Migration brings change, Change brings New Beginnings, New Beginnings bring an Evolution of ME.”
Can you tell me about yourself Richard?
I am of Haitian descent. I was born in Cap-Haitian in Haiti. My father, Paul Ranold Petit and my mother, Gladys Jacqueline Castel both left Haiti and moved to Miami, Florida to make a better living for themselves and their family. Soon after they arrived in Miami, they sent for me to come and live with them.
When I was very young, I would amuse myself by drawing landscapes, human forms and portraits. In addition to creating art, I also heavily influenced by listening to music. I was 11 years old was when I first discovered fashion and once I left elementary school and moved on the junior high school, my hunger for fashion took off. I realized that my ability to draw along with my eye for color meant that I had a calling for the fashion arts. I took art classes and began to create magazines and booklets for each fashion season. By the time I got to high school, I started designing fashion for the real-world challenges that were presented to me by school. During my senior year, I had the desire t venture into formal dresses. I continued my fashion journey by enrolling at Keiser University’s Fashion Design and Merchandising program. It was here that my design brand Papillon was born.
Why did you chose that name to represent your craft?
Well Papillon in French means “butterfly” and I compare my life to one. A butterfly has the four typical stages of an insect’s life cycle. The first stage is the eggs that are laid by the female butterfly. These eggs then turn into larvae which is better known as a caterpillar. The third stage is when the caterpillar becomes a fully developed adult and starts to change. This is known as chrysalis. Once this metamorphosis is complete, you then have a butterfly. I, too, feel like I am going through different stages not only in my life but also in my journey as a fashion designer.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Woah…in the next five years…… Well, hopefully, I will be able to own a store or two, be the one of the hottest designers at Fashion Week every year, and be the most talk about designer at the Emmy’s, Oscars, or any big red carpet event.
Who has been an inspiration for you?
Music plays a big factor when it comes to influencing my designing. I’m also inspired by the greats such as Elie Saab, Versace, Zuhair Murad and Stephane Rolland.
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What is your favorite design so far?
That is a very hard question to answer because everything I do I love and would wear LOL. They are all my babies!
If you could design for any celeb who would it be?
Another hard question to answer because I would love to dress them all. But to name a few Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna.
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
I would have to say graduating college and having the credentialing to back up what I do.
Have you faced any challenges?
Oh yesssss! With anything you do in life you would always have challenges.
How did you overcome these challenges?
With faith and having tunnel vision.
Any collabs? or future shows you are excited about?
I was excited to be part of World Fashion Parade for Peace. I also have the cover and a full spread in Creativ Magazine. I was able to collaborate with a great photographer by name of Sulaah Bien-Aime, Smart Model Agency, and the lovely Yordanos who is my heart. I also got a chance to work with the current title holder of Ms. New York Tourism, Fatena Qassem. Hopefully I’ll will also work on something for Miss Guyana and for Miss Universe. In terms of my personal projects, I will work with Janelle LaFond who is a phenomenal stylist from Tampa, Florida. So yeah, stick around.
If you could describe your style in three key words what would they be?
Whimsical, sultry, and fun
Do you have an end goal?
Some may wish for fame, others may want wealth, but my goal is to go back to Haiti and open a fashion school to give back to a gifted kid who shares the same passion that I have.
What would you say to anyone who ever found themselves struggling to be a designer?( any inspirational words)/
Don’t let the world dictate to you. Create your own destiny. My motto is “ Do U”
Behind every designer, there are always KEY individuals that take the journey with you. Without their eyes and their input, I would be stuck at the design cross road. Thanks to Giselle Castillo and Bernard Holley. These two have always kept me grounded and focused in fashion. Thanks to my college professor Nelly Tejeda-Rodriguez who is a constant resource. Thank you Dannielle Boyer for begin my supporting me in life. Thank you Corhinn Brunot you are an inspirational entrepreneur and constant support. SHOUT OUT to Creativ Magazine. The first publication i was featured in when I first started. To my Family, Dad i know you are not here physically but I know you are smiling up from above. My Mother my rock and my first love, my Brother Alex and my second rock and best friend Tamara Petit. To Friends ..... Klo Telfort and Nina Graham you both are STAR, Rose for always being there, and many other thank you for standing by my side. To Every Photographers, MUA, Hairstylist's and Model's THANK YOU SO MUCH without you guy i'm nothing.
Last but not least Thank You Briana DeShields for taking time out to reach out and putting this piece together. It's people like you that makes me who I am today and make me want to push and work harder.