We are so excited to finally announce our partnership with Whitney Bracey, Fashion Designer and Founder of Mahogany Blues Swimwear and now Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel. Whitney is currently a senior at Texas Woman's University and will graduate with a BA in Fashion Design in the Spring of 2016, but already highly accomplished in the fashion world. As early as the age of 7, Whitney learned to sew. Born with a natural desire to design and style, she would cut up socks & t-shirts to make custom outfits for her Barbie Dolls. After mastering the art of designing doll clothing, Whitney followed the natural progression to designing and sewing custom clothes for herself in high school.
Following high school graduation, Whitney found a niche in designing fashion forward designer swimwear by teaming up with a friend who owned a custom suit business. Her friend later dissolved that business, but Whitney, remaining true to her relentless work ethic, did not stop pushing the limits of swimwear design. She continued to create and sell her products. Realizing her designs needed a brand to be associated with in order to break mainstream retail, Whitney launched “Mahogany Blues Swimwear” in 2010.
Since then, Whitney has created amazing custom swimwear pieces for professional athletes like the Olympian Natasha Hastings, national recording artists, brands such as Holler USA, and a vast variety of clientele which seek her out for the perfect look only she can bring to her clients. You can view Whitney’s swimwear collection here. Her designs have been featured with Texas Next Top Designer, Fashion Week San Diego, Pool Side Beauty for Dallas Modern Luxury Magazine, and The Pin Show.
This year, in revolutionary efforts to evolve from an era of dyeing and pancaking leotards, comes Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel. MB Dance Apparel is the only company in the United States to offer multi-tonal nude leotards. “Our mission is to provide nude leotards for dancers of color because we believe that they are worth it.” Whitney is proud to be working with the Brown Girls Do Ballet® organization, which helps bring well-deserved attention to dancers of color.
This past March, Whitney traveled to Los Angeles with the intentions of attending Style Week and doing a photoshoot for the leotards using adult ballerinas. After posting a casting call in which she asked the dancers to tell her more about themselves, Whitney became inspired by dancer Nicole Brown and Nicole's dance school, Nu Trailblazers School of the Arts. "I stayed in contact with Nicole and continued to ask more questions about her dance school. After falling in love with her motto and organization, I offered to donate nude leotards to her dancers. We worked mostly through email with her sending measurements and pictures of all of her girls. I matched skin-tones and made custom leos based off of that information. Nicole thought that it would be a great idea to use the leos for their summer showcase, so on June 1, 2015, I traveled back to LA to do a fitting and to meet all of the girls as well as their parents. It was a really great experience! I delivered the packages for each girl and they were extremely excited and loved everything! I hired a photographer, E and C Photography, to take pictures during their showcase so that I could see it since I couldn't physically be at the performance. It was great!"
After doing more research about the lack of variety in nude for people of color, Whitney felt that she needed to offer more than just a leotard. So with this in mind she decided to create a ballerina care package for every class that will receive donations from her in the future. "The classes will be chosen at random (not limited to a specific state or city) and there will only be 1 class gifted each year. To get these care packages in order I teamed up with TRU Colour Bandages whose mission is to provide bandages for people of color. I also teamed up with Pan Ector Industries in Denton, TX to create custom t-shirts for each dancer that we reach with this project. Lastly, I brought TuTu Cute on board to create a beautiful custom tutu for each dancer, because who doesn't love a tutu?! Hopefully in the future I will be able to offer compression tights/stockings that vary in brown shades with each package."
To find out more information and to be the first to know the official Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel launch date: visit their website: http://www.mbdanceapparel.com/
All Images Courtesy of E & C Photography