Baltimore fashion designer behind inauguration attire worn by Maryland governor’s family

  • March 5, 2023

BALTIMORE (AP) — Jody Davis didn’t know she would one day dress Maryland’s first lady, Dawn Moore, for the inauguration. She didn’t even expect to become a fashion designer.

Davis, 60, originally planned to be a veterinarian. But the summer after she graduated from Western High School in North Baltimore, she started “twiddling with sewing.” She bought a yellow linen tablecloth from Goodwill Industries and transformed it into a top and skirt, which drew compliments from family, friends and even strangers.

“People started asking me to make what I had on for them or design pieces for them,” Davis said. “But it took me seven years before I realized what I looked at as a hobby was actually my gift from God.”

Davis, who grew up in Baltimore, graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. From there, she moved to Washington, D.C., and spent seven years working at retailer Neiman Marcus.

“My boss at the time, she said, ‘Either you’re going to quit or I’m going to fire you because you’re too talented to be working on the sales floor when your garments need to be in, on the sales floor,'” Davis said. “That was the kick that I needed to get me out there and give me the courage to go out there on my own and start designing full time.”

In 2010, Davis opened Jody Davis Designs downtown at 110 W. Saratoga St., where she’s been ever since.

Davis said dresses make up 80% of her collection. And there are some outfits no client can get — the ones Davis wears herself. She said for the past 15 years, she’s only worn her own designs, but she has exclusives so she never accidentally matches with a client.

Davis said her garments are “statement pieces”

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