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Meet Deonna Gray of GRAY Style in Greater Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deonna Gray.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Deonna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up my dream was to be fashion designer and own my own company. I was born and raised in Monroe, Michigan. There wasn’t too many opportunities in fashion like there are here in LA. As I got older, I started to give in to the idea that I had to find a more “realistic” career choice. After graduating high school, I moved across the country to pursue a degree in Mass Communications and minor in Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. My dreams of working in the fashion industry became more attainable through various internship opportunities here in Los Angeles.

My first internship was with Noelle BaJour, a designer and stylist that makes custom pieces for NBA and NFL players. Working with her reignited my passion for design. I learned so much from her about the process of design as well as business in general. Being able to communicate with various tailors and ship products was a huge learning experience for me. While in my third year of college, I got an internship with celebrity stylist, Ade Samuel. With her, I learned to navigate showrooms and assist with fittings and video shoots. The following summer, celebrity wardrobe stylist and costume designer, Ca-Trece Mas’Sey, took me under her wing and brought me on as a wardrobe assistant on a television show called Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks that aired on Tru TV. More recently, I assisted stylist Julia Platt-Hepworth on an editorial shoot with actor, Lakeith Stanfield for Tidal Magazine. Shortly after, she brought me on to assist with wardrobe for the Adidas Home of Classics brand campaign. Assisting all of these amazing women in the industry have inspired me to continue to learn, grow, and be fearless when it comes to creating my own content.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Balancing school and internships was one of my biggest challenges. School really felt like a full-time job at times. Being able to balance school, a job, and a passion required a lot of discipline. Making my passion a priority is what changed the game for me. Being on my own in a new city was never easy! Often times, I had to take major breaks for styling and work full-time jobs that weren’t necessarily my passion to pay the bills. These times were always extremely difficult for me to stay motivated. Knowing my worth and being confident in the work I have already done is a journey in itself. Anyone who freelances will tell you just how hard it is, but if you stay focused, things always come back around full circle. Being able to work with other creative people to bring my ideas to life during these times has kept me inspired.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the GRAY Style story. Tell us more about the business.
GRAY Style is focused on, but not limited to, fashion styling. My brand is dedicated to impacting the culture through style, representation, and creativity. GRAY stands for “Greatness Revolves Around You”, meaning that as long as you embody greatness, then you will begin to see it in everything and everyone surrounding you. I am most proud of how I am not afraid to work with other stylists and be a student in the game. I have learned so much and have gotten some of my greatest opportunities by assisting other people. What sets me apart is my ability to make something out of very little and think outside of the box. I love to create custom pieces based on who I’m working with that represents their personal brand and message.

I have spent a lot of time this year styling and shooting my own photoshoots to get my ideas out there with the resources I already have. Realizing that there are so many talented people around me and being willing to build with them has helped me grow as a stylist. That is what “Greatness Revolves Around You” (GRAY) is all about. I have worked with my brother/independent artist, “Mandela”, creating shirts for his brand and music videos. I have also worked closely with my friend, actress, and producer, Jearnest Corchado. I’ve enjoyed styling her for events and tape auditions, as well doing wardrobe for a short film that she produced called Hillside. Most recently, I styled singer/songwriter, Annasofia, for her music video “Friends with Benefits” directed by Cami J. Fatat.

The real key for me is not being afraid to reach out to people I admire for opportunities to learn. Being able to create my own opportunities when there doesn’t appear to be any is what has kept me going as well. I have learned to create my own lane and not limit myself when it comes to being a stylist. When you are in a creative space like this, there’s no end to what you can do.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is one thing, but I see the amazing things that have happened in my life as blessings from God. God has played a major role in where I am today. If it weren’t for my faith and spirituality, I definitely would not have gotten this far. Being able to have a goal, visualize it, then have faith that it’s possible with hard work is what allows me to keep going. That’s in life and in business. Even when there are obstacles that make me want to throw in the towel, I never give up because I’m able to pray my way through it. I know that if God gave me the gift and the vision, then he will also give me the tools and strength to overcome any difficulties.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Justin Milhouse, Deonna Gray, Dorian “Mandela” Gray, Jearnest Corchado, Cami J. Fatat

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1 Comment

  1. Katherine

    November 25, 2019 at 18:44

    Great story! I enjoyed reading this about my niece! You go Girl!

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