By Chantell Black
Exactly two weeks shy of her 29thbirthday, Vanessa Simmons will debut her line, Rose by Vanessa Jean at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 in Miami on July 22. If you watched the reality series Daddy’s Girls on MTV, you would have seen Vanessa Simmons and her younger sister Angela building the Pastry shoe brand as young entrepreneurs working outside of the shadow of their famous dad Rev Run of the legendary rap group Run DMC. Now, Vanessa is branching out on her own to a wider demographic and adding a swimwear and lingerie line to her extensive fashion collection.
BlackEnterprise.com spoke to the fashion mogul about the inspiration to her new venture, her business partners that have contributed to making this dream a reality and why this line truly represents the women of color.
You and your sister stepped into the fashion scene with Pastry. Working by yourself with this line, how does the swimwear and intimate apparel compare to working with the sneaker designing process?
Simmons: Creating Pastry will always be a special bond that Ang[ela] and I share, it taught me a lot about the business of fashion and I am so excited to use what I’ve learned to start up Rose by Vanessa Jean. It is definitely a lot different designing lingerie than sneakers especially because a lot of it is concentrated on a woman’s body and getting the right fit down packed.
What inspired you to launch a swimwear line? Where does the name Rose come from?
Well, the line actually started with a few corsets I designed and had made for myself. I wore one of them out with friends and they all wanted me to design one for them and out of that it grew to Rose by Vanessa Jean. I named the line Rose because when you look at a rose it’s very pretty to look at and smells great. But if you look closely, there are thorns all up and down the stem and to me those thorns represent our flaws [as women] and our story, all which makes us imperfectly perfect!
Many women of color have complained about bathing suits that don’t properly fit. How does your line differ from the other swimsuit collections out right now?
Our designs will aim to be personal for women of all shapes and sizes.