01 Mar 11 Questions with Brana Dane, Vegan Model and Activist
Brana Dane has appeared all over the fashion scene. From the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to the front row at Vivienne Tam. But there is something that sets her apart from most models. Her commitment to veganism and sustainability. Check out my conversation with her below. We discuss her style and activism with Cameron Russell.
- How did you become interested in fashion
Coming from an artistic family, and as a painter myself, fashion intrigues me because it exists in the intersection of commerce, personal identity and art. I remember watching dramatic and artistic runway shows on television as a child that’s the first time I remember really getting the fashion bug.
- What’s your signature look?
As a model, you have to dress current but simply for go-sees and castings. As a result, my go to look is – black jeans, grey tank and a vegan pleather jacket. However, I always like to mix it up when I get the chance. As an artist I am drawn to unique color and pattern combinations and being in fashion has taught me how to put together these elements in a classic way. I will commonly wear something simple but dress it up with a bright silk scarf, or layered crystal necklaces. When I do wear head to toe color, I like to keep it all different shades of the same family for a big impact.
- What are three style tips everyone should know?
Play with color and pattern. If the proportions and the fit are right, you’ll be able to pull it off and stand out from the crowd.
If you’re wearing a loose fitting top and loose fitting bottoms, make sure the smallest part of your waist is clearly defined.
Don’t forget outerwear. A stylish winter coat and scarf set can make a big impact and you’ll be wearing these items everyday in the winter.
- What is your favorite piece in your closet that you’ll wear until it’s threads?
My black ribbed Valette tank! I love how it has a very open neckline and hits at just the right spot on my hips. Sometimes the simplest of items can be the most important!
- Whose style would you steal?
I think Rooney Mara has such a cool, edgy, yet somehow delicate and feminine style. The combination of these qualities, I find endlessly interesting.
- Who are you most looking forward to seeing at fashion week
I was so lucky and honored to sit front row at Vivienne Tam this fashion week. She is such an inventive designer and someone I have been wanting to see for a few years now. Her show did not disappoint; I especially fancied her shoes.
- What is your favorite sustainable brand?
Warp & Weft make unbelievably comfortable and stylish jeans. I wore my black pair all of fashion week!
- What is a typical day like and how do you plan your wardrobe around it?
There is no typical day for me! One day I may have to be dressed as a professional for my work as a columnist and contributor at Winston Wise Magazine and YRB Magazine. Another day I may need to be wearing a simple, chic, tight fitting outfit for a modeling go-see, or I may need to head out to a red-carpet event. To top it off, on an art studio day I need something that I don’t mind getting dirty. The most challenging is when all of these happen on the same day!
- Sustainability can be really overwhelming; how do you break it down to make it manageable for you?
No one person can be part of our consumer driven society and be environmentally perfect in this day in age. Sustainability in my daily life is about balance. I always give away unwanted clothing instead of throwing it out. I try to mend old shoes rather than just buying brand new ones. Shopping at second hand stores like Heart of Gold in flatiron district is a great way to give back to the community while being environmentally friendly.
- How do you incorporate sustainability into your work?
I love to work with brands that share my passion for sustainability whenever I get the chance. Role Models Management is a great niche agency for models and brands who share a similar Vision for the future of fashion. I was lucky enough to attend the premier of The True Cost, which details the impact fast fashion is having on our world. I would highly recommend watching this powerful film. Furthermore, as a vegan I use my diet to make a significant impact on the environment as well.
- What was your favorite show to walk for this fashion week?
It’s so hard to choose! I was very honored to open the show for Pelush, a vegan faux fur line. I always enjoy walking for Anna, she cares so deeply about animals and is an inspiration.
Stella Nolasco was also a very uplifting show to be apart of; before we all walked she played a video about the #metoo movement and the power of women coming together, something I care deeply about and am working towards in the modeling community as a co-founder of SupeRoleModels and a member of the Model Mafia from the very start.
I am always very grateful to be chosen to be apart of what is the culmination of hard work, passion and sacrifice by every designer I walk for during fashion week.