Fashion / Shopping

Two Creative Texas Women Work Magic With Silk Scarves and Face Masks

RoKi Design Keeps Things Fashionable

BY // 10.23.20

Uber creatives Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Kimberly Phipps-Nichol both had their hands full before they launched RoKi Design, their almost-eponymous (Ro for Roslyn, Ki for Kimberly) firm working magic with silk scarves. But the creative niche with a philanthropic component seemed to be a calling that both community-minded women would not deny.

An attorney, mom and fitness expert Bazzelle Mitchell first designed silk scarves for a Black high-end corporate leadership conference in Houston in 2019. Her Italian-made creations were such a hit that she began exploring business opportunities with a charity bent. But she needed a partner who shared her passion for sustainability, community and fashion.

Phipps-Nichol, a commercial interior designer not to mention talented seamstress, was busy with her Blue Water Studio. But with the onset of COVID-19, she began sewing masks for Texas Medical Center employees. She tells PaperCity that most of her family works in the medical field. To date, she has donated more 1,000 masks to the cause.

The two women joined forces and developed their three-tiered concept based on “fashion, creativity and community.” Bazelle Mitchell is a self-admitted scarf addict and the early success of her initial design spurred her on. She admits that she is no artist but she does have concepts and draws them out in “stick figures” for artists that the duo taps for their scarf creations.

RoKi Design creates a mask re-purposed Cartier
RoKi Designs creates high-fashion masks from a re-purposed Cartier scarf.

Under the RoKi umbrella, Phipps-Nichol is churning out high-style masks, many made from vintage designer scarves. Think Hermès, Cartier, Chanel. Through their selected retailers, the masks sell out shortly after arrival. They are also available on the RoKi website.

“It’s all about supporting each other and giving back and loving the environment,” Bazelle Mitchell says.

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There are two components to the original scarf design — for profit and for nonprofits. RoKi has tapped artists to design unique silk scarves, crafted in Italy, for organizations including The Ensemble Theatre, the American Heart Association and TEACH. A percentage of sales from these are dedicated to selected charities for which the scarves were designed. The silk scarves are crafted mostly in Italy, some in China, hand-rolled and of high quality.

The commercial side to the business includes original scarves designed by hand-selected artists as well as the creation of masks crafted from vintage designer scarves. Their collection of fashionable refashioned scarves include pillows, brooches, scrunchies and even boutonnieres.

Connecting the inspired with the extraordinary

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