Cedric Brown – The Southern Silk Man

by Beth Witten

Each year I attend the annual Holiday Market at the Jan Dempsey Community Art Center in Auburn. I enjoy seeing creative wares by local artists including pottery, hand carved wood bowls, and original works of art. At the 2022 show, I was wowed by an unassuming booth of vibrant colors. I was greeted by a precious lady who pulled me into experience the fabric.

This amazing sales lady was none other than Mrs. Brown, single-mom to Atlanta-based fashion designer, Cedric Brown. Mrs. Brown’s cheerful spirit was as warm and inviting as the collection of garments she was touting.

Late November is an odd time to desire a sleeveless, bright pink and green, flowy, floor-length silk gown. Yet, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this dress. It spoke to me, and I knew I would wear it for the perfect occasion, in a warmer month.

Aside from the gown I purchased, Mrs. Brown had a rack of stunning kimonos in distinct abstracts. I needed to learn more about the artist, her son. She was eager to connect the two of us.

Unaware of Cedric’s connection to Auburn, I sought out to understand more about the designer behind these striking pieces of artwork aka kimonos, scarves and dresses. Cedric is an artist from the east side of Atlanta. He attended Georgia Perimeter College where he partially studied under Margee Ragland. Professor Ragland lives in Auburn and is an accomplished artist herself. Ragland states, “Although it has been many years since Cedric Brown was my student at Perimeter College/ Georgia State University he has never forgotten his time spent at our community college and his professors there. After graduating from Perimeter, Cedric studied at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). He had a full scholarship that allowed him to study at the Atlanta and Hong Kong campuses, graduating with a degree in textile design. During his studies at SCAD, Cedric returned to our college many times to mentor our students and encourage them to pursue their art careers.”

Ragland continues, “He once told one of my classes, ‘Appreciate your classes, fellow students, and professors because no one will ever love you or encourage you like the folks here.’ Such a generous compliment coming from Cedric who was and still is a talented and kind young man.”

I immediately sensed Cedric’s kindness and humility while learning more about his path.

With a B.F.A. in Fashion Design from SCAD, Cedric began courses at the Operation Hope center in Atlanta. It is through Operation Hope that Cedric has been supported with small business development grants. Cedric was asked to create a special scarf to commemorate Operation Hope’s three decades of service.

Cedric’s apparel line began with his art on silk scarves. While this may seem simple, think Hermes or Levi’s. Both designer brands began with a single concept. Cedric’s persistence to excel caught the interest of Rapper Young Thug (Jeffery Lamar Williams). The rapper was intrigued by the designs and asked to buy the whole collection.

In a world where influence and discovery live on social media, Cedric’s designs quickly caught the attention of several actors. Cedric’s kimonos can be seen worn by actress Lynn Whitfield’s character Lady Mae on the show Greenfield. Other celebrities who swoon over Cedric’s silks include Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox and Lamman Rucker.

Cedric’s fine art apparel includes collections for men and women. His limited-edition silk pieces should be treated as collector items. Each design is crafted in-house in limited quantity with the intent and detail to create a timeless treasure.

Recently, I wore my treasured Cedric Brown silk dress to a local event. It immediately drew curiosity. Repeatedly, I was asked where I found this gorgeous piece. While I may have stumbled upon Cedric Brown Collections at the local art show, you may procure your one-of-a-kind Cedric Brown design at cedricbrowncollections.com.

I have no doubt that with Cedric’s talent, tenacity and recent exposure, his designs will soon be sought after globally. He will no doubt shift from being the Southern Silk Man to the Global Silk Man.