HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Willette Battle gleams as she says “the show is going to be on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.” It’s something many fashion designers could only dream of, Paris Fashion Week. Local designer Willette Battle and a team of seven are going to take part in the event.
Battle is no stranger to the world of art. When it comes to art and design, she does it all. She creates sculptures, paintings, does hair and of course fashion design.
“You learn a lot from just putting yourself out there,” she said.
Battle graduated from Albany State University with two degrees, one in computer science and one in art. She was later recruited to study at Howard University, where she received her Masters of Fine Arts degree.
She has lived in many different places, but Huntsville has been home since 2005. Once Lowe Mill opened its doors, Battle quickly found her spot, room 309. That is where she showcases her designs, sculptures and paintings.
“So I came down, saw this spot and I’ve been in this spot for 10 years,” she said.
Artists know that inspiration can be found anywhere. Battle found inspiration for her most recent designs in the bottom of a junk closet. She had given the Girl Scout troop she leads the task of designing fashions out of recycled materials. She was discouraged because the girls were going to the store to find supplies, and she wanted to show them fashion could be found anywhere.
As she was sorting through the closet looking for something, she found a box of old ties she had saved for years in hopes of making a quilt.
She remembers the moment laughing, “I went through my fabrics and I was digging through my box of fabrics and I found my ties.”
Now her unique designs, many made by ties, are going to go international during Paris City Fashion Week.
Battle and her team call the mission “La Route De Paris” or The Road to Paris, and she wants the entire community to take part.
“I want the opportunity to bring some light on what we’re doing here in the region”, she says.
The show will take place Sept. 27 and her designs are sure to stand out because they incorporate some Huntsville flavor.
“We’re going to be bringing that southern swag,” says Battle.
With the support of the south, she can make it happen. Battle is excited about the opportunity, but needs your help getting there. She has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the expenses of traveling to Paris and staying in hotels. Here is the link to the GoFundMe if you want to contribute.