Boston Fashion’s Best Kept Secret

The tents in Bryant Park in New York are being taken down following Fashion Week. And on Sunday night I was live tweeting my style judgments on Hollywood stars walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  I say that to prove my (modest) fashion credentials.

One of the many things I loved about living in Manhattan was that I always felt that I was at the epicenter of so many industries: news, TV, food, fashion.  Don’t get me wrong, I have quickly fallen in love with Boston, but I do miss my style-centric former home, especially this time of year.

In honor of Fashion Week and the Academy Awards, I decided to investigate Boston’s fashion scene, and in the process I uncovered the man whom many designers consider their best kept secret: Roger Hinds.
Roger at work

Roger does it all: he designs, cuts patterns, sews.  He brings designers’ ideas and sketches to life…by hand. Roger does not advertise and does not have a website.  It’s not necessary, fashion word of mouth is all he needs.  Roger’s talent matches his personality; he’s got heaping helpings of both. The list of designers he has worked with is long and impressive. Sorry, I am not naming names. I promised I would not give away any secrets, but to give you an idea of his caliber, he recently created three dresses for Grammy Award attendees.  Yes, he’s that good.

Roger has been sewing since he was a child growing up in Trinidad and studied tailoring at F.I.T. Even though fashion is one of my passions, watching Roger work quickly convinced me that, despite my serviceable sewing skills, I will never be involved in fashion in a hands-on way.  I quickly focused my attention on Roger’s story, how he followed his life-long passion and in 1994, finally took the leap to strike out on his own.

He told me he had thought about starting his own business since he was 16-years-old. “It takes a special personality to do this,” Roger observed about starting your own business.  “You just have to say, ‘I’m going to do this.’  It will give you strength.”
Very talented, very funny

He has a healthy attitude about the winding road he took to get to his current position as Boston fashion’s go-to guy. “All the companies that fired me, I thank you. They got me to do this.” Hearing Roger tell his story was inspiring.  Roger’s insight into taking the leap and following your passion will stay with me.  It’s never too late, you’re never too old, you are never too imperfect to follow your heart, and your gut.  Striking out on your own, whether it is in business or in life, is never easy, but it is always worth it.

And because I know you are all interested in my picks for best dressed at the Oscars here you go…

Best Dressed: Michelle Williams in Louis Vitton.  I wish I cold pull off a pixie like her!
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Wireimage
Runners up: Octavia Spencer in Tadashi.  She could have gone with a bigger name, but she stuck with the guy who has dressed her all award season.  She looked fantastic! Credit: Alexandra Wyman/Getty
Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford. I am a huge fan of the cape, and the white, but her hair was a let-down.
Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage


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