Fashion That Empowers: Interview With IMITF Fashion Designer, D-Laniece

IMITF is not just a brand of fashion, but a brand of encouragement. It serves as a constant reminder that no matter what obstacles you may face in life, it is important to keep pushing forward and to do so authentically, being true to yourself. In the world of fashion, IMITF stands out by representing more than just clothing and style. It represents life itself, with all its ups and downs. Each garment tells a story, reflecting the unique journey and experiences of the individual wearing it.

By embracing IMITF, you are not only making a fashion statement but also embracing the idea that life is meant to be lived fully. It encourages you to embrace your own personal style and express yourself confidently through your clothing choices. So whether you’re strutting down the runway or simply going about your daily routine, let IMITF be your reminder that there’s always more to your story. Embrace life’s challenges with determination and authenticity, knowing that every step forward is an opportunity for growth and self-expression.

It is our distinct pleasure to interview D-Laniece who is the owner of IMITF (I Made It This Far LLC) clothing company. Please enjoy our interview!

What does fashion mean to you and how has creating IMITF made an impact on you?

D-Laniece: Fashion is my safe place…any and everything associated with fashion such as Runways, Models, Magazines, Photography, The Creativity, the glamorous and even the not so glamorous aspects…sets my mind at ease.

IMITF has impacted me in many ways, each moment I work on tasks with operating IMITF it’s a consistent reminder that a successful clothing brand is something I wanted for the past 22 years. My brand is a steady reminder to be well mentally and physically. I say this strongly as someone who’s been treated for anxiety and depression for 15 years of my life. IMITF is my light at the end of the tunnel, it helps me to get out of bed and keep pushing forward.

We understand that some of the IMITF graphic t-shirts have a story behind the image. Please explain your process for selecting fabrics and creating each design.

D-Laniece: Yes, some T-shirts have a story. I’ll share one, the “School Bus” design. That design was created from a place of being teased A LOT more so in middle school through high school. I was never popular, just well known for my unique sense of style. Being African American and listening to Nu-Metal music and having it reflected in my appearance was not a common formality in the hood where I’m from lol. Most of my physical altercations started on the school bus… it was horrible, and always more than one person. However, I never ran away, I always stood my ground.

When selecting fabric I aim for; comfort, softness with enough structure to hold shape. I’m looking forward to working with denim in the near future.

What’s your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

D-Laniece: Being able to express myself artistically. I also really enjoy collaborations with my graphic designers, it’s nice to pitch an idea and see what vision they have for the same idea.

What have been some challenges and how have you been able to overcome and navigate those moments as an entrepreneur?

D-Laniece: There’s been many challenges, the biggest challenge is finding a solid manufacturer for my designs. IMITF isn’t a fast fashion brand. There is production involved. I navigate around this issue by simply sticking to what I know by working with local manufacturers until my research presents another option.

Tell me about an important lesson you learned about working in the fashion industry.

D-Laniece: Not everyone can see my vision, it’s up to me to elaborate and stick with it. Not everyone will carry the same respect for your business as you.

What else would you like our readers to know about you, your company and any other endeavors you’re currently involved with?

D-Laniece: What would I like the readers to know about me…um, I’m a true believer in staying true to yourself 100% of the time no matter what. The company is built from integrity and I’m working on getting new merchandise released at the beginning of 2024.

What would you like your legacy to look like in the fashion industry?

D-Laniece: I’d like my legacy to be a designer that really worked for my place in the fashion industry and walked away a success.

More on D-Laniece:

Debra Laniece Powell best known as D-Laniece is owner of IMITF I Made It This Far LLC clothing company. The Syracuse, NY native is an inspirational individual who fought against the odds of her humble and harsh upbringing. She’s always had an interest in art growing up, for the longest time she told herself that she’d be an artist. It wasn’t until age 11 that D-Laniece started to notice fashion magazines. She also was very drawn to clothing in music videos. When D-Laniece had the opportunity to play with dolls her only interest was dressing them up.

D-Laniece is a proud graduate of Central Tech Vocational Center located in Syracuse, NY. She attended under the instructions of Pamela Baldini Dittmann, who is one of the most encouraging and astonishing teachers she’s ever had. IMITF was established during D-Laniece’s first year of Fashion Technology in 2001. It was then she knew that she wanted nothing more than to take on a career in fashion design. After D-Laniece completed the program at Central Technology, she relocated to New York City to continue her career path at The Art Institute Of NYC to major in Fashion Design. D-Laniece was there between six to eight months. However due to finances she was unable to complete the program. Shortly afterwards she decided to use what she learned up until that point and began researching how to start a business. D-Laniece says that the process has been quite the journey ever since.

IMITF, stimmed from facing many personal life obstacles. The brand represents life, and with life there’s always a story. D-Laniece likes to communicate stories in the form of art. Designing all clothing is joyous to her. She’s very invested in seeing how far she can go with the IMITF brand. D-Laniece wants to influence her consumers’ wardrobe and she wants them to know IMITF is for everyone who feels that it’s for them.

In conclusion D-Laniece just wants to say a special thank you to her close family and friends who kept their pom poms up in the air for her along the way.

Learn more by visiting:

Instagram: @Imitf_Clothing

Pinterest: IMITF@DLaniece6


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