We had a chance encounter at a coffee shop in Palm Springs. I was walking in when I hear someone yell "Hey, Dani!" I look over and didn't recognize the gorgeous and stylish woman calling my name and thought to myself "Oh no, we must have met and I don't remember!?". I walk over and say hi and right away Angeline says "We haven't met but I follow you on Instagram!". We end up chatting for quite awhile and and come to find she just moved to Palm Springs from Los Angeles. Since I just bought a house in the desert I was keen to make friends out there so I asked to follow Angeline on Instagram and see she owns a GORGEOUS wedding dress line! I was blown away and knew I needed to feature her :)
For our shoot I met up with Angeline on a warm summer morning in Palm Springs to talk about entrepreneurship, have a boss babe photoshoot, and luckily got to slip into the most gorgeous pieces too! Read on to feel the free spirit, learn about the intentions of each piece, and hear to truth of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur in fashion.
I’m an Island Girl to a Tee, born in the beautiful caribbean island of Grenada. Raised in Los Angeles and now based in Palms Springs and my adopted Island of Bali. Otherwise, I’ve bounced around several states living in New York, Miami, DC just to name a few. My immersion into fashion has further exposed me to such amazing places such as India, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Hong Kong, and Europe in general. What brought me to Palm Springs? Having lived, schooled and groomed in LA, I needed a change. I wanted to have a small town feel but still have access to the big city - Los Angeles. Overall, I really love the desert laid back bohemian lifestyle that Palm Springs offers.
Could you tell us more about Caribbean culture? Also, what draws you to the bohemian lifestyle?
The Caribbean culture is a melting potpourri of African, European, Asian and Native Indian tribes. The music, architecture, Food and lifestyle have all fused into a colorful collage with an effortless Island Vibe.
The bohemian lifestyle is and has been my way of life. I had a very spiritual upbringing, that keeps me grounded. So my spirituality, fused with my nomadic lifestyle of travels around the world, have broaden my perspective, where I exist beyond trends and really morphed into a free-spirit. My early life in California has also inspired my character, having lived in the “valley” minutes away from the Hippie Topanga Canyon and now partially based in Palm Springs, the boho way of life is now engrained in my “veins”.
What inspired your Bridal line?
To begin; my love for fashion began since I was little, which blossomed into becoming a fashion model in the Los Angeles fashion scene. As a model, the fascination of designing your very own line is a dream. The right opportunity came to realization, while searching for a bohemian styled gown for my Malibu beach wedding. It was quite a daunting process searching for the right styles and we saw this as an opportunity to design and create beautiful pieces for other free-sprits around the world.
You mentioned being a co-founder. Who did you start this company with and what’s the story there?
Yes, I’m on this incredible journey with my favorite human - "OD" or Odero. As the brand grew, we've been able to cultivate a small knitted team we call “The Tribe”. We’re college sweethearts, serial entrepreneurs, and wanderlust artists/designers all bundled in one.
Ah, I love that you are pursuing Island Tribe with your favorite human. It seems that you both are very aligned. Could you tell me about what it’s like to have a relationship that involves both work and romance?
I think this quote summarizes your question: “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together”. For me it’s a seamless merger. With us being so creatively aligned in fashion and lifestyle, everything falls into place at the right time.
What does the name Island Tribe mean to you?
Other than the cool Island lifestyle; Island Tribe is about Freedom, Good vibes and Culture. We inspire our Tribe to live a conscious cultured life.
Production can be so difficult even in the t-shirt world, I can’t imagine what wedding dresses are like! How did you go about creating it?
Production is definitely the most intricate and crucial aspect of the fashion business. It takes quite a lot of attention to details, open communication with your production staff; pattern makers, cutters, seamstress, fabric suppliers and learning from your mistakes. It all starts with an inspiration for a collection. Inspirations can be derived from many aspects, but in our case; nature, travel, culture, and art are our foundation. I also love vintage designs as a source of inspiration — that is another reason why I love Palm Springs - so many awesome vintage stores that I shop for inspiration.
Life as a designer can look fabulous from the outside. It’s beautiful wardrobe, fun photoshoot, serene locations—- the works. What doesn’t get shown is the nitty gritty, the email overload, the long hours, and even the days of creative block. Could you tell us what you wish you knew about being a designer in the fashion industry?
It’s more about being a savvy business entrepreneur, than solely being a creative. You can have the most exquisite creations, but if it is not marketed and brand positioned well, I've come to learn that it can be quite challenging.
Also, I must be honest with anyone dreaming of starting a brand out there; Funding, funding, funding. Fashion is very costly, risky and endearing. Fashion is not for the weak. Literally, nothing moves without money and not many investors are willing to fund small start up fashion brands. In the end follow your passion, and work tirelessly in pursuit of that dream. If we made this far, then anyone can make it.
How would you describe the Island Tribe bride?
The Island tribe bride/woman is confident and conscious. She's a free spirit, a wanderlust with a desire for an elegant, effortless lifestyle.
You have also branched out of just Wedding Dresses and offer ready-to-wear caftans and other items with a Bridal feel. What prompted that section of your brand and how has it been?
Yes. Although we started as bridal, the Tribe has since grown into a lifestyle brand. Branching into a ready to wear seemed like a natural transition. Island Babes were asking for designs beyond bridal. It’s so much fun to dress your customer for one of her most special occasion and continue to dress her entire lifestyle.
We LOVE your Instagram, always gorgeous photos and very branded. How do you keep up with posting such gorgeous and cohesive content across your Instagram and website?
Over time, Island Tribe has fostered a wanderlust lifestyle — where most of our customers buy for a special occasion: wedding, honeymoon, vacation, festival etc. So they really share some magical images through their journeys which we share on social media to inspire the tribe around the world. We also work and collaborate with other creatives/talents that really understand the feel and vibe of Island Tribe and they too share a similar lifestyle or aesthetics and that creates the cohesion.
What does being a Dazey Lady mean to you?
The Dazey Lady lives her life boldly with confidence in color. She empowers, encourages and celebrates other women to quote… “empowered women, empower women”.