Sewing Seeds


Fashion Designer







The Row




Maria Black

Share with us more about your journey as a Fashion Designer and where you’re at now in your career.
I studied Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design in New York, and have received contracts to work for brands such as Coach, Kate Spade, Thom Browne, Hugo Boss, and Braun Büffel in a wide range of departments from menswear and womenswear to textile, accessories, and hardware. Fashion gives me the ability to control conditions in my existence that I want to see morphed.

Right now, I’m based in both Singapore and New York, so I go back and forth the cities. I’ve also been mentoring children in fashion and visual arts throughout my journey as a designer.

I appreciate freelancing as it allows me to have a flexible schedule and the freedom to be selective with the work I take on. It does get tiring at times to have to keep hustling, but I enjoy it.

Why do you choose to work in Singapore and New York, and how do the fashion scene in both cities differ?
Well, I’ll always love New York for the spontaneous creative energy I can find there—I’ve met so many talented and wonderful people that I’m proud to call my friends. The city has taught me so much as an individual and opened my eyes to new ways of working. But Singapore is my home, so I hope to be innovative here as well, in addition to creating base here for more bodies of works and a budding brand.

Both cities have different greatness to offer in their own unique ways. Singapore is filled with rich identities of cultures, people, and heritage that spark heartfelt inspirations for creating designs.

I find that most fashion here is created with a sense of the greater community in mind. On the other hand, New York offers a heightened bustle of inspired humans everywhere you go in the compact city. Everyone is bursting and conjuring strong personalities in a densely populated area that it creates a vivid, provocative and exciting spectrum of design styles.

Tell us about your favourite piece of garment you’ve created.
My all-time favourite piece would be my ‘Moss Coat’, a wearable living sculpture I sewed by hand that was featured on multiple platforms including National Geographic.

While I built this in New York, my craving for Singapore’s green landscape and family warmth were the core inspirations for the piece. This work is poetry that forms a sacred landscape with plant foliage integrated into fashion—a space where my art can exist and transform. Family and love have also contributed to a great part of my works and can be seen in the moss overcoat’s final embracing structure.

I’ve been incorporating plants into my designs for quite a while—fashion, art, and plants are my main mediums of work. As a matter of fact, I’m currently in Singapore now to build on a special project in this genre.

Describe your style of dressing in three words.
Comfortable, clean, classic.

Work aside, how do you spend your free time?
Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening with my mum, spend time with family, enjoy sunny days outdoors when I can, and build Legos (laughs).

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