of the Gospel Goes Classical
brand, which brings gospel music, with a full orchestra backdrop, to audiences around the world. “Gospel Goes Classical is a community-building event that’s historical, entertaining and educational.”
Vernice credits Ella for designing special occasion looks that mirror her style and personality. One of Vernice’s favorites is a black velvet, pencil-leg pantsuit with a long jacket, styled with side slits and gold piping.
“I feel beautiful and confident,” shares Vernice of the feeling that comes with wearing Ella’s pieces. “It doesn’t matter if I’m going to a business meeting or a Gospel Goes Classical concert. I know I’m one of the best dressed women in the room.”
Vernice recalls the time she went to a reception at the top of the Sony Building in New York City. “When I walked in, a person walked over to me, and she said, ‘I don’t know who you are, but I know you must be important.'” Vernice credits Ella for the compliment. Vernice was wearing a navy pinstripe suit with a cropped jacket paired with a side-slit skirt. Vernice quips that Ella’s creations make you”cleaner than the Board of Health.”
“Once you find a designer like her, you feel so lucky and privileged. You never go look for anyone else,” says Vernice.
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Dr. Soraya Bate
Curated by: Rebecca Klein-Scott