It’s hard not to be in awe of Romero Bryan. As a teenanger, he was already well on the way to success as a fashion designer and stylist having had his creations worn by Usher, Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland to name but a few.
After graduating from London College of Fashion in 2005 with continued global notoriety, Romero has released consecutive seasons of stunning, cutting edge pieces – most recently worn by Supermodel Alex Wek and admired by Michelle Obama. Romero is listed on the Bank of Scotland Rich list 2020 with a predicted estimated fortune exceeding £30 million.
It seems very fitting to be interviewing Romero Bryan today for ‘Inspire Me’ as having known him for some time now – he has done just this with his talent, focus and supportive positivity. But, also as a fan of Romero’s work and his intrinsic talent for style.
Romero, how did your career start out ?
My mother was a Fashion Buyer throughout my childhood years, so I was always around new collections before it hit shop floors. My grand parents were both Tailors and seamstresses too, so it was only natural for me to gain an interest in fashion at such a young age.
By the age of 12, just entering secondary school – I had already learnt how to make a shirt and trouser.
Who and what inspired you ?
I have been inspired by many people and many things in my life.
The people that inspired me firstly were my family members already in the fashion trade ie my mother and grandparents.
Watching fashion related programmes on television – featuring designers like John Galliano, Westwood & McQueen, such as FASHION TV growing up was always a treat. So you can just imagine the joy it brought once I had my very own work showcased on fashion TV seen by millions worldwide.
What’s the best thing about being a fashion designer ?
I love dressing women in CONFIDENCE. Nothing is more rewarding than giving a woman confidence through dressing her in your work.
Besides being financially rewarding eventually LOL, the feeling of making a lady feel great about herself gives me chills.
Infact, everytime a client sends me pictures of themselves wearing purchases from the brand, along with how nice they felt, I get all excited like a child in a sweet shop. LOL.
How does each season work ? How far ahead do you have to be with each collection ?
Considering its only July 2012, Im already working on producing the collection for SS collection for 2013, like most other designers.
We’re two seasons ahead of whats being sold in stores.
Infact, sometimes I get ahead of myself and design even further into the future, as Im always bursting with ideas, that my team have to stop me at times hehe.
So the SS’12 collection as worn by Alek Wek and adored by 1st Lady Michelle Obama being sold RIGHT NOW, was actually designed even as far back as January 2011 and show-cased in New York September 2011. So that should give the readers some idea as to how far ahead we work ahead of whats being sold in stores.
Do you have particular fabrics that you like to work with and why ?
Anyone who knows ROMERO BRYAN will know that SILK CHIFFON is my absolute favourite fabric to work with.
Its so feminine and floaty, almost dream like. I love seeing a woman wearng silk chiffon with the natural air hitting it, creating shapes moulded by the air.
Im turning myself on here, Lucy maybe I should stop hehehe.
But yep, Silk Chiffons is a must in every ROMERO BRYAN collection ;)
With your designs being world renowned, you must travel alot for all of your shows.. how do you manage everything ?
Actually that’s a real good question hun. LOL.
Well first and foremost id like to thank my beautiful team especially my right hand lady – my PA ‘Sophia Borovick’ and fabric sponsors ‘Borovick Fabrics Ltd’ in London.
Sophia as I refer to her, is the brain behind helping to manage the brand’s affairs.
Don’t tell her this, but as well as a real good friend – she’s like a ‘proud mother’- always reminding me to do things both in my personal life ( ie. vitamin tablets & to rest up well ) as well as brand related issues.
She remembers everything I forget hehe ;)
My head of PR Sarah Goods is of great help too.
My mother helps with the sewing of odd jobs in between her own busy life. My sister helps with the odd jobs here and there, but now has started her own life lol. And my dad as my mum calls him ‘ROMERO BRYANS BANK of DADDY’ hehe
So you see it isnt just ‘me’ in team work.
It’s a group of us that help make everything happen.
Your designs have been seen on many celebrities including Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland – who would you like to see next in a Romero Bryan piece ?
Well I’m quite fond of 1st Lady Michelle Obama, as I think she is gorgeous.
Ooooooo and I LOVE ADELE.
I thought I’d let the hype surrounding Adele die down a bit, as I didn’t want to be influenced by the press when she first released her album, but OMG her talent is off the CHAIN!
Her album is now on constant replay. Lots of tears shed to the album since purchasing it months after every one else, but she is a true talent, and I’d love nothing more than to dress her one day.
Are there any designers or brands that you would love to collaborate with at some point ?
Incase anyone in the fashion industry reads this, I won’t comment there. but lets just say I have been approached by a few companies in the past that I have turned down due to not feeling ready for such a commitment.
But I have grown since then, and have learnt not to answer questions like this in case I shoot myself in the foot, mentioning an opposing company that has interest in wanting to work with the ROMERO BRYAN brand.
Is there any advice you can offer to someone just starting out in the world of design ?
There’ll be times that all you’ll ever hear is the word ‘NO’ but please learn not to take things so personal.
My first lover told me whenever I am told ‘NO’ in my career to take it as ‘NOT YET’ and keep knocking on those doors.
What kind of attributes would you say are needed to be a successful fashion designer?
CREATIVE PASSION, DETERMINATION, BUSINESS MIND ( or at least a good business partner lol )
How do you see the next five years panning out for you ?
Within the next 5 years, the brand ROMERO BRYAN should be in boutiques worldwide alongside the top luxury brands. In terms of shows, I am thinking up new cost effective ways of promoting the brand and who knows by then, they’ll be new more advanced innovative ways of having your work showcased.
But overall, within the next 5 years, I would like the brand to be a self sustained profit-making company.
Lastly ( but definitely not least ) … what are your proudest career moments to date ?
Meeting my childhood idol – Grammy Award winning singer & actress BRANDY. Having her purchase garments from my collection was a dream come true. Infact anytime I become drained and unsure about making it in this fashion industry, I close my eyes and remember that feeling I got when she made my dreams come true.
Showcasing my work in the V&A (Kulture 2 Couture) and having Naomi Campbell in the front row – shouting out my name whilst I walked the finale. WOW…. I get chills still thinking about it now lol.
Showcasing my work in my homeland Jamaica was another great feeling.
Dressing Alek Wek in my gown, having been a big fan of her.
Being told by White House Staff that Michelle Obama is very proud of my work ethics and adores my collections as worn by Alek Wek.
A very special thanks to Romero Bryan for sharing his wisdom and inspirations. You can find his website at www.romerobryan.co.uk, become a fan on his Facebook page or follow on Twitter.
Creative team Credits:
Photos 2,3 & 4 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photograper: Nathan Small. Creative Director/Stylist: Sarah – Adiana Butler. Hair: Sarah Tucholska.
Photo 5. Alex Wek wears Romero Bryan S/S 12.
Photo 6 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photogrpaher: Adam Bennett. Styling and Creative Direction: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Zaiba Khan.
Photo 7 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Couture Latin Fashion Week. New York.
Photo 8 Romero Bryan A/W 12 range.Photgrapher: Luke Woodford. Hair and Make up: Rosie Lee.
Photo 9 Romero Bryan S/S 11. Photographer: Ryan Lue-Clarke. Make up: Loni L Jones. Hair: Kenya Henry.
Photo 10 Romero Bryan. Photographer: Karl Bryan. Stylist: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Natasha Horton.