D.C.’s got style. With everything from cute streetwear to tailored suits, plenty of people turn heads just walking down city streets. But who’s making their clothing, helping them decide what looks good and dreaming up the latest in fashion? It’s the designers of the city, the tailors, the entrepreneurs. Here is one of the 14 must-know figures in fashion from the DMV. Check out our October Issue for the full coverage.
CEO + founder of Kingsley Models + Talent Management
District Fray: How did you grow your business into a sleek professional company?
Joy Kingsley-Ibeh: I grew my business by being consistent and not giving up. I knew right away what the brand meant to me and the feeling and professionalism I wanted people to have when they experienced the brand. I stayed the course with the level of white-glove service I provided, guided by my values.
What first got you excited about fashion? What keeps you excited about fashion now?
My mom and dad were always so fashionable. Through them, I understood what it meant to look good and take care of myself, no matter the circumstances. But seeing Naomi Campbell on the cover of Vogue magazine made me feel high fashion was attainable for me as a young Black girl. It goes back to representation. If you see it, you can believe it and if you can believe it, you can be it. The thing that keeps me excited about fashion now is watching so many designers and changemakers of color popping up and holding big roles in the fashion industry — from Edward Enninful to Virgil Abloh, Rihanna, Pyer Moss and legends like Dapper Dan, who I recently worked with on a shoot in NYC during fashion week.
What values do you prioritize? How do you put them into practice at Kingsley Management?
Honesty, transparency and love. I remember what it was like to work for people or in spaces that didn’t share these values and I was miserable. So, I set out to create an environment I wanted — whether I was an employee, model or client.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.