It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur with a thriving clothing line, while being a mom… but Angel Brinks makes it look easy! Embodying the true definition of what it means to be a boss bae, the fashion designer literally built her empire from scratch, turning the basic leggings into high fashion by bedazzling and adding all kinds of gems and glitter accents.
As the proud owner of AngelBrinks.com, Angel gained much notoriety after her time on VH1’s Basketball Wives LA. Suddenly, the Los Angeles native was able to insert herself in front of millions across the world, while making it clear she’s far more than a face you see on reality television. To date, everyone from Cardi B, Ashanti, Lil Kim, Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls, Naturi Naughton, and tons more have all worn Angel Brinks clothing.
Fast forward to 2021, Brinks shakes up the internet with the reveal of her third pregnancy, simultaneously launching her own perfume called Heaven which has been in the works for years. Additionally, she’s been working very hard on forthcoming doggy clothes which will be just as vibrant as her current collections.
Flaunt caught up with Brinks via Instagram Live, who was looking fabulous with her chandelier earrings. Read below as we discuss her pregnancy reveal, how she balances motherhood and work, launching her new perfume and landing it in department stores, dressing Missy Elliott at the Super Bowl, her time on Basketball Wives, her son hooping with Chris Brown, and more!
I’m so honored to be your first interview since you revealed your pregnancy!
I know right? See, look at that! It’s crazy because I’ve been meaning to. Every time I want to, something crazy happens in the world so I’m like, “I’ll just wait.” Decided to do it and it happened to be on my birthday actually. Speaking of birth… [laughs] It worked out.
How does it feel? Baby #3!
You know, it always feels like the first time. Obviously my daughter’s 8 so it’s been a while. It went really fast this time around. Now I’m at the stage where any minute… it’s crazy and scary at the same time, I’m not going to lie. At nighttime, I’ve been feeling scared. Anything can happen. They say birth feels like 84, 86 bones breaking. I don’t want to remember that! But it is what it is, what goes in must come out. [laughs]
How did it feel revealing your pregnancy to your following?
Honestly, I was looking at my phone like “Okay, press send. Press send. Post!” Because not everyone’s gonna be happy, what do you do? You want to share with people who do care and you want to put it out there, but sometimes you don’t. It was nerve-wracking, because I didn’t necessarily want to be stressed out at this time. I didn’t want to deal with the dumb stuff that people have to say, but it’s whatever. It is what it is. It’s here, and people are going to find out anyway.
I know a lot of people who keep their pregnancy under wraps for a while, just to protect their peace.
Right. Especially in the first trimester too, anything could happen. You don’t want to announce it too soon, you want to make sure everything’s right. A lot of people for the most part were supportive, it was really nice. I kept thinking to myself, “Kylie Jenner just did it, Cardi B did it. It’s okay, just announce it. People will be happy.” It’s my life. It’s my Instagram.
Do people get mad like, “You didn’t tell me!”
You know what, some people did. I didn’t get a chance to tell everybody. I’m working on a really big project this year which people will soon find out, so my days went by really fast. [snaps] “Shoot, damn I’m already 5 months! Damn, I’m already 6 months!” Everything went by so fast. They understand.
It’s a fairly big project that kept me very busy. Time was just going, I didn’t get to engage too much with people.
Being a mother and an entrepreneur, how do you balance it?
I wish I could say it’s easy. A lot of people say too, “Do you have a superwoman cape in your closet? How do you do it?” Not as much sleep, and I have a really good team, at home and at work. My family’s very supportive. You’re bound to miss out on stuff when you have so much on your plate. Something, somewhere is gonna lack, so I can’t say I balance it perfectly, but having the team at work has been very helpful. My girls at work are all so well-trained. They know what to do in my absence.
I’m not gonna lie, I missed some basketball games my son’s had. I can’t be everywhere at once so I struggle with that a little bit, but I do balance it pretty good. There’s been some times where I’ll get home and my son’s like, “Mom, I scored x amount of points. I wish you were there.” That stuff really hurts, but for the most part I do get to them. God forbid you miss one or two, the kids are looking at you like… It’s very important to have a very good team, good employees that know what to do in your absence. Just know how to hold it down. At home too, I have help. I’ve had nannies, they pick up things where I can’t.
What’s the newest or latest with angelbrinks.com?
I’m starting a doggy collection, it’s really cute. When I tell you adorable, it’s adorable. I made outfits that match my clothing. If you get a blinged-out dress, your dog will have the same thing. You’ll have options to put your dog’s name in rhinestones, I’m excited. Most importantly, I just launched my perfume. That was really great for me because I remember talking about it in interviews, but I never got to do it because picking a scent is so important.
All the ones I’m putting out are undel the Angel vibe. Heaven scent is what it’s called, next will be Halo. Everything’s very fresh, sweet, everything that I am. Perfume is my thing. Everywhere I go, everyone will tell you, “Oh my gosh, you always smell so good.” So I couldn’t wait to put out my own.
What perfume were you wearing before you launched your own?
I wear Baccarat. I wear some Creed. I wear Narciso Rodriguez. I’ve worn Don’t Be Shy, Kilian. Those are a lot of my favorites. I remember telling my mom about the perfume, she loves perfume too. She said “well, am I gonna get one?” I said “yeah.” We go into Neiman’s, I’m at the counter to buy some perfume. My mom said, “Why do you want to buy some? Yours is great, you don’t need anything else.” The ladies all know me at the counter, they go, “Wait, you launched your own perfume?”
I said “well not yet, I just had my first sample.” She said, “Can I smell it?” I said “Yeah sure, hang on I’ll get it out!” She said, “I’m gonna tell you the truth now.” I said “No please, I want the criticism.” I gave it to the girl at the counter, she said, “Wow, this smells amazing!” They’re passing it around, she said “I’m going to give you our buyer’s information.” I got in contact with the buyer, and now we’re going to be in department stores! For me, the way it happened was amazing. I gotta send you one. It’s a pretty big bottle too, a really nice size.
That’s so full circle! I’m a huge believer in good things happen to good people.
Thank you. When you’re in retail, it’s a part of that. You want to start launching different things. I saw Rihanna was recently working on hers too, so I’m happy I’m on the right track. [laughs]
How did you land on the scent?
Different scents, working with a chemist. I’d say, “No more vanilla,” and they’d send me samples. Change it, fix it. We went back for years until we got the right one. Sprayed it on me, using the oils, wearing it everyday. Trying to make sure everything’s right before I released it. Right now, it’s Heaven scent out now. Only a limited amount is available on my website and soon department stores. I’ll be releasing more and more as we go.
Who have you been most excited for that rocked your clothing?
So many people do. Cardi B is always amazing to work with, Lil Kim, Megan [The Stallion]. It’s such a great time right now for women. We’ve been through a lot, hell and back, and to see so many successful women right now in all fields of work… it’s nice to see female rappers take over the game. From Mulatto to all these girls, I’m really proud as a woman to see other women doing their thing. I continuously work with all women, I’m very excited for them.
Lil Kim obviously, she’s been one of my favorites forever. I remember listening to her stuff and thinking, “Oh my god, this is making me strong.” Here I am working with her! Missy Elliott too, that was a really good one for me. Heidi Klum, Mel B, legendary people. Saweetie, she’s great. Her body is amazing. Dressing her, for me it’s like my Barbie doll.
I was with a stylist who said the same thing!
A lot of the girls’ bodies are amazing. We all come in different shapes and sizes. It’s always interesting for me. Sometimes it can be a challenge, but it’s what I do and I love it. 10 years in the game now, and counting.
10 years from cutting and sewing your own leggings…
Can you believe it? Isn’t that crazy? My grandmother had a little sewing machine in the house. At the time, I didn’t know my family had money, but I guess they did. My mom would never let me know or feel it, so I’d always be looking for scraps. I’d use her kitchen towels, go down to the store and grab $1 vintage jeans. Cut it up, and make my stuff. I remember at the very beginning, they used to laugh at me. After that, it totally flipped. They’d say, “Oh, she’s too costumey,” then here comes Balmain coming out with severe costumey clothing and everyone liked it. At that time, people loved his stuff. I kept going, I didn’t let it shut me down.
What would you say is your most iconic piece to date?
Missy Elliott’s Super Bowl outfit. She was an ice queen, I remember we made the icicles from scratch. Her whole dress was made out of plastic branches and icicles, we dipped them in crystals, stones, and glitter. I literally had to travel and carry it with me, with a huge box. It was crazy. Doing that was a huge, amazing experience for me. I remember her mom called me like, “Hey, Angel, give us that piece. Send it to us because I have a place where I put all of her monumental pieces.” Oh my god! Mine’s gonna be in her big…? Working with Missy was amazing.
How was that? She seems so down-to-earth.
Right! I remember the first time I got hired for her, I was nervous. Because she’s girly, but she likes sneakers and jeans. I’m more dresses. I was working with Misa Hylton, she’s really big in the business. Her son is with Puff Daddy. Every time you see Mary J. Blige, Missy in interviews, you see Neesa. Neesa’s responsible for Aaliyah, a bunch of people. She’s one of the best stylists. Now, she’s with MCM and does a lot of their stuff.
She came to me and said “Angel, this never really happens, but you nailed it on the first shot. Missy’s very impressed.” I couldn’t believe it. I had made her this thick jacket, it was 8 pounds with a whole bunch of stuff on it. She called me back for a few more other gigs, and I was very nervous. I used to sit next to her like “I hope she likes me, I hope I do this right. I want to continue.” Because she’s legendary, she knows what she wants. She knows her designers, she knows threads and fabrics. I’m like “wow, okay so you’re tapped in with what I do.”
What did someone rocking your clothes at the Superbowl do for your business?
Wonders! Now it’s on your resume, that’s a huge thing. I remember she tweeted me telling me she loved me. I thought “Oh my god, she loves me publicly!” [laughs] Furthermore, it’s a stamp for other people to see if she can do something like this, what else can she do? I’ve created pieces from cocktail waitressing at casinos, clubs, nightclubs, created pieces for them, to regular casualwear. I’ve touched on all those types of collections and monumental pieces.
Any advice for upcoming designers, creatives, entrepreneurs?
I always tell everyone who’s up and coming to be extremely creative and themselves. Sometimes as a designer, you fall into what’s happening, but we’re the trendsetters. We’re the original trendsetters because we’re the ones who come up with the collections for fall, winter, spring and summer. When it’s fall and winter, we’re already on the next year. When we see people wearing stuff, that designer came up with that piece a long time ago.
Back then, a lot of the celebrities were getting the acknowledgement for their pieces, like that amazing Versace piece on J Lo. Now, more designers are coming out being creative, thinking outside the box. I always say save money. It definitely takes money to start your business. That’s with any business, but make sure you know the business too. Being a designer, that’s great, but you have to know business. In order for you to be different, you have to be very different and creative. I always tell everyone: go for the best. I remember at the beginning, they laughed. You gotta tune it out. Be yourself, and you’ll win.
Let’s touch on Basketball Wives, Season 10! Give us the tea.
[laughs] I know that’s the rumor now, about me being on Basketball Wives. [laughs] It’s definitely a rumor, but would you want to see that? Of course there’s been a lot of speculation on that, but I cannot confirm or deny. [laughs] It’s a great show. It’s been on now for 10 seasons, and there’s only one Basketball Wives. It’s not like there’s a lot of franchises, so being a part of that world has been amazing. I’ve learned a lot from being on that show too.
What did you learn?
Being around different women, different personalities, how to handle certain situations. Some situations I didn’t handle well, I could have handled a lot better. It’s learning other women’s personalities and how to deal with that. It’s really hard to be in a room with 8 to 10 women with all different personalities, and keeping my composure. It’s definitely done a lot for the business as well, as far as a brand. That was exciting.
What’s your take on reality television?
For reality stars, being on a reality show is a lot more difficult than being an actress. As an actress, you’re playing another role. In the reality world, you’re yourself. There’s more scrutiny and more criticism around being who you are, versus being on TV and being an actress. Reality stars have it a lot harder, because we’re put in situations in front of the world. You also have to be entertaining to people, giving people something to talk about is what it’s about. It comes with it.
What do you do for self-care? For your mental health?
Lots of baths, I love taking a bubble bath. Massages, I love massages. The manicure, the pedicure. I used to workout heavily, but I haven’t done that in a while. Something along those lines of by myself, privately. In my own zone like in my room, doing the bubble bath thing. I miss having a little bit of champagne now and then, [laughs] but that stuff relaxes me.
Who are you listening to? Favorite artists?
I love Rihanna. I love how you know she has different worlds of music. Beyonce of course, and Cardi B. I love all women. I love all that they have going on, I support all of it. I can’t leave out Mariah Carey, she’s an OG. I do like Drake, Chris Brown. I’m a big R&B head. I love R&B music.
I saw your son was at Chris Brown’s, hooping?
That was really cool. My boyfriend is one of his producers, he goes over and plays basketball a lot. He said, “I’m gonna take AZ,” my son. He took him over, my son played 4 games back-to-back with Chris Brown. It was the two of them, I heard he did really well. My boyfriend FaceTimed me, Chris Brown jumped on like, “Your son’s really amazing. He’s really good, he’s gonna make it.” I’m sure he took it easy on him, Chris plays really well but that was really nice. I was telling my son, “Do you know where you were at?” He goes “Mom, I was really trying to do my thing on the court.” He had fun. My daughter is 8, but my son just turned 14.
What else are you excited for?
I’m working on a couple projects, you’ll hear about soon enough. I’m always working on stuff. We started a trucking company, Roccstars Angels Trucking LLC, it’s a different world from fashion, celebrity-based, or women. Being in the trucking business has been quite a lot, but you’d be surprised with the demand. Today, I was looking at Long Beach Port, and how there’s not enough employees and trucks for the port to help everything coming in. It’s been crazy. The truck business is super big. We need a lot more trucks, truck drivers. The demand is high. It’s hard to get pet food. Any minute now, it’s going to be hard to get water. The trucking business is definitely high in demand.
How do you have time to do that too?
My boyfriend, we started the business together. He deals with the drivers more, he can handle them. For me, it’s a little tough. We got in the business, started it together, got some trucks. Doing the dispatching isn’t really my thing. He tells me to dictate where they should go, what to do, but I hear a lot of it. I overhead one time: the product that travels the most is apples.
That’s so random!
From Washington. You’d be surprised at how much apples need to be transported. I learned that too, I thought people needed clothes! It’s a completely different world. \There’s a lot that comes with transportation.
Anything else you want to let the people know?
Stay tuned, stay with me. Thank you to everybody who has supported me and has truly been there. A lot of them write me, they tell me so much that “you inspire me, motivate me.” That’s really what it’s about. When you’re put in certain positions, it’s to help, motivate and inspire. Do whatever we can. I want to help a lot of women out.
I’m not perfect, I’m human just like everybody else so I appreciate when women see that. They’re like, “I just love her.” I love everyone back. I’m always rooting for everybody. I’m supportive of everything. I love everybody, what can I say? I’m a peaceful person. As far as what’s to come, stay with me. I promise you guys are going to be surprised about a lot of things. Get ready for this ride.
Last question, go-to food or meal during pregnancy?
Oh gosh. Lately, it’s been applesauce. Prior to that, it was watermelon. Fruit! That’s pretty much it, but it’s been different. At first, it started with Thai food. I love Thai food, then pasta. Everything. I’ve gained so much weight, but it’s okay. Give me some time, I’ll be right back.