Mainstream first-world culture is slowly broadening its definition of beauty as the natural hair movement spreads from down-to-earth campus co-eds to sought-after female DJs and fashion mavens. But the market hasn’t quite caught up with this cultural shift.
That’s why Patricia Keller launched Global Couture. The lifestyle brand is a kinky-coily chick’s dream — T-shirts, earrings and phone cases that reflect the natural woman’s thoughts on beauty, culture and self-acceptance without sacrificing style.
Patricia launched GlobalCouture.net in January 2013 while equally immersed in her career as tenured professor and college counselor at Southwestern Illinois College and her work as full-time cultural researcher and doctoral candidate at UMSL. Adding yet another page to her portfolio, she announced the Global Couture Foundation just a year later.
Keller talked with MadameNoire about turning an old idea and a new need into a line of apparel, jewelry and accessories, her philanthropic ambitions and the phantom ideas of weekends and downtime.
MadameNoire: Define the concept of Global Couture for the uninitiated.
Patricia Keller: I came up with the idea of Global Couture while traveling, maybe six or seven years ago and I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. Now this has nothing to do with the business today, but I was talking to my sister and I said, You know I think there should be a brand that somehow embodies this idea of everyone being unique and special and it not being so unreachable. I was just thinking about something more relatable and the idea of beauty accessories. I was thinking handbags. I was thinking of a lifestyle brand. It was this random idea, and I said, “Can you imagine something like that in Target?”