Miss Brache Talks Her Custom-Made Rockabilly Designs

Diane Brache
Diane Brache

Through Etsy, DIYers have the chance to make a living from what might have only remained a hobby. Diane Brache is one of those people. Her store, Miss Brache, offers custom-made rockabilly inspired clothing from size 0 to 24. The Miami native calls herself a "one lady sweat shop."  Her swimsuits have graced the body of Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr and the dancers in a Sean Paul music video. They've also been featured in Bust magazine.

At heart, though, she's inspired by everyday women she passes on the street. We spoke to Diane about her rockabilly style, why her workspace smells like tempura and plum sauce, and what inspired her recent move back to Miami from Seattle.

Miss Brache Talks Her Custom-Made Rockabilly Designs
Oh La La Maillot

Oh La La Maillot
New Times: Did

you grow up in Miami? 


Diane Brache:

Yes, I was born and raised in Miami. I love this place, even with its

problems. I just moved back from living in Seattle for three years. I

needed to get back to some serious sunshine. I'm an island girl at heart

and need some warm weather to feel sane. Also, people here are so

different. They're very outgoing and love life. That comes with some

rudeness, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. A good song comes on

here, and people dance even if they're in CVS. 


Have you always been into DIY? 

Yes,

totally. I grew up a bit poor, due to painfully young parents who

didn't like each other very much. So, I would make what I didn't have.

Both my parents are that way too. It's a sort of way I can save money

and make it better anyway. 


Miss Brache Talks Her Custom-Made Rockabilly Designs

When did you realize your love for clothes, and when did you actually start making them?

I

think I've always enjoyed this. In high school sewing class we had a

fashion show and many of the girls wore my stuff because they liked it

better. I was shy then and they didn't ask me, they kind of just took

the stuff. It was weird. As a kid, my mother made us bad ass Halloween

costumes and my sister and I were always first or second place at the

San Juan Social Club's Halloween party. It was held at Knights of

Columbus. That's when I learned to sew. I'd help my mom cut patterns and

stuff. 


I made a fashion show with my three

cousins that I'd babysit. I made them outfits with a stapler and Publix

paper bags. As I got older

and would shop with my girlfriends, I would hear their woes. I have a

few plus-sized, gorgeous friends that couldn't find anything to wear. I

thought it was bullshit that they couldn't wear something to show off

their curves. I knew then that I needed to do something about it. 


Miss

Brache is my first store. It's a work in progress and could be much

better. I need to visit the Small Business Administration and try to get

a mentor. I want to write a business plan and seek out an investor or

loan, so I can hire help and make a better product. I need to hire

someone, but the responsibility of someone else's livelihood from my

business is something I'm terrified of. I want it to be a good place to

work for. 


Sydney Sails Dress
What are you inspired by when

making your clothes? What inspired you to make

handmade, rockabilly pin-up dresses and swimsuits? 


I

probably creep a lot of women out. I'm always looking at their clothing

and thinking "very flattering," or "I'd change this seam to make her

waist look smaller." Based on those observations, I make dress patterns.

I want women to feel beautiful just the way they are. A great fitting

outfit is a good start. 


My clothing is

handmade to order and made to measure. It's rockabilly subculture with a

modern wearable sense. Who doesn't love pin-ups and that era of

clothing?


Is most of your time and energy dedicated to your Etsy store?

 


I'm

always at work. It's the one sucky thing about running your own

business. I'm either really busy or slow. Slow means I don't know if I

get to pay rent, and busy means I don't eat dinner with the boys, my

Mister and Professor Miles my dog. It's a roller coaster, But I'll see

it through to something great. 


What is your workspace area like?

It's

been almost a year since I moved the one lady sweatshop out of the

living room. Professor Miles is no longer covered in thread. It's a bit

ghetto, but I love it. I have a big old window that faces Dogma on

Biscayne Boulevard, and it leaks like crazy when it rains. I put the

lucky bamboo my Mister's grandmother gave me underneath the rain so it

get watered. I've seen a couple car accidents from the window. 


I'm

on top of Moonshine Sushi, and the first floor reaks of tempura and

plum sauce. My neighbors are really loud Miami guys who say bro a lot. I

think they're bounty hunters. They're nice though. Gerri, the building

manger, always makes me smile. She's a sassily dressed Jewish woman with

fantastic energy. I pass her as I get my mail on the second floor. 


Miss Brache Talks Her Custom-Made Rockabilly Designs


What do you think about the fashion in Miami? How would you describe your personal style? 

I

love Miami and its style. People like to get dressed up here and aren't

afraid to push the envelope. You see women and the occasional male

doing their groceries in heels. I don't care too much for the Ed Hardy

rhinestone craze, but at least they're dressing up. Just tone down the

cologne boys. I went to the Opera House in Seattle all dolled up, and

everyone was in hoodies. I felt like a turd. Granted, being in Seattle I

should of known better, but that would of never happened in Miami. 


I

like to consider my style rock-n-roll meets the beach bum. Sometimes

I'm in a maxi dress and sandals. Sometimes it's a band T-shirt and my

thick plastic glasses. I love to wear my clothes the most which try to

be rockabilly, a subculture of people who love Gil Elvgren, pin-ups, and

music of the '50s meets the tattoos and debauchery of the new

millennium. I'm not that into the scene; I kind of just admire it from

afar and make clothing inspired by it.


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