When Brianna Lance talks about her musical career, her former role as frontwoman of all-female band Bad Girlfriend, and her mastery of the guitar—a skill she honed while also DJing at night, running her own fashion consulting company during the day, producing a resume of stints styling for both men and women’s clothing lines, and painting in her free time—she speaks of it with the ease most of us use to order coffee.
“Oh, I don’t know, I just picked it up,” she tells us over the phone from her East Village apartment in New York when asked how she learned to play. “After college, I was living with my boyfriend and he taught me how to play. I’ve just always kept playing music and painting—I think I’m a little OCD or something. I need a lot of stimulation.” She laughs at that last part. Possible obsessive-compulsive disorder aside, ease seems integral to Lance’s DNA. The Dallas-born beauty approaches everything in her life with an effortless intelligence that’s at once refreshing and profound. This includes her perspective on fashion and wardrobe—one that initially drew her to J Brand and vise versa.
“I’ve just always kept playing music and painting—I think I’m a little OCD. I need a lot of stimulation.”
“I think your wardrobe can affect a lot of things. I’ve noticed that when I go into meetings with a lot of men, I want to look powerful,” she says. “You can just dress like a man, which instantly says, ‘Hey, I’m powerful,’ but considering everything that’s going on in the world, you don’t want to have to fit into that mold. One of the big things is figuring out how to dress femininely and still feel like you have a lot of power; that’s the most difficult balance.” How to dress like a woman and wield the power of a woman in rooms filled with men—this is Lance’s perennial quandary as an entrepreneur, and her rather cerebral solution is summed up most directly in one word: comfort. “My number-one thing is that I wear a lot of jeans in meetings, because they make me feel comfortable and I can move in them—feeling super-comfortable in my clothes makes me feel powerful,” she explains. “I also never wear heels, because I can’t walk in them. Females have a long lineage of oppression—and the idea of feeling bound by your footwear is especially oppressive. You want to feel very at ease in your clothes and skin.”
“Females have a long lineage of oppression—you want to feel very at ease in your clothes and skin.”
On top of her massive collection of vintage jeans (“I own way too many,” she admits), Lance professes her dedication to J Brand jeans for one major reason: the ability to shop by rise. “I’m tall, so I hate wearing a low-rise jean. I’m really long, so even things that are called ‘mid-rise’ are not really mid-rise on me,” she recounts. “When you think about the big jean companies in the industry, J Brand is definitely up there. Compared to the brands that have 100-year lineages or something like that, J Brand has such a big space in the market at such a relatively young age. It’s major.”
“When you think about the big jean companies in the industry, J Brand is definitely up there.”
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