Fake It Til You Make It | Brianna Wu
“For the past year I’ve poured my heart and soul creating a brand that could guide and inspire others to really utilize and make the most out of a single piece of clothing. What makes BRIAVIA different than your ordinary brand is that YOU are your own designer… there’s no wrong way to wear anything. With that being said, every product gives the consumer the opportunity to wear each item in several ways. I personally source all my fabrics and get everything made in Los Angeles. What a lot of people also don’t know is that all of my pieces are inspired and named after a city i’ve traveled to. I remember sitting on my suitcase trying to fit everything and thinking to myself, “I wish there was a brand that could help me pack less. I know I don’t NEED to bring 3 cardigans but I don’t want to be wearing the same thing in all my photos.” I basically had the idea of creating a multifunctional item for my own traveling convenience.” -Brianna Wu
About two years ago, Brianna Wu was introduced to the world of fashion and never turned back. Moving to California had a huge influence on her life. It was the reason she entered the fashion industry. “Coming from New Jersey, I never really had any friends who pursued in fashion. I’m pretty sure my hometown friends wanted to kill me because I’d always ask them to take my “Outfit of the Day” photos haha. My main influence who really pushed me is one of my closest friends Amy. She was my first fashion oriented friend who really opened the doors of Blogging,” Brianna says.
Fake It Til You Make It
Moving out to California alone is definitely a scary experience for anyone. Just turning 18 and 2,000 miles away from friends and family, Brianna Wu was no exception. “I remember being so paranoid I put a tracker on my phone and keys and gave it to a friend out here. I knew if I disappeared for some reason, no one would even notice. Therefore this would be the safest thing to do,” Brianna says. She went on to take a chance despite her fears. She began to search for stability while out in California. The first step was to find a job. “Being so young, it was hard to get a job. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many jobs available in Los Angeles but I didn’t want to settle for less. I was picky, I specifically looked for jobs that would benefit my future. Yeah I liked fashion, but I didn’t want to work in retail because all I would gain would be clothes folding skills. Also I wouldn’t be able to survive off the wages. So for the jobs I applied for, no one wanted to hire an 18 year old without college degree or experience. After countless amounts of failed interviews, I decided to take another route- “Fake it till you make it”,” Brianna explained.
Taking the expression in a literal sense, Brianna managed to fabricate her resume and pretended to be 23 with a degree. “I think what really helped was that I had a pretty successful Fashion blog which gave me credibility that I knew how to market myself and showed that I was really was passionate about fashion. I took only freelance jobs saying my lowest rate was 40/hr so I never had to give my social security to my bosses, this way they couldn’t actually tell how old I was. I remember having to get a fake ID because i’d be invited out to Happy Hour with my coworkers. Anyways, I worked with a bunch of clothing companies doing marketing, consulting, social media managing, content creating, anything I could think of that I saw would help teach me how to run my own ecommerce site. I specifically would try to aim for newer companies because this way I could see how they got started and what failed and what worked. Looking back, it’s crazy because I had interns working under me! The morale of this story isn’t to lie about everything… to me, if you truly want something you need to believe in yourself until it happens. Even though I can admit I was totally under qualified for a lot of jobs I had, I worked so hard and made sure I gave 110% on everything until it worked. As cliche as it sounds, confidence is key!” Brianna says.
As Brianna’s blog gained success, she became even more inspired. “As I started Fashion Blogging, eventually my audience grew and I started getting messages of how I was inspiring them. I felt like I had a purpose for once and wanted to continue inspiring,” Brianna expresses. This sparked her idea of actually designing products as well. She creates multifunctional pieces that allows the consumers to wear them in any way that is unique to them. Her line is all about finding your own style and expressing yourself. She designs in a way that allows others to creatively express their styles however they want to.
Her audience and the consumers that she designs for continue to be her inspiration and is also the reason she continues on even when things get tough. “I can’t even remember how many times I’ve wanted to give up and just move back to New Jersey. I’ve come so far in my journey to just quit. And even if I went back home to NJ, I already knew I wouldn’t hear the end of people telling me I was stupid and should’ve went to college and taken the traditional route like everyone else was. I used all the people who have taken advantage of me and screwed me over as motivation to work harder. I want people to look back and think to themselves, “Wow I regret not showing up to that meeting. I could’ve been part of something great.” I want to one day set an example that if you are truly passionate about something and work hard enough, you can get there. Not to mention how rewarding it is to see my customers happy. One of the most rewarding parts of my journey is when customers send me photos of them wearing my pieces in ways I didn’t even design them to be worn. This is what BRIAVIA is about, there are no limits! People are being creative and thinking out of the box!” Brianna says.
Where do you see yourself & your brand / company in 10 years?
10 years from now I see myself married, with a family and a house. I hope to be on the Millionaires under 25 list as well as set an example to Women and Asian Americans. BRIAVIA will be exactly the same, just with more styles. I never want to change the multifunctionality, convenience, and quality of my brand, but I am thinking of maybe adding other reversible/multifunctional brand’s pieces onto my site. BRIAVIA will never sell normal clothes for sure though.
Who do you consider the icons in the fashion and design industry?
My style is clean, modern, and minimal. My personal favorite designers right now are Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, and Helmut Lang. But if I were to be honest, celebrity wise, if you put something on Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian or Rihanna it’ll automatically be sold out in a heartbeat haha.
What style/fashion accessory is your favorite?
Sounds pretty strange but right now I’m really into hair rings. Hair rings are basically charms I wear in my hair, it’s super subtle and no one really notices them. But when people do they always are so amazed because it’s not very common. I like them because they are lowkey and not obnoxious.
In addition to yourself, whom should we follow on Instagram?
Brands: @Rickowensonline & @bkbtconcept
Bloggers: @Jnelv & @blvckd0pe
Art/photog/fun: @watts.on & @thismintymoment & @ifyouhigh