Karen Alexander-Banks left an eleven-year corporate position with Xerox Corporation to pursue her passion for educating and utilizing the arts. Before working for Xerox, she spent six years as a first-grade teacher at James B. Edwards Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Entertainment and the arts have always been a part of her life. Her vision is to use the arts to educate and empower children across the globe. In 2001, she founded The Auntie Karen Foundation with the mission to create and implement a series of replicable community outreach programs designed to empower, enlighten, and educate through the arts. She is most proud of the young lives nurtured and showcased via The Auntie Karen Foundation. One such entrepreneur is fashion designer Sergio Hudson. Hudson became a part of The Auntie Karen Glam Squad in 2006 to create the 2007 outfit. Under the leadership of Debora Lloyd and Tre Tailor, the Glam Squad creates Karen’s look for the annual Legends of…Concert.
Hudson is known for his luxury women’s ready-towear designs. Based in Los Angeles, he began his designs in his home town of Ridgeway, S.C. taking inspiration from his mother, Sheldon Hudson, who was a tailor and has always had an eye for fashion. Hudson attended Bauder College in Atlanta, Ga. and studied fashion. His career shifted into overdrive when he won Bravo TV’s reality design competition Styled to Rock where he designed for Rihanna and other celebrities. Hudson launched his namesake collection in 2014, with a vision to bring back the joy of dressing, which he is doing one collection at a time. Most recently, Hudson’s designs were worn by Michelle Obama, Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, and Beyoncé to name a few.
View the series on KnowItAll.org here.
Download the SC African American History Calendar here.