Black History Month on Making the Flame ends on a high note with this interview of Daniel Grier, an incredibly creative fashion designer – and self-taught, no less! In addition to developing his gift into an eye-catching fashion brand, he has also given other creatives the opportunity to share their gifts. But let me not tell you about him! He can do it better. So without further ado, here’s Daniel!
Hi Daniel! Where are you from?
DANIEL: My name is Daniel Grier, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. I have since relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.
What is your brand name & mission statement or motto?
DANIEL: My brand is Splashed by DKG. Our mission statement is that Splashed by DKG is a fashion brand that exists to make everyday look and feel like a runway. We firmly believe that when you look your best, you feel and can perform at your best. Our motto? Make a Statement! Make a Splash!
DANIEL: I founded my brand in 2013 by adding textiles to existing garments. I have since created collections based on our bold, street-wear aesthetic. After participating in over 20 fashion shows in the first 3 years of business, I founded Magic City Fashion Week to provide opportunities to artists of color and other marginalized communities, to present their craft on a professional platform. MCFW hosts a designer competition, runway shows, and other creative events each year in the fall, in Birmingham, Alabama.
Who taught you your creative skills?
DANIEL: I am a self taught designer. My passion was always in the styling of garments, which led to me creating one of a kind looks and that led to design. I still style clients as well, but literally everything I have learned about this industry has come from learning as I go. I have always had a wild imagination that still serves me to this day.
Do you try to honor or represent your family’s story and Black history in your work?
DANIEL: I definitely do my best to honor the past in my work. I draw much of my inspiration from the struggle of low funding, being self taught, and my very humble beginnings. Who knew going to the flea market and thrift shops every weekend with my grandmother to find those one of a kind pieces would be so influential in who I am today? I also draw a lot from the history, struggle, passion, talent, and courage of my heritage. My most recent Magic City Fashion Week’s theme was “Being Black is My Power.” The goal with that theme was for the designers and everyone involved to celebrate their heritage and be proud of who they are! Be proud of what ingredients have made us who we are.
DANIEL: I feel just by being true to ourselves and knowing our history respectfully celebrates Black history. It’s so important for us to educate ourselves on those that paved the way before us and to honor those legacies as well. We can also do so by collaborating and supporting each others work.
How would you like to contribute to Black history in 2020?
DANIEL: I want to contribute by continuing to be myself. To express myself authentically. To continue to build a platform that promotes, inspires, and transforms others so that it doesn’t have to be as difficult [for them] as it was for me to grow as a self taught designer.
What do you have planned for your brand in 2020?
DANIEL: I am currently working on my next collection. I am also growing the MCFW brand to provide even more opportunities and education. I also want to do more to educate people from my home city on how to start a career in fashion and maintain a business in the long run.
Whew! Daniel is out here doing things. Please check out his site and his social! Links are below. Thanks so much for joining me for Black History Month on Making the Flame – I really hope you got something out of the stories and words from these three fabulous sewing creatives. <3