When designer Angela Brasington walks into the room, you know she’s a winner. Focused on high quality, American-made products that are part of your wardrobe staples, this former gymnast-turned-designer knows what it takes to make the sale. Her company, Anjé by Angela Brasington is a lifestyle fashion brand for the sharp, sophisticated, and fashion-savvy woman. Using only the most luxurious fabrics on the market, Angela designs specifically for comfort and style, making her collection the latest in new workplace essentials to help you go the distance. Designing in NYC, Angela goes even further to support the city she loves by donating a portion of proceeds to local charities that clothe the homeless. In this Designer Spotlight, we chat to Angela about why being the fastest isn’t always the best and finding inspiration in the kitchen and in travels.
How and why did you start designing?
I used to always sketch out women’s styles on anything in site, from notepads to napkins. I always wanted the perfect silhouette. After spending almost 10 years in the fashion industry working for other companies, I was ready to launch my own line to offer essential pieces and classics that every woman could mix and match with pieces from her own wardrobe. Growing up as a gymnast, there was nothing I could dream that I could not achieve. I keep that mindset every day while running my business. When you hit a hurdle, you figure out how to overcome it and keep on trucking…or designing : )
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
Building a brand means many things, including getting it out to the public and in front of the eyes that matter. Working with certain influencers, media teams, showrooms and publicists is an essential part of building up our brand but it costs a lot of money. Our biggest hurdle thus far was raising the capital to allow our brand to reach new levels. Though it was a hurdle, it was also a really great learning experience and one that will benefit us later on when we go for our next round of funding.
What do you think about fashion today?
The very best thing about fashion is that it is your unique way of expressing yourself and your individuality.
Fashion today is very much all about the quick trend and speed to market. While I understand the reasons behind fast-fashion, I prefer to take a different approach with Anjé. I create classic, high quality pieces that will last, rather than going in and out of season faster than you can put it on. Additionally, trends do not have to be so strictly followed. When you put on a essential piece, like a leather jacket, you can pull together a classic look and be completely on trend.
By producing locally, Anjé is able to go to market faster than overseas production allows. Our domestic facilities allow us to maintain the quality we desire and offer American-made products at the same time.
What is your fashion philosophy?
My fashion philosophy is to stick to who you are. Know your body. Do not follow a trend just because it’s a trend. Not everything works for every individual body. I do this on a personal level and encourage friends, family, consumers to do the same. Stay true to who you are in everything you do, not just in fashion, and you will always be your best self!
What inspired this line?
The inspiration behind this line, Tough & Sassy, was my experience as a gymnast. I have cut the SS16 season into smaller assortments, and the inspiration follows suit. For example as a gymnast, I was always traveling around for competitions. The first assortment shows how the fabrics have stretch and give, just like a gymnast. It shows the long, clean lines of the collections’ silhouettes, like that of a gymnast. The other assortment is The Jetsetter, which shows how the collection is perfect for traveling the world.
The entire SS16 collection, The Jettsetting Femme, is a complete collection inspired by dedication, dreams and experience from my life as a gymnast and traveler.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
I find inspiration in many things. Walking through the city gives me tons, from people watching to trend shopping to sitting in a park. I have found print inspiration in the chipped bark of a tree trunk. A men’s top may give me an idea for a women’s dress. It’s about not thinking about looking for inspiration and just letting it happen.
Music is a big part of my inspiration as well. What I listen to depends on my mood, but I love how music can inspire me to create like no other media.
Strangely, cooking gives me inspiration. I love to cook and being in the kitchen gives me a childlike sense of creativity that I try to translate into the world of fashion.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
Do not give up, even when it’s really tough! Always remember why you started and keep up your internal motivation to succeed. You have to have drive and thick skin because it’s a tough industry but if you want it, you can have it.
There you have it. Become a winner with the Tough & Sassy collection and follow Anjé when this brand takes off.