Danielle Teah is conquering the fashion industry with her Liberian style. She came from having very little experience to creating her own fashion line in just four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her family is a big influence in her fashion career especially her mom and grandmother. Her grandmother grew up in Liberia and didn’t have the same opportunities as Danielle did growing up in America and her mom push her when she didn’t feel like going anymore. With that push and drive Danielle is where she is today. While learning her craft she not only wanted to make timeless pieces with an African twist she wanted to make outfits to fit her body and for women that isn’t the “Forever 21” body type. It’s hard sometimes for curvy women to find clothes.
From not being able to sew to creating garments for both men and women, Danielle is truly a designer we all should keep a look out for. If you put your mind to it, you can create something great. I had the pleasure to interview Danielle. Continue reading so you’ll get to know more about her and her future in fashion.
Q: What or who inspired you to go into fashion design?
A: I’ve always loved fashion. When I was little I would watch America’s Next Top Model. I’ve always loved African fashion because I would always see it at weddings or any event that people wore African clothing. That’s what made me different from everyone else because I had a different culture to fall back on than anyone else. I started doing the traditional look until I started making my own clothes.
Q: When did you decide to pursue fashion?
A: I didn’t know I wanted to pursue fashion until I graduated high school in 2012. I would always go to the thrift store in high school and in my junior year of I went to a thrift store and saw a really cute cheetah skirt but it was a 2x and I thought it’ll be cute as a pair of shorts. So I cute it up and hand sewed it. That was my first time I’ve sewed anything.
Q:What can you bring to the fashion industry? What makes you unique?
A: I can bring just a real, unique, and normal black queen that appreciate her culture and where she comes from. I never want to stray away from that. I love African fashion and putting a modern twist on it. I want to reach out more to plus size. As a black woman people didn’t make clothes for my body type.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A: Creating clothes for celebrities. I want my main source of income to come from designing clothes. If BET does another “Rip the Runway” I’ll definitely want to be a part of that.
Q: Business wise do you see yourself as just a one woman show or are you planning on making an empire?
A: Currently I’m looking into working with other people. People have reached out to work under me but it feels a little weird because I don’t know if I’m there enough for someone start learning from me yet. I don’t want to teach them the wrong thing since I’m still learning too. I am interested to have someone work for me one day because my clothing line is a little heavy at times. I sometimes had to reach out to alteration shops to do one thing while I work on something else so I’ll be able to get out my clothes in a timely manner.
Q: What advice would you give to future designers reading this right now?
A: Never give up on themselves. I didn’t know how to sew on a sewing machine until I got to UNCG. I wanted to change my major, I hated it. I would cry all the time because I would get bad grades in my sewing classes. The more I committed to it, the easier things became for me. Don’t give up on yourself and always work hard. Don’t listen to people that say “What are you going to do with a fashion degree?” Just let them know “When do you walk out the door naked? Never okay so I’m always going to be important.”
Q: Any fashion shows in the near future?
A: I’m a cofounder for African Fashion Week in Charlotte, NC. I’m partnering with some friends of mine has a non-profit organization called Education for Liberia. Proceeds from my fashion show will go towards that foundation. My show is going to be on August 6th, 2016 and there are going to be other events throughout the week.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Danielle Teah and her future in fashion. To stay connected with her make sure to follow her on all her social media which I have listed down below. If you love her style and could see yourself or someone you know wearing her design send her an email because she’ll love to work with you.