Music meets fashion in Bravo’s newest competition series “Styled to Rock” from executive producer and fashion icon Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Each designer was hand-picked by Rihanna, for the opportunity of a lifetime – to create unique fashion pieces for some of the biggest names in entertainment. The stakes will be high as these up-and-coming designers vie for the title of America’s next trendsetting designer. The winning contestant who pushes the creative envelope and proves that they have the trendsetting vision fit for a star will receive a $100,000 cash prize, a fashion feature in Glamour magazine and the chance to become the next member of Rihanna’s design team.
A weekly one-hour competition series, “Styled to Rock” will give 12 designers the coveted opportunity to dress some of the biggest names in entertainment. Pharrell Williams, Erin Wasson and Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg serve as mentors to these designers as they experience demanding real-life challenges made to push their creative boundaries. One contestant eager to make it big in the fashion industry is, Ebony White who is a women’s wear designer. She is eager to bring her fashion prowess to the forefront. White has been a ghost designer for several household labels. While she appreciates the opportunities given to her by working for those labels, her ultimate goal is to create a name for herself. See Ebony take those leaps and bounds under the careful eye of her mentors and fashion icon, Rihanna. "Styled to Rock" premieres tonight (October 25th) on Bravo 8-9 p.m. ET and read my full interview with Ebony below:
Examiner: How are you?
Ebony White: "These stilettos are murdering the pinky toe on my left foot, but other than that I'm fantastic!"
Examiner: You've been a ghost designer for quite some time, what made you step into the spotlight?
Ebony White: "I feel like now is my time. I've spent an entire career paying dues. I'm ready to ascend."
Examiner: Were you initially intimidated by Rihanna?
Ebony White: "Absolutely. Who wouldn't be? It's Rihanna's world right now, she's a beast. And I'm not just kissing up because she put me on her show. Okay, I am, but I'm totally inspired by what a major force to be reckoned with she's become. It was crazy interacting in the flesh with someone who is such a powerful example of what I aspire to be in my own industry. I want to be the Rihanna of the fashion world! Coming face to face with all that there was totally intimidating!"
Examiner: What about Rihanna's style do you personally admire?
Ebony White: "I admire fearlessness in any female, and Rihanna represents that to the fullest."
Examiner: What was the best piece of fashion advice did you receive during filming of "Styled to Rock?"
Ebony White: "It was actually something that Pharrell said to someone else. He said: 'Believe that you belong here.' It brought tears to my eyes. No matter how successful I've been in my career, when I look around I rarely ever see designers that look like me, so believing that I belong there is something I sometimes struggle with. I didn't actually realize that until he said it."
Examiner: Which of the mentors were most helpful to you and why?
Ebony White: "I felt like Mel was most helpful in the feedback, his calm, intense demeanor was somehow comforting to me. Is that weird? I liked and respected Erin's enthusiasm. Pharrell was not a man of many words, but when he spoke, he would go from zero to deep in seconds. I totally respected the things he had to say. Did that answer your question? I couldn't choose just one, I have a commitment problem."
Examiner: How does "Styled to Rock" differ from other design competition shows?
Ebony White: "We've never seen a reality competition show with such star power. And such a fabulous and gorgeous cast, but, seriously, having your clothes worn by celebrities is what every designer dreams of. It's so cool they gave us little small time designers with our big dreams, this amazing opportunity to have a voice on such a massive platform. The connections we make on the show can benefit us way after taping concludes."
Examiner: What do you think will surprise the viewers this season?
Ebony White: "Surprises lurk behind every corner on this show. Too many to pick just one. I can attest they kept us on our toes though, and they'll keep viewers on theirs as well."
Examiner: Out of the other contestants, who did you bond with the most?
Ebony White: "Wow. That's a hard question. I loved just about everyone, and each designer for different reasons! Andre was always a bright ball of sunshine, always made me smile and we shared the same taste in panties. Keenan was like a brother I never had, in such a short amount of time, I felt like I'd known him for years. I could totally relate to Laura, she'd worked long and hard in the industry like me and we were both the same age so I got her frustrations with feeling like she couldn't move forward, and that by this time in her life, she'd maybe hoped to be in a different place. Dexter was a diva but so entertaining, I loved his spirit! For some reason he reminded me of my little sister, he has such a strong will, but a lovable vulnerability, and of course he was quick with the quips which kept me in stitches. Jordan said what was on his mind no matter who it pissed off or how awkward, something about that is cool to me... I could go on, but I won't."
Examiner: Lastly, what can viewers expect from you and your designs this season on "Styled to Rock?"
Ebony White: "Knowing you can make a mistake and having the courage to do it anyways, gives you a certain amount of power and frees you up to truly create. What viewers can expect from me is a certain amount of fearlessness that comes with not limiting myself to a comfort zone. My designs were fresh and new with each challenge. I didn't keep doing the same styles or silhouettes over and over again, or use the same fabrics, or techniques because it was default easy. Because of this, people never knew what to expect from me. They couldn't put me in a box. Each design I did was different and completely inspired by the challenge. That's exciting to me. It bothered me that some designers only stuck to what they'd done before or kept doing the same thing over and over. The goal was to be creative, and that's what I did. I looked fear dead in it's eyes and confronted it. With each challenge, I challenged myself. I hope the viewers can see and appreciate that regardless of whether the judges did."
Don't miss the series premiere of "Styled to Rock" tonight, only on Bravo 8-9 p.m. ET.