In case you aren’t already familiar, we are so happy to introduce you to the powerhouse that is Dime Jones. This South Central Los Angeles native is a fashion designer, stylist, makeup artist, philanthropist, and all-around boss lady entrepreneur. From her self-founded platform We Work Too, to her incredible work mentoring pre-teens within LAUSD, to her independently-run clothing line Nior, Dime is making her stamp on Los Angeles and the world while moving full speed ahead. She took a moment to catch up with us and share her biggest inspirations, the philosophy behind Nior, and how her hometown inspires her efforts in philanthropy.
HL: What is your earliest memory of falling in love with fashion?
DJ: My earliest memory of falling in love with fashion was when I got a book from Barnes and Noble–I can’t remember the name, but it was about street style in Japan and Paris. I remember just falling in love with every style and how fashion can literally be a person's mood and description of who they are, what they like, and an introduction to how the world views them.
HL: Who/what are your biggest style inspirations?
DJ: My biggest style inspirations lately have been my grandmother and Diana Ross. Both women in my opinion created a sense of self and fashion in a time where black women were not considered beautiful or even valued. I think confidence played a major part in both of their styles, and I think that’s what I admire the most.
HL: What made you want to focus on sequins for this first collection?
DJ: With my first collection I wanted to come out strong, I wanted people to respect my line as a luxury brand. Also I felt that every time I saw the Supremes, Diane Carroll or any famous black women during that time, they always made a statement with their clothes. I felt that back then, and sometimes even today, our voices are silenced and the only way we showed our presence was through our clothes.
HL: Since I've known you, you've always put a lot of work into helping others and giving back. What inspired you to start and keep doing this work?
DJ: Because I come from a city where I see poverty every day, every time I pass through my city, every time I go to my grandparent's house on 120th and Hoover, I see why I need to do more for my people. It’s nothing that I felt I had to do, it's something I need to do.
HL: What is your vision for We Work Too?
DJ: My vision for We Work Too is to become the first black woman to be a founder of a leading media company that is focused on the betterment of women in business and in lifestyle.
HL: What can we look out for from you in the near future?
DJ: Honestly, the same thing I'm doing now, hustling to make it happen. You will never know what is going to be that one thing that puts you in a position to accomplish your dreams.
words by Neijah Lanae