Just as vivacious as any of her breath-taking womenswear designs, Miami-based designer Kiana Davis makes size-inclusive pieces that make every wearer feel sexy and confident. Growing up, she’d often watch her grandmother put together clothing pieces for her and as Kiana got older, she went to school to study design before ultimately dropping out. One thing that stood out was her attention to detail, from style, color, to even fabric and that love eventually evolved into the beloved Kiki The Brand.
One summer in 2017, after spending a lump sum of money on swimwear, she decided to take matters into her own hands and created Kiki The Brand, formerly known as Kiki’s Kinis. “I got such a positive response in such a short time so the next day I went out and bought fabric,” she shares. Her hand-crafted designs rapidly took the Internet by storm and were recognized as a fashion-forward brand that has been seen on celebrities such as Bella Hadid.
Fast forward to now, Kiki The Brand has carved its own space out in sustainable fashion. Kiana Davis shared that she has her own factory, and the womenswear label is set to rebrand this coming year in addition to new collections and designs. “I was doing everything all by myself whether it be customer service and making orders,” Davis explains. “Now, over the past two years, I’ve been able to get a warehouse, a team, and a factory overseas.” Not slowing down any time soon, Kiki The Brand continues to shine bright and make every woman who wears one of their pieces feel sexy and courageous.
In our latest interview, we got to chat with the lovely Kiana Davis about Kiki The Brand, advice for young women looking to break into fashion, and empowering women through her pieces. Check it out below!
Where did your interest in fashion start?
Probably when I was born! My grandma when I was younger, used to make dresses for me, and she used to make clothes all the time. So I would sit with her and watch her so it’s been around me since I was really young. The grade I started my fashion club, I would just take the girls that were interested and we’d do little sketches. Then in high school, I was in fashion for four years and I decided that I didn’t want to do design at all and that I wanted to get into the business of fashion. So I got into it in college then I dropped out after two years of doing my business.
Tell me a bit about Kiki The Brand, what’s the story behind that ultimately coming to fruition?
I started summer of 2017, and that was because I went on vacation in June and spent like $400 on just a few bikinis. I totally get it, I love bikinis so I totally understanding spending that much but I was like, “I can just make a bathing suit myself.” So I took an old t-shirt from my brother’s room and turned it into a bathing suit. I posted it on my story and was like, “who would buy bathing suits from me if I sell them?” I got such a positive response in such a short time so the next day I went out and bought fabric.
We love your designs! Describe the design process from conception to realization.
Basically, I just think of something and I sketch it if I can’t run to my sowing machine. I’ll make it or I will run to my sowing machine and make the initial piece. Ever since I’ve grown, it’s been hard for me to sow or make custom orders. Now, I’ll just make the piece and give it to my seamstress and they’ll make a bit more of them for orders or inventory.
Your label is all about empowering women. How do you think fashion builds confidence?
I make the pieces because I genuinely like them and it’s something that I wear. I like wearing things that make me feel sexy and confident, and that allow me show off my body so I want to give the girls the same feeling.
There’s so many ways, for me fashion is a way of expression. With anything I wear, my pieces are meant to fit every body type. Their stretchy, their comfortable. I want people to be able to wear it and still look sexy and any body size can wear it because it fits every curve.
You’ve had everyone from Bella Hadid to Skai Jackson show your brand love, do you have a dream muse and if so, why that particular person?
Of course, Rihanna! I need to put Rihanna and Doja Cat in my pieces. Those are great women, I love their message and sensuality, and sexuality. Everything that they exert is perfect. When I make my pieces, I see them. Rihanna is my biggest inspiration because she’s dabbled in almost everything.
Talk to me a bit about what’s next for Kiki The Brand, do you have anything exciting coming down the pipeline?
I have a few things! For my brand, I am currently doing a rebrand in and out because I started the brand all by myself. So I was doing everything all by myself whether it be customer service and making orders. Now, over the past two years, I’ve been able to get a warehouse, a team, and a factory overseas. Also, my in-house seamstresses so my workload is a lot less than what it was before. With that, I have to make some tweaks and rebrand.
Next year in January is when people will see some changes. The first collection of 2022, you’ll see a huge difference because I’ll be doing film, campaigns, roll outs. I’m working on that now because during quarantine I wasn’t really able to do photoshoots. I’m going to dabble in lifestyle and home goods too, but right now I’m currently in the middle of opening a café in South Beach Miami.
What advice would you give to young women looking to break into the fashion industry?
Do what you want, don’t listen to other people, and don’t stop. I think if you’re passionate about something, you’re going to keep going and not let anything get in the way.
If you enjoyed our conversation with Kiana Davis, check out our interview with Alasia Shalai!