Kouture Squad: Brandi Welch aka GraffitiFace
Name: Brandi Welch
Hometown/Current Place of Residence: Louisville, KY/ New York City
Occupation/Business: Buyer/ Showroom Manager
It's been a while since I have been able to do a "Kouture Squad" post and I am so excited to kick them off again with someone whose spirit is just as genuine as her talent is great. Brandi is a southern belle turned New York stylist whose passion for fashion is sure to turn heads wherever she goes, think metallic ensamble paired with bright red lips. Read more about Brandi & her bold fashion below!
Many of us know you as "Graffiti Face," I take it, it might have a little to do with the way you did you makeup back in college. How did you adopt that nickname?
You are exactly right, I was doing my makeup before going out one Christmas night, when I said "your know what I'm gonna draw a little design on my face tonight!" It became my signature go-to when I wanted to spice it up! I realized later that the colors of the eyeshadow and my signature scribble sort of mimicked Graffiti! Then GraffitiFace was born! The name soon after became my brand, as a stylist. As I feel that the two are the same! "Graffiti has no template, it is a freehand form of art, which the Vision, only the artist can foresee." Style and Creativity should be perceived that same way, there's no right or wrong way!
It's obvious that you eat, sleep, & breathe fashion. You have become sort of a fashion maven. When did you get into fashion & when did you know it was something you wanted to do as a career?
Whew, I've been creative practically my whole life, I mean, I literally graduated from Pre-K with a comb in my hand saying "when I grow up, I wanna be a beautician!" (Meanwhile all the other kids wore fireman hats and Doctor suits). Lol. My mom still tells that story. I've always been fearless when it came to anything that I've ever done to mold my identity. From dying my hair Platinum blond, to chopping it off before short cuts were "the thing!" Wait, Oh yea, and the fact that I was forced to cut it, due to my hair falling out from the platinum blonde. Yikes! Oh well, I grew to love it anyway! I've always been different, with ease. Over time I began to embrace that and thought , "hmm I can do something with this!" Through studying Fashion Design in college and dreaming of New York City! I knew that this was my destiny!
You currently reside in New York. What was the transition like moving from a small town to a big city such as New York?
It was transitional, I lived in Washington, D.C. first, which was a huge move for me but I was so excited and ready, that not One day brought me fear. I lived there for almost 4 years which was a perfect stepping stone from Kentucky to NYC! There I was exposed to so many different cultures, and learned so much and about how to maneuver in a larger city. That made the Big NYC move a breeze!
What prompted that move and what was your first gig when you moved and how did you land it?
Well I've always wanted to move away, and I knew that NY was where I needed to be. It was like deja Vu, I kept seeing The Art Institute commercials while in college (residing in Bowling Green, Ky) and felt like it was a sign from God that I needed to go! ASAP! I called my godmother and told her I was moving to DC with her. There was no looking back from there.
How did you find the job opportunity you currently have? Tell us a little more about it, what do you do on a day to day basis? What's your favorite part about what you do?
Well I've worked as a stylist for over 5years. I literally moved to DC with zero connections. Through networking, I met a makeup artist who wanted me to style her shoot! It was my first photoshoot! I was so excited and nervous. I was only styling accessories since it was only head shots... Oh but I Styyyyled them accessories honey! Later on I saw one of the models from that photoshoot in a Talib Kweli video and was like, "wait a minute, I know her!" Reached out to her, got connected to the director of the video and started styling music videos. I had the chance to work with artists from Raheem Devaunh, Bun B, and eventually started styling Free from 106th and Park! Its been such a thrill!! A bit stressful, but more satisfying! I Love it, there's always a challenge for me to conquer and become better!
In the midst of my styling work, I've also worked for a boutique Muleh for almost 6 years! My boss was shopping at Nordstrom (where I was working at the time) and was so pleased with my service, that she offered me a position at her boutique. I had no clue that I was going to be working at the most beautiful, dopest boutique in DC. Which would eventually open a NY location leading to my transition to Ny! Now I Am building my name as a stylist in NY, as well as working as a buyer and a showroom manager for Muleh! It's all called "Gods Plan!"
What is New York Fashion Week like? Of course it's every girls dream to go! Well, mine anyway lol. Which shows that you've seen have been your favorite so far?
It's a Dream! It's my most anticipated moment of the year! To get all dressed up in my most extravagant attire or whatever I'm feeling for that day, walk around like I'm Beyoncé, prepared for the Paparazzi to catch me from every angle, it's still indescribable! The thing that I love most about NYFW is the freedom to push your style to the Max!! I'm talking big hats, long skirts, Vibrant colors,(wait I do that everyday! Hehe) These are the looks that you gotta make count! You never know who will get a glance at your look! Another Amazing part of NYFW is going to the shows!!! It's the most thrilling feeling when all the light turn off and the runway music begins, ShowTime!! I must say that my top 3 shows were Jeremy Scott, Vivienne Tam, and the Yeezy Season 2! All full of energy Color and Freedom!
Let's talk social media. My favorite part about your Instagram are the videos lol. I feel like they've almost become your signature. What's the story behind the videos? Did anything in particular prompt you to start making them?
You know what's so funny, I always talk about how I started doing "snapchat" way before snapchat! "Hell I should get a check!" Lol, but seriously! When I moved away I always wanted to give my followers an insider on my life, or the way that I maneuver through it. Whether it be a video of me working at a photoshoot, walking down the streets in NYC, or me just being silly goofy me. Ive never been afraid to show my life, personality, and humor. Also I've always felt that it's vital for people to be exposed a world outside of their own! However for a while, I truly wasn't aware of how many people actually paid attention to me! It's always very humbling, and pleasing to know!
Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I'd like to have a fully developed brand. Traveling consistently to style clients all around the world! While having a solid team! GraffitiFace will be constantly evolving, with new ways to express the passion for style and creativity! Connecting to all angles of people. Learning and teaching different cultural influence to fashion! GraffitiFace will be an empire that I plan to pass down to my children to continue on!
What advice would you give other young girls wanting to break into the fashion industry?
Stay true to you and your passion! If you have a vision, fight for it! Make people a believer, by any means. Listen, always be open for fresh advice (you can never know too much). It's always great to have mentors to guide you! Last but not least, Know Your Stuff!! I can't scream it enough that we must be informed and educated. This industry is extremely cut throat, and you are always up against other people who wants the spot just as much as you! Study brands, designers, silhouettes, fabrics, etc! I'm still learning to follow my own advice. But overall I'd say "Always chase your dreams, and don't stop running until they come true!"
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is Vibrant, Bold, Edgy, Classy, Confident, and continuously evolving! I've always been a fan of color (as anyone who knows me, knows), however, as my style has evolved I've figured out a way to not wear as many colors but still stand out. I've alway been concrete with myself. Therefore I don't dress to please anyone but me! I love to dress sporty with an edge, most! Im a Dress and sneakers kinda girl! Also being that I am a "thick" girl I've always made a conscious effort show sex appeal a bit different, though silhouette verses showing much skin. It Leaves more to the imagination!
Top 3 favorite designers?
That's pretty tough to narrow down, ok here goes:
If you could only wear one, filled in brows or a bold lip, which would it be?
Basketball or football?
Pizza or Sushi?
Heels or Flats?
Flats, meaning Cool Sneakers!!!
Top 3 favorite celebrity styles & why?
Tracey Ellis Ross
They All, dress for themselves, showcasing Confidence And Style!!!
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
"Brandi you will be great, Believe in your Full potential, and Follow your instincts, Have Faith, Gods Got You!!!"
Be sure to keep up with Brandi on all of her platforms:
Love, Life, & Light
Trying to Live in my Dreams,