So, here’s what happened. A Garden Spices interview with the artist, Dymond Phillips, enabled a talk with her exuberant mother, fashion designer, Darlene Jackson. It turns out that Darlene Jackson is not only a personal friend of actress Cecily Tyson, but that she has designed and outfitted numerous shows and stars. “I did wardrobe for Eddie Murphy: Raw,” revealed Jackson. Her lucrative career has been thriving since 1980.
Bi-coastal from the East to the West, Jackson currently works from her home studio in Stone Mountain, GA, but she travels to meet the needs of her clients. Her initiation into sewing was through her mom, but not by inspiration. “My mother was taking a sewing class,” Jackson indicated. “After her second or third class, she came to my room, dropped the sewing materials, and said, “You do it!” In high school, Jackson took sewing in her Home Economics classes. Afterward, she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she made her “break.”
Actress Denise Williams was performing in New York. After attending the performance, Jackson was successful in meeting her. She told Williams she was a designer, and Williams became her first client. Her career jumpstarted, Jackson remembers working wardrobe for the Ebony Fashion Fair shows. “I worked backstage and got to include some of my designs,” recalls Jackson. “One of my designs (commanded) a full-page in a magazine!” Her accomplishments are many, to name a few: Wardrobe for I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Harlem Nights, and The Five Heartbeats; costumer for The Rosa Parks Story, Peoples, Codes of Conduct; costume supervisor for Inside Man, American Gangster. For Colored Girls, and two episodes of Stranger Things. “I made the zoot suits for the movie Malcolm X,” recalls Jackson.
While she is currently costuming for Mixed…ish, Jackson also continues to design for individual clients. When inquired about a client favorite, she responded, “Gregory Hines…just his energy,” remembers Jackson. “He just showed love to everyone.” Jackson is also writing a series of children’s stories and is in search of an animator. She will never abandon her love of fashion and creative ventures, and she is cureently looking for her “next spot.”