2019 been an incredible year for Danielle Brooks.
Not only did she wrap up an incredible seven-year-run on Netlfix’s Emmy-winning dramedy Orange Is The New Black and shine in an all-Black version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, but she also welcomed a few precious additions in her life.
First, her daughter, her perfect “sweet chocolate butter ball,” was born on November 16.
Secondly, Brooks also welcomed her clothing line, Fit Liberty (Mom). Teaming up with Universal Standard, an online store committed to all women of all sizes, Brooks’ brand addresses the needs of moms-to-be and post-birth moms by creating pieces that transition from maternity and beyond. It’s clean and flattering lines, body-accentuating silhouettes and comfortable material look great on everyone, especially those that like a classic strong look. Even better? It’s affordable with the line ranging between $40 – $185.
Days before Brooks gave birth, HelloBeautiful sat down with the Tony-nominated actress to talk about Fit Liberty (Mom), the importance of size inclusivity in fashion and how motherhood might shape her sense of style.
HelloBeautiful: What prompted you to start this line, most importantly, what about your own experiences as a plus-sized pregnant woman shaped this initiative?
Danielle Brooks: Women’s bodies are always changing from when we’re teenagers to when we become mothers, but when you’re plus-size, it can be harder to deal with those transitions. I wanted to help create a brand that would go along with someone for that whole journey. I hid my own pregnancy for a few months while doing Shakespeare in the Park, so when it came time to announce it, I wanted to show off my bump! I wanted fitted clothes that are comfortable and make me feel supported.
HB: Walk me through the line.
DB: The collection is called Fit Liberty (Mom) and mainly has some button-down tunics, midi dresses, camisole dresses, jumpsuits, and the layering basics. It’s not just meant for pregnant mothers, it’s great for women before and after their baby is born as well. My favorite thing about Universal’s material is how durable it is. Along with pregnancy, there’s a lot of new bumps and hills – I feel like since I got pregnant I’ve been spilling things constantly on my clothes and throwing them right into the washing machine. The material is durable and amazing!
HB: Which is your fave, your go-to within the line?
DB: I like a good cami-type dress, whatever I can throw on without having to wear pants but still look good. I’ll layer it with a nice warm turtleneck and really play around with the colors.
HB: What I love about the concept is that this just isn’t about maternity wear, it’s about the months, years after giving birth. Why was that so important?
DB: Clothes should be a part of your life’s journey at every step of the way, and that’s exactly what Universal Standard does so greatly. There’s no sense of guilt for fitting in your maternity clothes months after birth, and Universal really encourages you to keep your style at every stage of your pregnancy, or even if you aren’t expecting as well.
HB: What has it been to work with Universal Standard?
DB: Well, they first reached out after my Instagram post about not being able to find anything that properly fit my changing body, and, like I’ve said before, I was kind of serious and joking at the same time. But it’s been an incredible, cool experience to collaborate with them. Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler have such brilliant minds and are so forward-thinking. They have been incredible partners throughout this journey.
HB: When your daughter is older and looks back at this line that her mama created, what do you want her to think?
DB: I really just want to be someone that my child can be proud of. Knowing that there will be someone who looks up to me truly motivates me to be the best version of myself I can be.
HB: Finally, How do you think motherhood, if at all, will impact your personal style?
DB: Comfort is the most important thing to me. I still want to feel sexy and embrace my body, but in a comfortable way. Something that is stylish and form-fitting – and makes me feel beautiful and powerful.
Learn more about and shop Fit Liberty (Mom) here.