By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
On the day of Governor Wes Moore’s inauguration, the 44-year-old was sworn in wearing an athletic fit, navy blue suit. While celebrating and dancing the night away at The People’s Ball, the newly elected head of state donned a black velvet jacket with black tuxedo pants.
Washington, D.C. native Miguel Wilson, owner of the Miguel Wilson Collection, not only designed the looks, but his team made the clothes from scratch. The clothing will soon be displayed in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Wilson, who’s worked in the fashion industry for 30 years, met Moore on the campaign trail. The former investment banker was talking to business owners at the National Harbor and stopped into Wilson’s store.
He offered his services to Moore, but when he actually got the call after the election, he said he was shocked.
“People say stuff all the time, but you never know. To get the call saying, ‘You know what? You’re my guy, I want you to do this,’ was an amazing moment,” said Wilson. “I’ve done a lot of celebrities, but this by far was probably the coolest thing because of the historic relevance of it all.”
Over his career Wilson has dressed celebrities, like American rapper 2 Chainz and film producer Will Packer. Aside from his D.C. location, Wilson has stores in Atlanta, New York and Miami, and he’s known for his formal wear and wedding collections.
The design process for Moore’s final looks took several weeks.
“I met with his wife at their home, and we worked on the design. She was able to really communicate to me how she wanted his clothes to fit him,” said Wilson. “From that, I was able to go back and create the look using the fabrics she had selected and the designs that we had discussed.”
For the swearing in ceremony, Wilson created a single-button, navy blue super 150 wool suit with a notched lapel and topstitch, which is not commonly found.
Then, for the People’s Ball, Wilson designed a single-button black velvet dinner jacket with a shawl lapel and matching tuxedo pants with a black satin stripe down the side. The outfit also included a hand-tied butterfly bowtie.
Both of the governor’s suit jackets had stitched monograms of his name on the inside.
Wilson said he was particularly impressed that shortly after his election, Moore made good on his promise to push for statewide volunteer service programs for Maryland high school graduates.
“To have someone put service at the top of the agenda, I thought that was amazing. I think that just basically lays the groundwork for what we can expect tomorrow and the day after in terms of being inclusive,” said Wilson.
“At the end of the day, nobody, particularly African Americans, are looking for people to give us anything or do anything for free. We just want fairness, equality, equity and opportunity, and this is one of things that he definitely has the ability to impact.”
Megan Sayles is a Report for America corps member.