Dani Brown is one of those individuals whose youth doesn’t match her experience. As a matter of fact if you were to sum her just based on her appearance you’d be missing out on a lot. She’s tall, slender, stylish, and doe-eyed gorgeous with just enough melanin to give her skin that cocoa finish. So you’re thinking to yourself “she’s a model”, and you’d be right. But you’d be wrong too. This is where she fools you. She’s only 25 but Dani is a vetran of the fashion industry here in Dallas. As a model, stylist, and now with her own agency Artisan By Trade where she reps Hair and make up artists, illustrators, sylists and photographers. This Dallas native by way of Pleasant Grove has been a staple on the creative scene in her city for a long time. You’d be hard pressed to find a model, director, designer, or photographer who she hasn’t crossed paths with. She played an integral part in helping this series come together so it was only right that we sit down and pick her brain a little
IT: What led you to do what you do now or how did you get started?
I’ve always had a creative background. I went to the Booker T. Washington School for visual arts and did a lot of painting, drawing, and mixed media. From there I studied fashion design. I’ve always loved it. My dad was one of those people who would dress up just to go to Walmart, so presentation was always key growing up. He would say you never know who you’re going to meet so you have to prepare to do so. From there I started modeling and I did my first photo shoot my freshman year of college. A photographer friend of mine told me how much he liked my style and suggested that I be a stylist. So then I started styling all of his photo shoots and from there it blossomed. I started reaching out to other photographers and then they would hire me and I’ve been busy ever since.
What is your opinion of the art scene here in Dallas?
It’s growing! It’s had its ups and downs. We’ve been more buyers in the past without actually having our own thing but with so many people moving here I think its becoming what we always knew it could be.
What were your earliest influences artistically?
I would have to say Van Gough honestly. I was really inspired by his use of colors and the medium over all. And his story, it’s kind of heart breaking if you look him up. It’s really sad and to think he didn’t become famous until after his death. Syle-wise I would say Edward Enninful over there at W Magazine in New York. He’s definitely someone I look up to as far as aesthetics and just his approach to style.
What has been you experience being a woman in this industry positive or negative?
I thinks its been pretty positive. In the industry it is kind of ruled by men as far as who is creating the fashion. A lot of your main designers of all the big fashion lines are designed by men. The ironic thing is that they are women’s wear designers. I’m glad there is an interest and growth of women trying to take more of a lead in this industry but I will say that as an African American woman I am one of a very few who are stylists.
What inspires you?
What doesn’t inspire me is the real question. I get inspired by a lot. Sometimes it’s the model herself. It can even be someone’s photography. It’s everything around me. You got to be able to find it. Like some people struggle with inspiration, I struggle with not to be so inspired by everything.
What gives you the most joy doing what you do?
Finishing it and seeing the reaction from people. The excitement as it builds throughout the shoot. Knowing that I was able to get one of my artistic visions out in a way that can be shown visually. That’s what brings me a lot of joy.
What is that you bring to the table artistically that is unique to you?
My vision. The way I look at things and how I approach the subject I would say is different. The way I look at fashion and the way I look at my work, I look at it as an art form. I put a lot of passion into it.
My agency Artisan By Trade is my main priority right now. I definitely looking to expand my clientele. So watch out!