FAMU alumna displays swimsuit line at NY Fashion Week

A Florida A&M alumna and Allusions designer was thrilled when her sister phoned her that Toya Wright, co-star of the “Tiny and Toya” show was wearing her swimsuit while vacationing in the Turks and Caicos.

“Her friend got them for her as a birthday gift,” Altrichia Cook said. “Nobody but God allowed her friend to see my Instagram.”

Cook was also given the opportunity to have her swimwear line featured in New York Fashion Week. FAMU students have heard about the line and are interested in what’s to come in her future projects. 

“I love what she has to offer,” said Denise Hunter, a junior physical therapy student from Orlando. “These pieces are very unique.”

Social networks played a role in Cook getting involved in New York Fashion Week.

“I was notified through social media to apply,” Cook said. “I had just made the deadline when I submitted my portfolio. Luckily I got a call back, and we went from there.”

The event featured many prestigious designers such as Betsy Johnson, who designs dresses, shoes, handbags and more. 

“This was an elite and premiere experience,” Cook said.

Cook’s seamster, Neville Henry, whom Cook has worked with for years, said the event was an intense yet rewarding experience.

“It was a lot of work, but I hope to be featured again and again and again,” Henry said.

Cook has been designing for two and a half years. Cook said she began designing her own clothes to create what was best fit for her after taking the items to a semester whom she later created a business-related bond with.

“I developed a habit from shopping,” she said. “And I would take the items I purchased to a seamstress whom I have developed a relationship with to create my own look.”

However, after she had a baby, Cook was inspired to design her own swimsuit bottoms.

“The high-waist bottoms that were sold in local stores still did not meet my expectations when it came to covering up my stretch marks, so I created my own,” Cook said.

After designing the new look, Cook then proposed to her seamster that they begin to create a swimwear line after so many people inquired about Cook’s swimsuit in online photos.

“I knew that this was a good idea and this would sell in the future, so I agreed,” Henry said.

Allusions by A.Lekay is not a clothing line that only caters to women who had children but women of all shapes and sizes.

“My designs are not ordinary,” Cook said. “My clients will stand out and every woman will feel luxurious and fashionable.”

Aarolyn Spradley, a fashion blogger and fashion week photographer, said Cook’s line is bold and fun.

“I love how she adds a surprise element to each piece,” Spradley said. “High-waist swimsuits are so trendy right now, and her collection launched perfectly in line with the high demand for these sexy swimsuits.”

Since Wright showcased Cook’s swimwear, Cook is hoping to start a new venture. 

“I am hoping to land my swimwear in her boutique, Garb Boutique, this coming spring or summer,” Cook said. 

Allusions by A.Lekay has a lifetime goal the designer wants to achieve. 

“I have always been a driven individual, and the success of my business will allow me to achieve my lifetime goal of establishing a non-profit resource center for teen mothers,” Cook said.