Kierra Nichole’s RosaByrd Line Is Ready For Take Off

Kierra NicholeKierra Nichole is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and is paying homage. She named her fashion line RosaByrd based on some of the great women in her family and she is following gracefully in their steps. She has created a chic yet industrial feel to her clothing line, which will be featured in this Friday’s NYFW at Rise.

I chatted about her line, how she got started in the business, and how she’s truly soaking up the ATL experience.

Where is your company based right now?

We are currently based in Atlanta, Georgia and I’m really enjoying soaking up the art  and music my city often cultivates. I was raised in the Metro area so I’ve always  been surrounded by culture, but being truly submerged during my young adult life  has really brought out a beautiful side to my creative process.

How do you prep for NYFW?

With very little sleep on some nights! The ideation process for this collection  actually started in October of 2022 and the last piece was finished around  September of 2023, with the goal of showing this February. Since this is my first  time showing with the brand RosaByrd, part of prepping for fashion week also  meant building the brand, shooting the collection for the first time to create look books and line sheets for press and then reaching out to dozens of people. We contacted both press and show producers to be a part of collaborative shows. I have  an amazing team that I couldn’t have done this without.

You started off with sketches when you were younger. What and when was your  breakthrough moment? 

I remember such a vivid moment sitting on the school bus at about 9 years old and  realizing that the clothes we were wearing were at some point imagined and made  by someone. The boy sitting next to me was just drawing little t-shirts and I asked him to show me how. From there I kinda became obsessed and I haven’t stopped  since. My breakthrough really happened when I decided to start the collection I’m  showing this month. Before now I’ve had such an imposter syndrome while  working with and for really amazing people, and even having my own designs in cool places like SheIn. I’ve always been really hard on myself and before now I’ve just felt like I was playing around and learning. Neither of which are inherently bad  but while making this collection, I had several moments of ‘huh… I’m really doing  this and I’m actually proud’.

Did you go to school for fashion? You took it upon to learn fashion on your own  two feet, which is incredible. Thoughts on all your hard work?

I did, I went to college for fashion design here in Atlanta and interned anywhere that would have me. I was gifted a sewing machine in middle school so from then  until college, I was a student of Youtube University. I do feel like I’m constantly  working on not discrediting my accomplishments and for better or worse, I’m  always looking to make my middle school self proud. I think that keeps me  working hard and also saves me from seeking external validation.

Where did you get the moniker RosaByrd from?

Rosa is the first name of my grandmother’s grandmother on my mom’s side and  Byrd is a surname of my grandmother’s grandmother on my dad’s side. I wanted to  honor the my ancestral mothers with this name and this brand because I’m always  feeling their love and support. Being an artist is genuinely hard and sometimes I  wonder why I haven’t quit yet. I can’t help but believe there’s something greater  than myself that keeps me enamored by and in love with this craft.

The line gives off an industrial feel but chic look at the same time. How do you  maintain that balance throughout the line?

This collection is the story of when I worked in a soft-goods factory and so I feel like the duality you see is just the truth in the story. Parts of working there was really gritty and dirty feeling and industrial, and then other parts of it were fun and  light and beautiful the way I saw it. I used actual scraps and zippers from the  factory throughout the collection and addressed the silhouettes as if I were making workwear. Both manual labor workers and office professionals were under the  same roof at that job and I always thought the contrast was really interesting so I  had to play with it.

What gets you motivated? Where do you get your inspiration for your line? How  do you continue to stay in the creative thought process? 

I like to pull from my lived experiences and share my interpretation of everyday  stories in my work. I strive to keep myself around creative people in such a vast  array of disciplines. I’m friends with really talented illustrators, animators,  musicians, film makers, photographers… I think I’m really only friends with like one other fashion designer at the moment. Which means I always have something  to be inquisitive about or someone to be inspired by.

What’s next for you? 

I’ve been asking myself that since I signed on to do these NYFW shows! I  genuinely don’t feel like myself when I don’t have a goal, but I’ve reached most of  my major goals within the last few years. That means it’s time to dream bigger! I  have started the second collection for RosaByrd so I hope to be showing that  within the year, continuing to share my stories.