Edited by AZI Staff
Tina Eaves owner of Alterations and Creations at 214 W. Roosevelt in Phoenix has used her talent for design to create a phenomenal fashion icon. She calls it “These African Fabric Wrapped Skirts.”
A native of Minneapolis, Eaves learned to sew from her aunt then honed her skills at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The staff of the 1984 movie “Purple Rain” starring Prince recognized her proficiency as a designer. The movie was filmed in Minneapolis and Eaves designed the famous ruffled shirt the star wore in the film. She has also designed custom clothing for many others in the entertainment industry.
Eaves has been a Phoenix business woman for 27 years, serving the community at the current location for the past 15 years making her one of the pioneers of the now popular Roosevelt Row. Recently she was inspired to create “These African Fabric Wrapped Skirts,” designed to fit sizes small to plus and versatile – able to morph from a skirt to two variations of a sundress.
Eaves’ unique garment embodies several trending influences in contemporary black culture. The African print fabric captures the trend of African American women defining themselves in non-Eurocentric values as does the movement toward natural hair. In an article by Lena Madison in the Observer “Natural Movement: Embracing the Kinks” October 2015, “Black men and women across the United States have chosen to rock their curls as opposed to chemically altering their hair to straighten it or wearing safe and acceptable hairstyles.”
Online fashion retailer Styles Afric comments in Vogue Magazine, “Africana, Afrique there are so many names to describe the so called trend that is booming this spring (and) summer … African print/trend is not a trend but a style that has been here for a very long time and will be going strong for many more years to come.”
Eaves’ offerings captures both the social and political needs for authentic self-expression as well as provide an opportunity to support African American and women owned local business. All the while the shopper gets a relative bargain in the process. Eaves’ garments are competitively priced compared to online vendors of Afrocentric designs.
Other than making a trip to her store you may have seen Eaves’ creations in the collection of Zoe Sarabo or perhaps you saw TV news personality Kim Covington wearing one of several skirts she’s purchased. Eaves was recently a vendor at a One Step Promotions event where she sold skirts to people visiting from across the country and was invited to show her wears in Memphis, Chicago and Detroit.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Eaves will be a vendor at Michael’s at Park Central’s First Class Weekend May 6 and 7. Later this year she will be on hand at the Arizona Natural Hair Expo, June 11, to be held at ASU Tempe campus. You just might want to beat the crowd by visiting Alterations and Creations to see “These African Fabric Wrapped Skirts” for yourself.