Exclusive Sergio Hudson exhibition opens November 18 at the CMA

Justin Gloston for Sergio Hudson. Illustration, custom gown and cape ensemble for Keke Palmer’s Met Gala look, 2023. Ink and marker on paper. Courtesy of SH Collections.

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art presents Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit, an exhibition showcasing the work of iconic fashion designer and Midlands native Sergio Hudson, on view Saturday, November 18, 2023, through Sunday, June 30, 2024. Organized by the CMA in partnership with Sergio Hudson Collections, LLC and community curator Megan Pinckney Rutherford, this exhibition showcases the remarkable moments of a designer who fell in love with fashion at 4 years old while living in Ridgeway, South Carolina, and has become one of the biggest names in the industry today.

“Many things are happening in my life that I could only dream of — this exhibition at the CMA is one of them,” says Hudson. “I feel very lucky, and I hope my story can inspire other young men in South Carolina to believe in themselves and follow their passion.”

Hudson and his colleagues Inga Beckham, co-owner of Sergio Hudson, and Charles Lynch, co-creative director of Sergio Hudson, will be at the CMA on November 18 for a special opening day program.

“We are honored Sergio Hudson is sharing his story and craft in his home state museum,” says CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. “Visitors will feel his extraordinary sense of glamorous style and passionate enthusiasm for making women feel confident and fabulous. This ascending artist is signature South Carolina special!”

Born and raised in Ridgeway, Hudson has always taken inspiration from the strong women in his life, particularly his mother, Sheldon Hudson, who exposed him to sewing and fashion design. Since launching his first eponymous label in 2014, his fresh perspective on luxury American sportswear has taken the fashion world by storm. Hudson’s high-profile clients include Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Serena Williams, Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, Rihanna, Kamala Harris, Kendall Jenner, Issa Rae, Jessica Chastain, Rachel Brosnahan, and Keke Palmer, a close friend whom he has called a muse.

“Sergio is an example of what it means to ignite a passion and never let go of the dream. Focused on the Fit is not only a show about fashion, but also a story of how one makes their mark in the world,” says CMA Director of Art and Learning Jackie Adams. “We are so proud to present Sergio’s work, and we hope this show will inspire and educate visitors about a creative visionary driven to make a difference in how we choose to show up in the world through fashion.”

Hudson’s philosophy is that fashion should be for everyone and include everyone. He designs to empower the wearer and often includes a nod to the ’90s of his youth. Exploring his journey from the early days winning Bravo’s Styled to Rock in 2013 up through the present day, Focused on the Fit features nearly 50 works — some 38 illustrations alongside 10 signature garments from key moments in Hudson’s revolutionary career, including Keke Palmer’s stunning ensemble from the 2023 Met Gala, Megan Rapinoe’s star-spangled suit from the 2021 Met Gala, a suit ensemble worn by Beyoncé in 2019, and a custom suit made for Issa Rae in 2018. Visitors get an opportunity to see the creativity and teamwork behind the building of a brand from concept to craft to collection in a holistic look at the design process.

“As a lifelong lover of fashion, I am thrilled to be the community curator behind this exhibition showcasing the incredible work of my dear friend, Sergio Hudson, a successful Black fashion designer that was born and bred right here in the Midlands and is well on his way to becoming the next iconic American designer,” says Rutherford. “I am honored to get to share his story with a community that inspired and supported him, and also with the next generation that I’m sure will be inspired by his familiar beginnings.”

Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit overlaps with newly opened exhibition Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous, providing museumgoers two iconic fashion exhibitions to experience this fall and holiday season.

This exhibition is organized by the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, in partnership with Sergio Hudson Collections, LLC and Community Curator Megan Pinckney Rutherford. Bronze Sponsors: First Citizens Bank; Dr. Suzanne R. Thorpe and Dr. John W. Baynes. Patron Sponsors: Gina Trippi and John Kerr; Barbara B. Boyd; Friends of African American Art & Culture. Friend Sponsors: Hotel Trundle. Grantors: City of Columbia; Experience Columbia SC; Richland County Government; South Carolina Arts Commission; Discover South Carolina; and a grant from the Coastal Community Foundation at the request of CMA member Bonnie Adams Kapp.

Sergio Hudson: Conversation with the Designer
Saturday, November 18 | Doors at 1:30 p.m. | Conversation 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Celebrate and learn about the remarkable moments of a designer who fell in love with fashion at 4 years old while living in Ridgeway, South Carolina, and has become one of the biggest names in the industry, designing for modern icons. On opening day of Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit, join Community Curator Megan Pinckney Rutherford for an intimate conversation with acclaimed designer Sergio Hudson along with Inga Beckham, co-owner of Sergio Hudson, and Charles Lynch, co-creative director of Sergio Hudson. Attendees receive a complimentary signed exhibition poster. Sparkling wine and sweet treats included. Registration required as space is limited. $100 / $75 for members.

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