Nicci Gilbert-Daniels: Life As A Plus Size Fashion Designer and an R&B Diva

Nicci Gilbert-Daniels: Life As A Plus Size Fashion Designer and an R&B Diva

Actress, singer and now plus clothing designer Nicci Gilbert-Daniels has never left the spotlight since she stepped on the scene in the 90’s as one of three divas in the successful R&B group Brownstone. With a new reality show on the horizon and a clothing line for curvy girls set to launch in August, this Detroit native has a lot to smile about. We recently sat down with Nicci and got all the deets!

You were a part of Brownstone, one of the most successful and beloved R&B groups of the 90’s, the first on Micheal Jackson’s label. How was it working with such an Icon? How did his passing effect you?

Working with Michael Jackson was amazing. Being the first and only group he chose to represent his label made it clear to me that God has really amazing things in store for us!!

Each person in the group had their own individual style. I personally noticed how your attire was more conservative than the others in the group. How much influence did you have in the fashion direction of the group? If you were styled were you styled in a strategic way to hide your curves?

I styled myself for the most part. I often ran into issues finding clothes off the rack to fit my curves, and that often led to low self esteem. I have since learned to race my a curves and my mission is becoming a plus size fashionista and empower curvy women.

You have been identified as an actor and songstress for so many years, what made you make the transition into design?

I often struggled trying to find clothes to fit my plus size figure, which led to me needing to have clothing made custom. I love any creative outlet which eventually led to me falling in love with clothing design.

Why plus fashion in particular?

I love the idea of making plus size women feel sexy and beautiful! I believe that there is more to full figure fashion than flowers and moo moos and I wanted to share my love for making big women feel confident in clothes that compliment curves not cover them!

I enjoyed your latest collection during Full Figured Fashion Week™! What was the inspiration for Curvato and your latest collection?

The Inspiration for Curvato was my 18 year struggle with my weight and body image. I wanted to create comfortable wearable fashionable clothing for women my size.

I sat across from all the other diva’s from the new reality show “R&B Divas” during FFFweek. I am really looking forward to the show! As co-executive producer of the show, how much responsibility do you feel to make this show a positive one given such negative press other female focused reality shows have received?

As an executive producer on a reality show that features an ensemble of black women, it’s important to understand the good the bad and the ugly. I created the show because I saw the void in proper representation of the women I know. Before we are singers, or performers we are all positive women , wives and mothers. The fact that we are all performers is the plus not the definition. R&B DIVAS is about empowerment and sisterhood we deal with the same issues as any other woman, but our jobs require us represent millions and the show will document how we deal with that. I am thankful to Mona Scott and Shaunie Oneal for being examples of what has happened with our images and how we can improve on that.

When will the show air? when will Curvato be available for purchase?

The show airs Aug 20 at 10pm on TV ONE right after the last episode of Unsung. Curvato will go on sale the same day on 

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Cassandra Jones-McBryde serves as Features Editor for Daily Venus Diva. She is US Director of the Fuller Women Expo, responsible for bringing together a number of outstanding local and international speakers and celebrities, seminars and workshops that attract attendees, sponsors, vendors and exhibitors from throughout North America. She also the Founder of The Fuller Woman Network which is a network of women from across the world who share our mission of self-love.

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