Welcome fashion's avant-garde: Instagram's small, independent fashion brands -- like Brooklyn, NY-based ANGEL SPORT. Spearheaded by 22-year-old Kimani, the fashion brand is a self-described "clothing/accessory oasis" and ode to popular culture from the '90s through to the early 2000s.

Joining the growing ranks of young women and girls starting creative ventures from the comfort of their bedrooms, Kimani challenges the mainstream western fashion industry's tendency towards inaccessibility. Her brand looks like the love child of a present-day fashion industry and girlhood in the bygone age of Style.com, who has travelled back from the future to help us. It's a new-ish DIY fashion movement, or moment, that's challenging the restricted opportunities offered by what many consider an outdated industry by simply transforming available: like her bedroom.

With a latent politics that emphasise women's empowerment and body positivity, not unlike other up-and-coming Instabrands, ANGEL SPORT and its peers rise from the proverbial ashes of all the one-time fashion bloggers' teenage dreams. From recognising her own rising phoenix origin story to her eventual goal of laying down the foundations for a physical storefront slash "black girl utopia", Kimani talks us through her creative journey and process, and what drives her brand ANGEL SPORT forward.


On her personal inspiration for starting ANGEL SPORT

"I've always had a love for art and design, and I love using it as a way to express myself. Everything I've ever made has reminded me of wherever I was in my life at that moment. When I came up with Angel Sport, I felt like a lot of people took me for granted because I'm always there for them, and my boyfriend at the time made me feel this way too. I was just over it and I felt like everyone's guardian angel - so I went out and got an angel version of me tattooed. It represented how sweet and caring I am, but also how strong I am, how I stand up for what I believe in, and just the overall toughness that I have. I feel like all women possess that- we can be cute and prissy and take care of everyone, but we don't take no shit! We're angels, but don't get it twisted."


On how she started making clothes

"I got into designing when I was around 8 years old, I would make clothes for my Barbies and have fashion shows. I started a venture with my best friend Ava when I was about 18, but it fizzled because we were really young and pretty inexperienced. A year after we stopped, the Angel Sport concept just came to me! I've never believed in anything I've done more than this brand. All of the work that's a part of it is pretty personal, but I love that other girls relate so much to it."


On her hopes for how women will wear her clothes

"I want to show women how to embrace their layers. Unfortunately, women get grouped and group themselves into these categories - goth, blipster, kawaii, whatever - I make a lot of matching sets because I love going day-to-night in the same outfit, also because it's a built-in outfit, and I love seeing different girls rock it. Some girls rock my pink Femme Fatale set with fluffy heels, others wear a leather jacket and combat boots, or the same girl might wear it one way one week and then the other the next. It allows for every woman who puts it on to be exactly whoever they feel like at the moment. That's my goal. You don't have to fit into any kind of stereotype that society feels like you should be. I want to have the perfect canvas outfit for you, no matter how you feel that day."


On her main obstacles

"Money, money, money! The other day someone was emailing me and was like "Is this the intern's email? Can I have the owner's direct email?" It was like, "Well damn, thanks for thinking I actually have interns, I'm actually just some broke 22-year-old doing this from my bedroom in Brooklyn!" I have a thousand ideas every day, but it's hard to execute them when you're waiting on your shitty paycheck from your day job to do any real work. I can't wait until art consumes my life! I have so many ideas that I want to see babes from all over the world in. "


On her "highlights reel"

"I have two favorite things about being a creative overall - definitely watching an idea come to life. I usually have an idea for a design that gets stuck in my head and annoys the hell out of me, then I make it happen and being able to touch your idea is amazing! I also love when customers receive their orders in the mail and they take photos in it! They always look really cute, I'm obsessed with everyone who's ever bought anything from me. Those people make it all worth it, and they're definitely my highlight."


On her style references

"I'm very inspired by John Waters films - Earth Girls Are Easy, Crybaby, etc. Vivienne Westwood is one of my all-time favorites. Prince helped me heavily to embrace the layers of me. Right now, I'm obsessed with the idea of a uniform and girl gangs - like when Beyoncé would wear the camo dress, Kelly in the camo skirt, and Michelle in the camo pants. TLC and Blaque (because of LeftEye, duh) fucking killed the coordinated uniforms! I can't wait to create more stuff like that. The early '2000s and late '90s are always in my heart and are showcased in my work as well."


On her future manoeuvres

"I want to open a storefront soon! Hopefully it will be in my hometown, DC. I would want to have Angel Sport as the in-house brand, but I want to stock the work of young black women designers as well. It'd be like a black girl utopia. The boys can come to play eventually, but black girl utopia first!"


On her Instagram-brand recommendations

I love seeing young women do their thing. My favorites are @rhiverxxx, @artbabygirl, @shopmatte, @sosorella, @feelingvaguevintage, @houseofcb, there are so many. Instagram is so inspiring man, I love seeing all those girls tell their stories through their work.