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Life & Work with Brandon Warren

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Warren.

Hi Brandon, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had an interest in art. Growing up in a family filled with women drew me to fashion. My mom was always asking for my opinion on her outfits when I was younger. I would say it was in middle school that I took a strong interest in fashion. It was the 90s… around the time of shows like Models Inc and movies like Clueless and the Bodyguard. The costumes stuck out to me and Influenced my style. I was always sketching and drawing outfits in my notebook. I was starting to develop an artistic style. It was in high school that things really started to take shape. I became known as the prom designer. I would sketch the designs for my classmate’s prom dresses and gowns.

I also joined the fashion club and the seed was planted. College brought out the freedom to express myself through fashion. It was now the 2000s and fashion was a little more experimental. I would watch fashion tv and fell in love with Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Dolce Gabbana, and Givenchy to name a few. It was how they fused drama into their shows. They were storytellers and until that discovery, I had never seen fashion displayed that way. Growing up in the housing projects of Baltimore in the 80s was a completely different world. I had no references of fashion other than what I saw in movies or tv. There were no male fashion designers in my view so I had no idea that becoming a designer was possible. It is true that representation matters. Had I known or seen a male designer or tailor earlier, that may have set my life on a completely different trajectory. It was 2003 and a friend of mine insisted that I make her prom gown for her senior prom. I was reluctant to accept the challenge due to never actually sewing a dress before. I had done costumes and reconstructed garments before but not an actual functional garment. Not to mention that the design we came up with was very ambitious for a beginner. After some relentless pressure, I accepted the challenge and forged ahead to make her dress. The dress took a couple of months to make. Looking back now, I’m sure I could’ve completed it in 1.5 days or less but I was a beginner. 2003 was the beginning and starting with one client has allowed me to complete more than 1000 custom pieces for private clients and few celebrities sprinkled here and there.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One main struggle was support and mentorship. Starting as a new and up-and-coming self-taught designer. Most people didn’t take me seriously and like in most businesses, it took a while for me to prove myself as a serious designer. Oh and resources and financing. Starting a business is scary and difficult when you don’t have the resourcing and financing.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in after five attire, mostly bridal, prom and special events. I am mostly recognized for my couture and avant-garde pieces. I love to add drama and ease to every piece. I am most proud of the reputation that I continue to build for great customer satisfaction and excellent service. My professionalism sets me aside from the rest in a very saturated market. My clients come in with an idea and leave with a fully realized concept that exceeds their expectations.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
There are many lessons. 1. Do it right the first time. You will waste less time in the long run. 2. Treat your clients the way you would like to be treated as a client. Because people remember mostly how you made them feel. 3. Continue to learn and continue to dream.

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