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Meet Aceani Michelle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aceani Michelle.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started for me back in fourth grade. That’s the earliest I can remember wanting to be a fashion designer. I always loved to draw and create clothes, but honestly I had no idea what I was doing. At the time, brands like Baby Phat and Sean John were popular. I would draw designs with those names and logos and imagine my friends wearing it. That was super exciting for me. Through the years, I grew more interested in fashion design and became a student of my craft. I would be the kid drawing on my notes and homework and on the bus rides to and from school. I rarely played with my Barbies, but during this time, I began to use the Barbie clothes to style them as models. That turned into me experimenting with my clothes and eventually teaching myself how to sew.

Fast forward to my junior year of high school, I got the opportunity to showcase my first collection. I showcased my second collection as my senior thesis a year later. Styling was something I stumbled on by accident after I moved to LA. One of my friends was aware of my situation and job hunt. She pointed out a stylist she knew while we were at a party one night. I went up to him to introduce myself shortly after with the intention of following-up with him until something worked out. Deep down, I knew he would respect my tenacity and hustle. He had a very warm spirit that I was drawn to and I instantly knew that was God’s intention for me being at that party. I ended up working on my first project with the same stylist the very next week and my work with him continues along with two other stylists I’ve connected with since then. My ultimate goal still remains to do fashion design and build a luxury apparel and lifestyle brand. Styling has taught me many valuable lessons and granted me so many great relationships. Though it was unexpected, it feels right and aligned with what I want to do in the future.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road hasn’t been smooth for me, but I wouldn’t define any part of the journey as a struggle. My dad often uses sports to explain life, so I’ve always looked at my journey as a marathon. There have been many different hurdles I’ve had to jump over and obstacles I’ve had to pivot around. When I first started, the biggest obstacle was my age. I began working in the fashion industry at 16 years old. While I had support locally, there were a lot of people on a national level not willing to hear me out simply because of how young I was. In addition to that, my move itself was a hurdle and process because of the spontaneity of it. I spent months sleeping on my friend’s couch trying to make things work. Even when I first moved in, my room was an empty space with an air mattress and my suitcase as my nightstand for a few more months. Along with that, I couldn’t fully support myself from styling in the beginning, and finding a full-time job in my field was truly a mission. I have been actively pursuing my dream for the last eight years, facing many obstacles and challenges but also an abundance of lessons and blessings. Through it all, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Aceani Michelle Brands – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I always like to tell people that I’m an architect in the intersection of art and fashion. As a designer, my goal is to create an experience and tell stories through textiles. I’m currently finding the nuances in both menswear and womenswear so that I can marry the two and occupy that space. As a stylist, my goal is to help clients develop their character or create a new one. This is my playground because I get to step outside of myself and get direction from realms that I may have never gone on my own. Storytelling is the overarching theme in both areas for me.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
So far, my proudest moment has been filtering the information I’ve gained in this industry back into my community. I had access to different resources and experiences in fashion growing up that a lot of kids don’t have, especially in the Midwest. My dream is to develop programs that connect kids with different resources, education, and opportunities to help show that fashion is attainable and that there are many sectors and areas that they CAN pursue and flourish in.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

(Images 1 & 2) Designer: Aceani Michelle | Model: Kyleigh Coomer
(Images 3 & 4) Creative Director/Producer: Raven Irabor | Photographer: Jonathan Adjahoe | Stylist: Aceani Michelle | H/MUA: TaNazjha Washington | Talent: Raven Irabor

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