Elmira native Brittney Brooks headed west several years ago hoping to make her mark in the fashion industry.
Now Brooks, who created a clothing line that focuses on streetwear, is testing her skills against other fashion designers on the HBO Max series “The Hype.”
Brooks graduated from Elmira Free Academy in 2007 and four years later moved to Los Angeles with the dream of becoming a fashion designer.
Brooks, known professionally in the fashion world as “Eddy Knox” — a moniker she said she picked up while playing the video game “Guitar Hero” — creates high end streetwear under the brand name DVMN Pigeon.
Who is Brittney ‘Eddy Knox’ Brooks?
Brooks was best known as a basketball standout during her tenure at Elmira Free Academy.
She stumbled onto the idea of becoming a fashion designer while studying liberal arts in college, she said.
“I always liked to buy clothes at the Arnot Mall. I was in Macy’s spending a lot of money on Ralph Lauren items. One day I got broke,” Brooks said in an earlier interview. “I realized I wanted to make my own. I started putting patches on jackets.”
The idea took off, and in 2011, Brooks found her way to the West Coast to chase her dream.
Brooks said she was inspired in part by fellow Elmira native Tommy Hilfiger, who built his own fashion empire after starting with next to nothing.
After a slow start in Los Angeles, Brooks started her own manufacturing company with multiple employees and her own warehouse.
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What is The Hype?
The Hype was launched last year by Scout Productions, a multimedia company based in Burbank, California.
The purpose of the show is to shine a spotlight on innovators who are often overlooked in the fashion industry, said Rob Eric, Scout Productions’ chief creative officer.
“A lot of times the true pioneers of streetwear, meaning those who are actually at the true streetwear community level, never get their due,” Eric said. “We see hoodies and elements of streetwear peppered into major designer’s collections (at luxury prices) but we rarely hear about the actual designers that create the style and the hype before it gets mass produced and slapped with an $800 price tag.”
Brooks and the other contestants had to compete with applicants from around the world for a chance to strut their stuff on The Hype, Eric said.
Regardless of who wins the competition, all of the participants will benefit from the recognition and exposure to a wider audience, he said.
Season 2 of The Hype features eight episodes pitting a group of 12 streetwear designers against each other through a series of timed design challenges. Their creations are then assessed by a panel of three judges and additional celebrity guest judges.
Episodes 1 through 3 of The Hype are available for streaming now. Episodes 4 through 6 are available starting Sept. 29, and episodes 7 and 8 will be available Oct. 6.
For more information, go to hbomax.com.
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