Yolanda Adams Singing New Tune with Clothing Line

By Dennis J. Freeman

Gospel great Yolanda Adams is on the move. Then again, Adams has never really slowed down long enough to be idle between her last two recording gigs. Her latest CD, “Becoming,” sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, is Adams’ first album in several years.

But that doesn’t mean the multiple Grammy, Dove and NAACP Image Award winner has taken her foot off the pedal when it comes to keeping herself occupied with meaningful projects dear to her heart.

For several decades, Adams has wowed the world with soul-tugging songs such as “Through the Storm,” “Still I Rise,” “Let Us Worship” and “Open My Heart.” Adams, who turns 50 this month, is trying to make that same impact in the fashion world with her new clothing line.

The Yolanda Adams Collection is something that Adams has had on the backburner for a while, but is a commodity she sees that is sorely needed. Adams told news4usonline.com that the Yolanda Adams Collection fills a void for the urban woman who often face restriction when it comes to finding the right fit and have difficulty locating affordable pricing for those clothes.

At 6-foot-1,with all the features of a runway model, the strikingly beautiful Adams is all too familiar with the daunting task of finding the right clothes because of her height, arm length and body proportions. The market simply does not specifically cater to women like her, Adams said.

“It’s not practical,” Adams said. “I try to develop a practical, knitwear line. Who wants to spend $1,200 on a pair of pants? What’s practical? Let’s just say $250. I’ve been making or designing my clothes since I was a teenager. I had the inseam or the arm length problems with all of the things that were in the stores. I’m finding that my daughter, who is only 10-years-old and 5-foot-8, is having that same problem.”

Adams has put her own personal imprint on the newly created clothing line, from the buttons all the way to the tailored blazers, capes and pants suits she relishes. The Yolanda Adams Collection is a reflection of Adams’ personal taste in fashion. And it all came about from Adams’ fashion juices while growing up in the Southwest part of the United States.

“I designed it. I chose the fabric,” Adams said.  “I chose the buttons. I chose the embellishment. I love blazers and pants, so we have a lot of great pants suits. To me, since its mine, I think it’s wonderful. We have great pieces that can really add to a person’s wardrobe that they don’t have to change with seasons. One of the things that I’m known for is dressing very classically, and very elegantly. I wanted that to show forth in the clothing cline.”

Adams, who debuts the Yolanda Adams Collection this month in her hometown of Houston, Texas, says she got her sense of fashion from her mother and admiring entertainment legends like Nancy Wilson and gospel star Tramaine Hawkins.  Adams said her clothing line will just enhance women’s personal taste in style.

“Most women know their sense of style,” Adams said. “When you’re in your 20s and in your teens,  you’re trying to figure out who you are. My targeted audience is a woman that is 20 to 65. She’s a career woman, she’s a mother, she’s a friend, and she’s your girlfriend. She already has that sense of style. All we’re doing is enhancing who she already is.”

People, however, shouldn’t start heading to their favorite local retail store right away looking for the Yolanda Adams Collection. Because of the lack of space in retail stories for merchandise and the demands to place celebrity products on the shelves, the best ways to purchase The Yolanda Adams Collections is online or when the clothing line embarks on a trunk show tour.

Adams said the trunk show tour is actually a better way for people to get an up close and personal look at her product.

“I wanted to do trunk shows instead of having it in your retail stores because one of the problems is that everybody is fighting for space,” Adams said. “You have all of these celebrities who have clothing lines who are trying to fight for space in Bloomingdale’s, your Neiman (Marcus) or Nordstrom’s. Wherever there is a space to be had there is a star trying to fight for the space.

“A trunk show is like a traveling, model, hands-on situation where you get a ballroom, you set up a runway and you have the women do the fashion show. [But]It’s not just a fashion show. It’s a place where people get a chance to touch and feel the product, and then there is a place where they can get measured and get their own clothing.”

If her track record is any indicator with her prolific musical career and her sparkling presence as an on-air radio personality, Adams’ clothing line should be a mountain of success. This generation’s queen of gospel, the main thing Adams wants to do, whether it is singing praises to God or busting out women’s clothes, is to encourage, uplift people and empower them, she said.

Through the Yolanda Adams Collection and her music, Adams counts it all joy to be in position to do those things she is called to do.

“It’s about loving God, the responsibility that God gives you to make a difference in your own life,” said Adams. You’re not here and you’re just dropped here. You’re dropped here with power. You are here, guided by this awesome force we call god that makes the difference in your life. And you’re supposed to live like it.”

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