We're about putting our best foot forward no matter what we're doing or going to. So when we had the chance to talk with Celebrity Celebrity Costume Designer, Brea Stinson whose work has been on Beyonce, TLC, Rita Ora, Willow Smith, Justin Beiber, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and more.
In addition to having a great eye, she has recently partnered with The Tampax and Always Radiant Collection and the HBCU Dance Corporation during Homecoming season to host the #RadiantDanceOff, a national online dance competition that officially launched earlier this month, and is exclusively open to majorette teams at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The winning HBCU dance team will receive custom uniforms designed by Brea as well as a donation of $25,000 to cover team expenses.
We took some time to find out about how she got into the business, the importance of confidence for women in the entertainment business and why she has partnered with Tampax and Always Radiant Collection during Homecoming season at HBCUs.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into designing and tell us who some of your celeb clients have been as well as what is the memory of the first piece that you created for a celebrity?
BREA STINSON: I've been designing as long as I can remember. From drawing cartoon characters and bubble letters on jeans in the 6th grade for $5-25 dollars a pop, to designing prom dresses for my high school friends.....I've been putting in work for some time now!
I've had the honor of working with Will Smith, Usher, Beyonce, Zayn, Missy Elliott, Justin Bieber, Rita Ora and more.
The first celebrity piece that stands out for me is the jacket I conceptualized for Jay-Z for his "Fade to Black" ("retirement") concert at Madison Square Garden. I had been a fan of his for so long by that point. I felt like I knew all his lyrics and certain principles that were valuable to him. I was working as an assistant stylist at the time and I suggested that we use vintage tattoo art to convey a message on a cashmere blazer that we pulled for him. I selected the dagger going through the heart and it read, "death before dishonor". The look on his face when my boss revealed the jacket was priceless. He loved it! It was at that moment, I realized there was something special in these little ideas of mine. To have him embrace my concept at such a huge moment in his career was an overwhelming feeling. I'm forever grateful for that moment.
AM: You have dressed the world's most stunning and confident women, how impactful is that on you to be around such bold women who represent the entertainment industry?
BS: It's insane!!! It fuels me. I've been blessed to work with the most talented female creative directors, dancers, producers and artists!!! Having such women of influence choose me, wear my designs and support my dream, is more than flattering. It's inspiring to be in the presence of such power and positivity. I just try to soak up all the knowledge and good energy I can. I only hope to leave them with as much as they give.
AM: Why did you decide to partner with Tampax and Always Radiant Collection in their initiative with HBCUs?
BS: Tampax and Always have always been my brands of choice. I come from a family of female go getters and to be honest, Tampax was the only brand I recall seeing as a child. Our relationship goes all the way back to when I was a dancer in my younger years and from then until now, Tampax has never failed me. Comfort and leak-free protection equals confidence and those qualities are things the Tampax and Always Radiant Collection embody. Also I know from personal experience and from working with my clients that it's important to feel your best in order to perform at the highest level. All these things are the reason this partnership and initiative geared towards HBCUs really spoke to me, especially given that I graduated from an HBCU, Clark Atlanta University, myself. I'd like to think, this is indeed a way to give back.
AM: You went to Clark Atlanta University, a HBCU - how meaningful is this partnership as the competition with Tampax highlights these elite schools?
BS: Yes, I did! Our school motto is, "find a way or make one". This has stuck with me through my education and career. HBCU's have produced some of this nation’s most RADIANT achievers. So it's not only meaningful, it’s a perfect fit!
While we won't be able to visit all the schools during this campaign, the great thing is that everyone can participate in the competition in some way. Each qualifying HBCU majorette team can enter for a chance to win $25,000 and costumes designed by me!! And, the general public can participate by casting their vote November 2 -November 15th on who they think the winning team should be.
AM: Beyond your involvement with this contest, how important is it to bring the awareness of this study to the African American community?
BS: It's crucial. Studies have shown 4 out of 5 women avoid wearing certain clothing and or doing certain activities during that time of the month, that could be up to a week when they don’t feel like their best selves!
Tampax and Always have been steadfast in creating products with premium protection over the years. It's time to let the girls know, that they can live their best lives any day of the month and completely show up for the task at hand, feeling comfortable and confident. There's so much to be unsure about these days, so this is one less thing to stress about. This Radiant campaign celebrates that personal freedom and fearlessness.
AM: How excited are you for the Radiant Tailgate taking place at Howard University?
BS: I'm totally excited! Howard University was one of my top 3 choices. Although, I chose CAU....I've always had a love for this school. Being a part of this campaign allows me participate in the Howard University festivities and deliver a message of style and confidence that is very dear to me.