UNPLUGGED: How long have you been designing clothes?
NIA GRAIN: I’ve been do it for about 6 years. I started out re-designing clothes. From there, I went on to design my full line.
UNPLUGGED: What motivated you to get into the fashion industry?
NIA GRAIN: I’ve always liked fashion. There was nothing particularly that inspired me to do so. I just liked fashion and I wanted to do it so I just did it.
UNPLUGGED: Does your line have any special inspiration behind it?
NIA GRAIN: For my line, I feel every collection has its own uniqueness because of what stimulated its creation. Shapes, colors, concepts, fragrances, a good moment, a bad day and so much more can be the secret behind any designer’s creation.
UNPLUGGED: Who do you have in mind when designing clothes?
NIA GRAIN: I don’t have a particular I have in mind when designing. I customize everything. So any woman who likes what she sees can have it in her size to fit her curves. Every woman wants to walk in her own light and never really wants to be boxed in by other’s opinions and expectations.
UNPLUGGED: What’s your main clothing style?
NIA GRAIN: I’d have to say a mixture of chic and edge. A little bit of sexy. A splash of sophistication. A sprinkle of classy. Add it all up and you’ve got my clothing line.
UNPLUGGED: Do you include your personal style of clothing preference into your apparel or do you keep the 2 intentionally separate?
NIA GRAIN: No, they’re not exclusively separated. My style is included in my designs but not limited to it. I don’t sketch or anything so whatever comes to me is whatever happens.
UNPLUGGED: So what celebrity would you love to wear your designs?
NIA GRAIN: Aaliyah. Kelly Rolland. And Beyoncé.
UNPLUGGED: Do you design for men or are you exclusively a women’s clothing designer?
NIA GRAIN: I do customize designs for men but most of what I do is for women.
UNPLUGGED: do you find it difficult getting the kind of materials you need to design your clothes?
NIA GRAIN: Absolutely! Columbus doesn’t have great options for designers regarding materials to make our clothing so I have to go online. Here’s the problem with online shopping. You can’t interact with the material before purchasing it. You hope what you purchase is the same in reality as you imagine it in your mind but you never know until your package arrives.
UNPLUGGED: What is the name of your brand?
NIA GRAIN: (Smiling). The name of my brand is Nia Grain.
UNPLUGGED: Holy Crap! Is Nia Grain your real name?
NIA GRAIN: It’s the name I go by in the fashion industry. My brand and I are one. I want people to see me and think of my brand and I want people to see my designs and think of me. My designs are an extension of me and I’m an extension of them so it just makes sense to be Nia Grain.
UNPLUGGED: What’s been one of the challenges in developing your brand and getting it public notoriety?
NIA GRAIN: Expansion. I would like to do more than what I’m doing at the moment. I want to be everywhere. Mass production is my goal and I push to make that happen. My reasons for doing so is that I’m a 1-woman-show! Everything is at my fingertips and falls on my shoulders. If I don’t make it happen, it doesn’t get done. So I want to expand. I want my designs affordable with great quality. That’s why so many designers have their clothes made elsewhere like China or India because mass production in the states is expensive and a person who is doing it all by myself cannot survive mass production costs that larger design houses can afford to pay to produce in the US. I want to produce in the United States but it’s a challenge.
UNPLUGGED: Do you release designs sporadically as individual pieces or do you release them as a full collection?
NIA GRAIN: Both. I release individual pieces because I just felt like doing so. Other times, I want to showcase an entire collection. During those times, it may be a Fall or a Spring season release.
UNPLUGGED: What’s the most recent collection you’ve released?
NIA GRAIN: Rainbow Chic. It’s a fun and risky type of attire. Far beyond edgy and definitely not trendy. It’s the alternative lifestyle and attitude. It’s out of the box and free. The limits are endless and there are no lines. Freedom. That’s what it is and it’s something I believe every woman wants to be but every girl can’t wear it. You have to be a different person to rock. The best way I can describe the woman who wears Rainbow Chic would have to be one word – UNAPOLOGETIC!
UNPLUGGED: What’s Next?
NIA GRAIN: More shows! Expansion! Shoot, that’s enough (laughing)!
To contact Nia Grain, contact Phillip Bufford of Unplugged Magazine to execute your request.