Columbia SC fashion designer featured on “Tamron Hall Show” | Local News

COLUMBIA — People who might not be familiar with the “Tamron Hall Show” might not know that Hall is quite a fashionista. For four seasons, she’s hosted an up-and-coming designer series, where designers have their work showcased on live television, have the opportunity to dress Hall and even be mentored by someone from the fashion industry.

South Carolina native Sergio Hudson served as a mentor on Hall’s show for the fall installment of the series, but another SC native was featured on Hall’s latest installment. 

Roneisha Stark, Twin Stitch Designs, had the opportunity to be the seventh featured designer in February, where she and her work were featured for a week on the ABC talk show.

Stark and her sister, Ronnia, grew up with a single mom and learned the importance of working smart. Their mom provided her daughters with nice things but worked 100 hours to afford them.

Stark’s mother did not go to college, and her lifelong hustle inspired her daughters to go to college and find meaningful careers.

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Tamron Hall, seated on left, and Roneisha Starks, right, watched one of Stark’s designs on the runway during the “Tamron Hall Show,” where Stark’s fashion design company, Twin Stitch, was featured in February 2024. 

After school, Stark worked part-time as a nurse, and Stark’s sister worked as a pharmacist. Ronnia Stark used to design clothes but no longer does, leaving Stark the full-time designer of Twin Stitch.

Stark loved getting dolled up as a kid, but she credited her aunts’ extraordinary style for giving her and Ronnia the fashion bug. As teenagers, Stark and her sister began designing by customizing or DIYing (Do-it-Yourself) jeans that they bought at thrift stores. They sold their upcycles to friends for around $20-30. Stark’s mom eventually purchased an $80 Singer Sewing machine from Walmart. Stark used the machine up until five years ago, when she upgraded her equipment.

Stark supports her fashion career with her part-time nursing job, giving her a flexible schedule. Her designs have added glamour and drama; she incorporates rhinestones, tulles, feathers and ruffles to add playfulness to her designs. Stark designs for customers who want to stand out.

“I love for me and my clients to be the center of attention,” she said.

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Roneisha Starks, right, with talk-show host Tamron Hall and models, all modeling Stark’s fashion brand, Twin Stitch. 

Her clients often request designs for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, proms and maternity photo shoots. One thing Stark’s clients can always count on when wearing their gowns is comfort, as the fabrics used in her designs are stretchy. Stark described Twin Stitch as elegant, leaning into the luxurious and maximal for the one-of-a-kind creations. The dresses come at two price points: the short dresses sell for $450 and the long dresses start at $650. Stark can usually make a dress in one day, but spreads it out over four days to not get overwhelmed. The majority of the fabrics come from Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and sometimes Africa. 

For Stark, her dreams are the blueprint for all her designs. On the “Tamron Hall Show,” Stark told the host, “I dream about all my dresses.” 

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Stark knew about Hall from clips she saw on Instagram but did not know that Hall did a series on her talk show featuring up-and-coming designers; it was Stark’s grandmother who told her about the show. At the same time, Stark’s husband was watching the show and thought about his wife. Stark interpreted this as God telling her to sign up to be on the show.

Two weeks before Stark made their debut appearance on national television, she sent three designs to present on the show and a couple of dresses that Hall would look great in. Hall chose her favorite dress, which she wore on air.

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Host Tamron Hall wears a custom gown by Twin Stitch, a Columbia-based fashion brand whose designer, Roneisha Stark, was mentored as part of a segment on Hall’s ABC talk show. 

Hall’s dress was supposed to be gray with turkey feathers at the end, but the fabric Stark ordered never came in. She ultimately had to make an executive decision and use what was available. The dress fit Hall ideally, and she loved it in black. The dress had been designed for another client, but Stark constructed it differently, tailoring the finishing touches for Hall.

Stark participated in Columbia Fashion Week’s Met Gala in December 2023 — the first time she’d done a runway show in a decade. At first unsure how Fashion Week would help the brand, Stark realized she had just been in the wrong types of fashion shows.

A 10-piece collection was created in two months, which required much time and money. And the effort showed. Stark had not been creative in a long time as they often spent time designing what other people wanted, but it turned out to be an excellent experience for Stark, and led to many opportunities for work. Stark has big plans for Twin Stitch up her sleeve for Fall 2024, with plans to launch a ready-to-wear line. (She loves pantsuits.)

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