Fashion Stylist & Designer
Don’t Judge Me Clothing
Don’t Judge Me Clothing is a fashion label designed to make a statement about the trials and tribulations faced by women in everyday life.
Founded by fashion stylist, designer and tutor Denise Brown, Don’t Judge Me Clothing launched in London in 2007.
Experienced in styling both menswear and womenswear, Denise has worked for some of the biggest names in pop culture including Kanye West, Rihanna, Gym Class Heroes, Macy Gray, Nelly Furtado and Mr Hudson. Denise’s international clients include MTV, Nickelodeon, Polaroid and New Era.
In addition to her appointment as fashion editor at Flavour magazine, Denise is a mentor and tutor at Dv8 Training, an organisation supporting 16-18 year olds in the pursuit of their dream jobs in music, fashion and event management.
Why did you decide to start your company?
I started Don’t Judge Me Clothing because I wanted to send a message to all the people that made me feel worthless and prove that I can do more, and will do more.
I also wanted to represent all the women that have to go through being judged on an everyday basis because of their gender, race, religion, etc.
How was your company name conceived?
I came up with the name as a result of my life journey and the different experiences I had to deal with.
When I first came into the styling industry as an assistant, I felt different. I was a single mother coming from a disadvantaged background and dealing with street life and fitting in the industry.
Did you always know you would start your own business?
Yes, when I was younger I used to work as a sample cutter and design assistant for a few high street companies. I felt like that was a job that I was going to have to work hard at for a good 10-15 years before I became something.
Where can I buy your Don’t Judge Me Clothing collection?
I’m selling vests online at www.dontjudgemeclothing.com and a new range will launch next year.
Tell me more about your roles at Dv8 Training and Flavour magazine, how do maintain a work/life balance?
It’s been okay because I’ve been selling the same printed vest for a while and been getting a lot of customers in USA, so I do that from home.
I work part time as a tutor with 16-18 year olds at DV8 Training on the Fashion & Styling course. I mentor and teach young people how to make clothes.
I love working with young people, especially disadvantaged youngsters with challenging behavior. It gives me more satisfaction when they finish the course and are happy with the knowledge I’ve shared with them. I work for Flavour magazine as the fashion editor, I have my own style page and I style six pages of fashion.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a few photo shoots for a few magazines. I also want to get someone to represent me to take me to the next level.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
The main highlight is that I’m my own boss, work anytime I want and have no one to answer to.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Running my business by myself. I had to put it on hold for a long time to focus on my styling career and I am now having to get back on track.
What has been your proudest business moment so far?
Mariah Carey wearing my t-shirt, styling Kanye West and over 4 million hits to date I’ve achieved on The Jump Off TV.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
My past, Iyanla Vanzant books and God.
If you could turn back the clock would you do anything differently?
I would have created a better plan for the future and a team to help me. I would also have researched more t shirts, rhinestones and printers.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a fashion business?
Spend less money by designing a small collection of t-shirts or clothes. Once that’s up and running promote it and don’t stop until you achieve great interviews to promote your brand.
It takes a long time to make the money but believe in it, and it will succeed.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
I’m going to have a bigger collection and I’ll be selling it all over the world.
Denise, is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m going to start my personal shopping business next year for individuals and I’m running a private fashion & styling course on Saturdays in January – February for anyone who would like to learn my industry techniques.
Please check out my site www.thehandsthatcreatefashioncourses.com and for further details please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Denise Brown was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.
Do you have a question for Denise? If so, please feel free to post a comment below: