Business woman, fashion designer, TV personality, and mother Angel Brinks is the industrialist every success driven person aspires to be like. Inspired by her performing arts background, Brinks was committed to her grind and today she continuously surpasses her doubters and naysayers proudly. Her custom made clothing and intricate designs raised the expectation within the fashion industry, and that was thanks to her aim for individuality. “I decided to have an in-house manufacturing company. I wanted to be different from all designers, because most use factory machines to pump out their designs.”
And with recent events in entertainment and fashion, Brinks’ popularity keeps escalating. During the 2017 BET awards, Xscape members: Tiny, Kandi, and Tamika rocked the stage in her clothing, she hosted the BET runway show alongside fashion designer Yekim that corralled numerous A-List celebrities from DJ Khaled, Annie Ilonzeh, Floyd Mayweather, Romeo, Alexis Skyy, and a special performance by Egypt Criss. Furthermore, Brinks is preparing for her second showing at Fashion Week in New York this September. Brinks wanted to be a designer for everyone and she reached it, but she won’t stop there. “You never have a day off in fashion.”
1.How did you get into the fashion industry? What/Who inspired you?
I grew up in the performing arts so, I was in ballet, dance competitions, on stage acting, took drama classes. I was also in the choir programs and we would dance and sing. We used to get fitted in our performance wear, leotards, sequins, bodysuits, and it used to always catch my eye. I LOVED it! Every time I got an allowance I would go to the local thrift store, buy clothing for cheap, and come home to cut them up and patch it back into my style. My grandmother had a sewing machine so, I would always be next to her and watch her sew. I used to always pretend I had a clothing store, and even had a cash register I bought. I would take all my clothes from the closet and pretended to have customers, "Have a nice day!" I'd say. I grew up in Hollywood, so when I got older and attended events, my style was always different. Often times I'd be asked where I got what I had on. When I replied I made it, they'd offer me money to make them one.
2. The highly-anticipated BET Awards show was last Sunday, how did you prepare? What was the most exciting part?
Xscape! I designed and styled 3 of the 4 girls for their reunion performance, and they killed it. We prepared the looks for Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, Kandi Burruss and Tamika Scott that night.
3. From a business woman’s point of view, what was the most challenging obstacle you’ve had to overcome to move forward in your career?
There have been so many! When I think about it, it makes me want to cry. In life, we can only control ourselves. When you hire people, often times you expect them to see your vision, have your drive, your skill set, etc. It's not always like that. Therefore, finding skillful people who truly want your business to do well, is hard to come by. People all around, have tried to bring me down or test me throughout my career. Sometimes to the point where I considered giving up, because I thought I wasn't good enough. Having my own business is so hard. I am responsible for all my decisions. Location, designs, advertising. I'm so hands on that everything that comes with that is an obstacle!
4. What type of woman does your clothing line cater to? Also, are there certain things that you take into consideration when making new items? Thought process when creating new designs.
When I first began my line, I decided to have an in-house manufacturing company. I wanted to be different from all designers, because most use factory machines to pump out their designs. And only if you are a celebrity, can you get a designer piece made just for you. I wanted to be a designer for everyone, not just celebrities. So, I created my line for anyone who felt their body type didn't fall into the standard small, medium, large items factory machines make. I wanted to have a line that was primarily stretch items that women with curves can wear, or petite women can have an outfit made small enough to fit. Most of the time, women complain that they cannot find flashy, sparkly pieces that catch the eye unless it is a formal gown. That inspired me to create a line that is girly and fun, and that can actually fit you as long as your measurements are provided and accurate.
5. How has involving yourself within the fashion industry changed you personally? What were a few key things you learned throughout your journey?
I constantly create and recreate. Although, most designs have been done before, it’s a designer's job to recreate fashion with materials of our choice. I've noticed some gray hairs and that's one way I've changed. After 6 years of being in the fashion industry, I have never seen sooooo many females who wait last minute to order! Clients call in and expect miracles, and we find ourselves working like crazy to meet their deadline. Sometimes, customers shop at malls and can’t find what they want so, they start to google and come across my fashion. Nonetheless, I've learned that no matter what anyone tries to say about me that’s negative, it only fuels my fire and I end up getting bigger and bigger. So, feel free to hate on me! ☺
6. Where else are you planning to open boutiques?
Right now, a lot of stores are closing, going bankrupt or going online. So, I'm not sure if opening boutiques is something I want to do anymore. I think I started off online and made the best decision!!
7. Who is your biggest fashion idol? Dream person to style?
This is a tough one. I love Beyonce's performance pieces and her red carpet looks. I like Kim Kardashian's everyday look. I love Toni Braxton's style as well, but the two I gravitate to the most is Jennifer Lopez and Cher.
8. Which artists do you hope to style in the future?
Style or Design? There is a big difference. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce'. Mariah Carey too…love her!
9. What advice would you give to anyone who has doubts about starting their own fashion line?
Oprah once said, "When in doubt, don't". You should be confident the entire way through. Make sure you are business savvy and/or educated. Otherwise you will get taken advantage of; that truly goes with anything. People will take advantage of others when they see you don't know the business well. Know that in the winter, you should already be working on spring/summer of the following year. And in the spring, you will be working on fall/winter collections. You never have a day off in fashion. If you really feel you got what it takes to be a part of the fashion world, make sure you have enough funds to begin, and know that there will be ups and downs financially. Designs may get "stolen" or copied, take it with a grain of salt and be flattered. You will feel moments of frustration, but if you keep pushing and reinventing your style of designs, you will be fine!
10. What are your new projects, collaborations people should look out for, what’s next from the Angel Brinks brand?
I just relaunched my lipstick line, and instead of lip glosses, I brought out a gloss line that I call lipstain. Known to last longer and still have that gloss look for long wear! The packaging is so cute, and all the colors I tested over and over again before it launched ‘til I was very satisfied! I am coming out with an incredible skin care line and am also filming again ( I can't say for what yet , but I'm excited about it! And the biggest thing on the horizon is my second showing New York Fashion Week this September!
Checkout website: www.AngelBrinks.com and follow @AngelBrinks on Instagram!