Allow me to re-introduce you to Briana Bigham:
Though you’ve most likely seen her light up primetime on BET’s Harlem Heights, the Atlanta native (woot!) is a very serious handbag designer with an interesting and nuanced background:
She took some time out of her busy schedule to tell you guys a bit about her fashion industry experience, her favorite handbag brands, and dole out advice for you aspiring designers!
An FIT graduate, Briana has worked for labels like Laundry by Shelli Segal, Esprit, Victoria’s Secret PINK, and Tommy Hilfiger in everything from apparel design and tech design to production. She says, “I wanted to learn all aspects of the business so when it was time to launch my own I could be self sufficient. The ultimate focus for me when I moved to New York was to start my own line, not to just work for a label.”
She did just that in April of this year, launching her line of sultry handbags named B Marie for her first initial and middle name. For her latest collection she says, “I’m inspired by a contrast of western influence and rock glam….fringes and spikes. I’m doing cross the body mini bags and saddle bags with huge studded flaps and multiple straps.”
Of course as a handbag and design expert we had to ask her about her favorite brands. She says, “Fendi is by far my favorite. Karl Lagerfeld makes unique wearable art that is functional. I think that is the strongest element when you purchase a luxury item.”
For those who can’t quite afford Fendi, she says to look for the 3 D’s when purchasing a quality handbag: “Detail, Define, and Durable. I love small unique details in a style. For example one of my favorite bags is the Fendi Spy, and it stands out with the woven handles and cool hidden compartments. You have to ask yourself, ‘Does the bag define my personal style?’ And lastly a bag has to be made with durable material that is long lasting.” Good advice!
For you aspiring designers out there, Briana says, “Education in the business and grinding are the keys to success. If you can’t go to design school full time, take draping and sewing classes, sketch, study the history of fashion, and master Illustrator. There are so many people that claim to be a “Designer”, but don’t understand the structure of building a brand. You have to do the work to be successful…anyone can write a check.”
If you want to learn more about Briana or check out her fabulous bags, visit her website, www.bmariestyle.com. She’s one to watch!