What can you tell me about Kenyatta Jones from “House of Curves”?
—Shevala Brown, Baltimore, Md.
Jones, 34, who was born and raised in Meridian, Miss., was influenced early on to love fashion. Her father had a taste for nicely tailored suits and imported shoes, while her mother, who is her business partner (and the René in Belle René, their fashion firm) inspired her with the bright colors and exotic dresses that she wore.
But Jones, who says she has been fat since she was 5 years old, had difficulties finding clothes that she felt were stylish, fit correctly and lived up to her expectations. So, after obtaining her MBA from Jackson State University, she decided to become a designer of plus-size fashions.
Before she could make that happen, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Jones took a break to care for her mom, who is now in remission. Her mother’s illness was a wake-up call to Jones that life is short, so she accepted financial assistance from her mother and launched her line.
Today, she is hoping for a major boost for her company from the WE TV series “House of Curves,” on which she showed off three lines of clothing, with the goal in mind to create basic pieces for full-figured women to build on, such as a statement dress, a flirty skirt in a fabulous print, a beautiful blouse, a great-fitting pair of slacks and a beautiful jacket.
“Pieces that are not too trendy, so that you can transition,” she says is her goal. “Clothing you can keep from season to season to season. Let’s face it, in this economy, when you’re spending a certain amount of money on a garment, you want to get some wear out of it. You want to know it is not so trendy that when you look up two seasons from now, it is so out of style that you have to give it away or sell it on eBay.”