Designer Highlight: Galatea Berger

Galatea Designs

Our designer of the week goes to Galatea Berger. What’s in a name ? This is the real name of the magnificent jeweler Galatea Berger but you probably don’t know it’s meaning. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, is about a mortal who sculpted a statue so beautiful he fell in love with it. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love took pity on the lovesick artist and brought to life the exquisite sculpture, which was named Galatea.

The name Galatea Designs carries connotations of striking visual appeal and a man’s love for a woman. You will definitely fall in love with Galatea’s exquisite jewelry designs. From a simple engagement solitaire, to more ornate designs,  she creates from precious stones and metals. After attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Galatea’s early designs were the focus of attention while she worked in a local financial institution. Many customers were dropping in just to see what she was wearing. She began selling jewelry way before she opened her own business.

Known originally as “ Jewelry and Gift Exchange” when founded in 1985, Galatea Designs quickly secured reputable and reliable contacts with jewelry manufactures. From its inception, it has offered a superior line of jewelry designs and personalized jewelry creations. Galatea Designs serves men and women with refined taste. They work by appointment only which allows customers to select a diamond or consider the design of their jewelry in a more relaxed setting, free from distraction, which permits Galatea to give you her undivided attention.

Follow her on Instagram: @galateadesigns

Photo credit: Galatea Berger

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls



Model Highlight: Pranav Bakhshi

Our Model Highlight goes to Pranav Bakhshi! 
Meet teen model, Pranav Bakhshi. Bakhski was born in New Delhi, India and was born with Autism. Born in 2000, Bakhski had a traumatic birth with many health complications. His parents learned of his diagnosis at the age of two and vowed that whatever he wanted to do in life, they would help him achieve his goals. 
Bakhski knew at a young age that he wanted to model and his mother researched various modeling agencies to help him fulfill his dream. He is the first teen model with autism in India! He is currently a model for well-known labels like U.S. Polo Association and Benetton and he says, “Autism is my superpower!”. What is Autism? According to the organization Autism Speaks, “Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.”
Currently signed to Ninja Model Management, Bakhski desire is to change the rules of the fashion game and walk for some of the most leading brands. Bakhshi is a fitness enthusiast and encourages others to take their own health seriously. Bakhski says he does not use Autism as a reason to fall short. Trailblazer’s like Bakhshi show us that what others perceive as our weaknesses, can be our greatest strengths.
Follow him on Instagram: @pranavbakhshi
Photo Credit: The Better India
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Designer Highlight: Diane von Furstenberg

Best known for her iconic “wrap dress”, you have not lived until you own one! Diane Simone Michelle Hafflin was born in Brussels, Belgium to Jewish parents.  Eighteen months before Diane was born, her mother was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. She credits her mother with being a great influence in her life. Her mother taught her that fear is not an option.

After studying Economics at the University of Geneva, she moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer agent Albert Koski. She then moved to Italy to be an apprentice for the textile manufacturer, Angela Ferretti. In his factory warehouse, she learned about cut, color, and fabric. It was there she designed and produced her first silk jersey dress.

Shortly after her marriage to Prince Egon von Furstenberg, she decided she wanted a career of her own and not just to be a plain little girl who married beyond her “desserts “. After separating from her husband in 1973, she moved to New York and met Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who said her designs were absolutely smashing.

In 1974, she introduced her knitted jersey wrap dress. After the success of the wrap dress, Furstenberg was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1976 and was declared the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel. She has gone on to launch a cosmetic line, fragrances, and a home shopping business to name a few. Many celebrities have worn her clothes from Madonna to Michelle Obama.

You have not lived, until you have worn this iconic wrap dress!! here are 45 free standing shops world-wide.

Follow her on Instagram: @DVF

Photo credit:

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Model Highlight: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, USA. She began her modeling career after graduating from InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2007. At the young age of 19, she was signed to Elite Model Management and began modeling for department stores such as Nordstrom’s. She then moved to IMG models and landed brands such as Givenchy and Victoria’s Secret. In 2012 she was named, Model of the Year!  Smalls appeared on 11 international editions of VogueHarper’s Bazaar, i-D, Interview, Porter, Love, American ElleT Magazine, and more. Aside from print advertisements and runway, she took a leap of faith and made a small business venture; Smalls partnered with Estee Lauder. She still enjoys modeling but feels that it is important to contribute to her community. She is involved with various non-profit organizations and is very socially cognizant of the issues all of over the world. One of her favorite organizations is the Garden of Dreams Foundation; an organization dedicated to helping children facing obstacles such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illnesses, and foster care challenges.

Joan always remembers the words of her mother, ” Joan remember, you’re the star…not star as in celebrity star, like a bright star.”

Follow Joan on Instagram at: @joansmalls

Photo Credit: IMG Models, Getty Images
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls


Designer Highlight: LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith was born in Queens, New York. At the tender age of 13, his grandmother passed on her old singer sewing machine to him to use. She instructed him and instilled in him a passion and skill for sewing and pattern making.

He started his brand at age 21. Since its formal debut in 2013, the brand gained acclaim for its distinctive garments and details. His work sparked interest among fashion icons and risk- takers such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian, all of whom were early supporters of the gifted designer.

LaQuan has also cultivated a private order clientele which spans the globe from Lagos to London. His glamorous aesthetic has also been tapped by world recognized brands such as Heineken, Samsung, and Verizon to name a few. LaQuan and his label are headquartered and manufactured in Long Island City, NYC and deliver worldwide.

LaQuan sums up his style as “Unapologetic Sexiness”

Follow him on Instagram:@laquan_smith

Photo Credit:,,

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls






Designer Highlight: Iyishia Jones

Our designer of the week goes to Iyishia Jones. As a little girl, Iyishia Jones’ mom owned a boutique in downtown Detroit Michigan where she grew up. She remembers her parents getting dressed up and going downtown to shop. The seed was planted at an early age. Iyishia started her career in corporate American but it was fashion that fueled her. It was her husband Greg (an entrepreneur himself) that encouraged her to take her passion and turn it into a career.

Her first boutique opened in 2015 in Florida’s Rosemary Beach. She noticed a lot of clients were in Alabama, so in 2015 she opened a second store in Homewood, Alabama. She has a location in Montgomery, Alabama and a fourth location in Mountain Brook, Alabama. This store carries custom designed apparel. The pieces there can be customized or tailored in-store.

The shopping experience is unique. Instead of hiring salespeople, Iyishia employs stylists. You are greeted by a stylist who will dress you based on your eye color, body shape, and personality. So many clients have come in talking about what they can’t wear and leave with something totally unexpected.

When you think of ISHI, think elegant, casual, and everything you dare to be. Her clothes are FUN, FLY, and Fabulous!!!

Follow her on Instagram: @ishiboutiques

Photo credit: ISHI? Boutiques

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Model Highlight: Ugbad Abdi

Hey Lovelies!! 

Our model highlight goes to the beautiful Ugbad Abdi! Abdi was born in Kismayo, Somalia! Due to the Somali Civil War, Abdi and her family quickly left for a refugee camp in Kenya and from there they moved to Des Moines, Iowa with the help of UNICEF.  After she graduated high school, Abdi was discovered on Instagram, she went to New York to meet with representatives and signed with Next Management!
Abdi’s career began when she debuted on the runway for Valentino’s Haute Couture show in 2018/2019. She has worked with New York Fashion Week, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Miu Miu, Burberry, Fendi, and many more! In 2019 she graced the issues of American, British, and Arabian editions of Vogue magazine. Abdi stays true to her Muslim faith by wearing her Hijab while modeling and became the first runway model to wear her Hijab in Fendi and Lanvin’s fashion show! 
Photo credit: Vogue Japan, British Vogue, and Twitter

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager

Designer Highlight: Gamili E Collections

Born in Brooklyn New York, as a young child, Gamili was inspired by her mother who was a professional seams tress and introduced Gamili to an artist’s way of life. By the time she was in the eight grade, she already knew that she wanted to be a fashion designer. This occurred to her after working on a project for home economics where she had to draw clothes for females and males.

Her first professional design showcase was 2014. Creating is her favorite aspect of designing and she is passionate about bringing her ideas to life. Music has been her biggest inspiration from everything from Hip Hop to Jazz.  The Gamili E Collection celebrates the female form and represents women who dare to be a fashion statement. Her favorite era of fashion is the 1940’s. It is a representation of class, sex appeal, and confidence.

Her ultimate goal is to become a fashion legend and she wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Coco Chanel, Diane Von Fustenberg, and Christian Dior to name a few.                                                                        

Follow her on IG: @gamili_e

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Instagram: @gamili_e


Kyemah McEntyre is a young women who became widely known for her prom dress design that ” broke the internet”. The African print prom dress created a fashion moment. She said she initially wanted to wear her African inspired dress to the prom to send a message to other teens that it’s ok to be yourself and that natural beauty is to be loved and admired. That prom night, she got lots of attention and was crowned prom queen.

The East Orange, New Jersey native was in high school at the time! The following fall, she enrolled in the fashion school, Parsons School of Design. Shortly after, she caught the attention of actress/singer Naturi Naughton who called on Kyemah to design a dress for the 2015 BET Awards, where she wore the beautiful form fitting dress. She also designed a dress for the legendary model and TV host, Tyra Banks. Tyra wore the design on an episode of ABC’s FABlife.

The Mind of Kye brand is where art and fashion meet. Kyemah has a profound love for Black women, art, history and how the subjects interact with society. In a short time, Kyemah has proven to be one of the most innovative and talented artists and designers of the millennium.

You can follow her at: IG :@MindOfKye

Photo credit:,

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls


One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.

Moziah Bridges always had a vision of looking his best. At the age of four he began to wear a suite whenever he could. He started his company at the age of nine. He couldn’t find an accessory to fit his personality or style so he created his own. He pitched his ideas to Shark Tank with the help of his mother Tramica. Although he did not end up with a deal from any of the Sharks, he ended up with the mentorship of Daymond John.  He landed on Time Magazine’s Most Influential Teen List in 2015 and was invited to the White House by former President Barack Obama. To date he has landed a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), has an internationally recognized brand, and plans to study fashion and design in college. 

You can shop Moziah’s collection at:

Photo Credit: Black Main Street