Instagram is a beautiful thing. While scrolling through my feed, I came across a post from Christian singer/songwriter and former American Idol contestant Moriah Peters. Peters showed a short clip of a fitting she had with Brandie Rose Ribeiro, a 19-year-old fashion designer, who designed and sewed a gown for Peters’ latest “Brave” music video. It didn’t take long (within a couple of seconds to be exact) that I knew she had to be featured on fashion meets God. As I was thanking Ribeiro for the opportunity to interview her, I was delighted by her humble and grateful spirit. Shortly after I felt so encouraged through her answers. As Christ followers, God positions us in specific industries to be “the light of the world and a city on hill that cannot be hidden” which Ribeiro surely showcases. So dear reader, may you be inspired and emboldened by this woman of God as well.
I am Brandie Rose Ribeiro, born and raised in Chino Hills, California. Straight out of high school I attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM). I am now an alumna from the fashion design program and currently a business student at FIDM. Besides school, I intern at Vera Wang in Beverly Hills and I design bridal gowns for clients of my own. I do not have a lot of free time, but when I do I love to do bikram yoga (yoga in a 105 degree room).
fashion meets God: How did you become interested in fashion? Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Brandie Rose: My first word as a baby was “Prada”….just kidding. My love for fashion came for me at a very young age, since I can remember actually. Clothes always captivated my full attention. In middle school I learned how to sew and in high school I fell in love with the art of design. Throughout high school I had the most incredible teacher; she taught me how to sew, helped me find my love for bridal wear, and encouraged me to pursue my dreams of being a fashion designer. I think people in the fashion industry are just born with it. We are given a creative mind in such a conventional world. The fashion industry is an amazing thing. It brings creative minds together to create a bright, beautiful world.
fmG: Where do you gain design inspiration?
BR: Design inspiration is everywhere; in nature, fabrics, and life experiences. However, I tend to find my greatest inspiration in people. I love to study people; when I talk to someone, I look for what makes them feel beautiful. Making people feel beautiful is my ultimate goal. A design is dead without confidence that brings it to life.
fmG: What are your thoughts on the fashion industry as a Christ follower?
BR: Honestly, I was very nervous about coming into the fashion industry. The fashion industry is not only known for the glamour, but also for the darkness. I prayed very hard on my decision and told God that my path is up to Him. The Lord kept on opening door after door, it was like He was pulling me by my ear into the industry. He led me to FIDM, scholarships, internships and has brought me to meet amazing people along the way. I realized that He has brought me into the industry to glorify and to have people see Him through me and my designs. These talents I hold are not mine, for they are a gift from God. I glorify Him through every stitch.
fmG: Working for Vera Wang is an incredible opportunity! How did you land your position and what do you do?
BR: I heard about the Vera Wang internship from my career advisors at FIDM. I immediately reached out to the Career Center when I started at FIDM, and got to know the advisors, talking with them about my fashion major and my dreams and goals. When the Career Center received the bridal internship request, they thought it would be perfect for me because they knew how much I loved bridal! I went through a very difficult three-stage interviewing process (consisting of a written, sewing, and fitting test) and was fortunate to be selected out of the many applicants that applied for this internship. I have been with Vera Wang for almost two years and it is a true honor working on beautiful gowns.
fmG: How about Moriah Peters? How did the opportunity come about? How long did it take you to create the gown for her new “Brave” music video?
BR: Funny story… Moriah and I met on Instagram! I designed and sewed my sister’s wedding gown and I created a video of my sister getting ready on her wedding day. For the video, I used Moriah and Joel’s song “I’ll Wait for You” to play in the background. When I posted the video on my Instagram (@brandieribeiro), I gave Moriah credit for the song. Moriah saw the video and my designs on my Instagram and contacted me to be a part of the “Brave” experience.
Designing and making the “Brave” gown for Moriah was the most incredible experience. I was given slightly less than two weeks to design and sew the gown for the shooting of the music video. With the help of Jesus, caffeine, and my amazing seamstress/best friend, the dress was ready to shoot on-time. Working with Moriah was great, she is so humble and creative. I listened to her albums while sewing the “Brave” gown as motivation. I am beyond proud to see her hard work serve the Lord.
fmG: What advice would you give people who are interested in working in the fashion industry?Brandie Rose: The advice I would give to someone who is interested in working the fashion industry would be, strut in (with your best outfit, of course) and give it your all. However, you must stay true to yourself. Fashion is not all glitz and glamour, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Remember where you started and the people who have been cheering you on the whole way. The fashion industry is very fast paced but do not forget to stop and take a moment to take a photo with your mind and thank God for all the opportunities.
Brandie Rose’s Designs:
Sister’s wedding gown
Photo: Chris + Jen Photos
Photo: Monique Vang
“Brave” gown for Moriah Peters
Thank you, Brandie Rose, for your words of wisdom and advice. May God continue to bless you and others through your talent in the fashion industry!
Brandie Rose Ribeiro Headshot: Mariya Dondonyan
– Moriah Peters, “Brave”