Spotlight on Designers Angela Brantley and Rhea Fernandez

When I first learned of Hero/Black the first thought that popped into my head was, "These designs are cool AF". I became instantly obsessed when I saw the whole collection on their website and realized I need the mesh dress with patches in my life. Not too long after my discovery, I learned everyone felt the same way. I was seeing the bold Hero/Black logo everywhere, and I became even more curious about this brand. I decided to reach out and I am now thrilled to share this interview with everyone. After learning more about the brand and it's co-creators Angela Brantley and Rhea Fernandez, I am an official Hero/Black fan-girl. 

I am a supporter of any brand with a #girlboss, but two girl bosses only makes it better. Hero/Black is the brand we've all been waiting for; a brand that is both minimal and bold. I am extremely excited to see the growth of this luxury brand because I imagine it will sky-rocket to greatness. Please continue reading below to see what these two lovely women had to say.

What is the story behind Hero/Black?

Angela: Rhea and I met at a fashion show years ago and immediately clicked. We’ve always had very similar styles and decided to start a line together over drinks one night, it was that simple! We decided on the name Hero/Black because we wanted something simple and bold that fit our brand’s personality. Hero is my daughter’s name and black is our favorite color.

Where does your artistic influence come from? 

Rhea: When we first conceptualized the brand, we started by talking about the kind of women we pictured in our clothes. We draw a lot of our inspiration from these strong beautiful women of the past and present. We love Grace Jones and Lisa Bonet, Bianca Jagger and Michele Lamy

What is your philosophy about the art of fashion?

Angela: Fashion is such an important part of self-expression and it's supposed to fun! We love the idea of curating our closets and investing in quality but we also think it's important to not take fashion or yourself too seriously. It’s all about that balance for us.

How did you develop your interest in fashion design?

Rhea: I have loved clothing since as long as I can remember. Shopping with my mother was my favorite past time. I always dreamt of having my own line but never thought it would be a reality. I went to school for Interior Design and studied the influence of fashion on interiors. I ended up falling even more in love with fashion and realizing that having my own brand was a definite possibility. 

Angela: I grew up watching my stepmother sew and I always devoured her magazines. To me, fashion was just this fun outlet I loved to experiment with. I started modeling when I was 16 and always loved watching designers bring their vision to life. Eventually, I realized fashion design and the process of sharing my own vision meant so much to me.  

What is your design process?

Rhea: Everything we make is because we wanted to wear it. We both love to shop and have definitely created our own Hero/Black aesthetic so what we ultimately create bridges that gap.

What is the most challenging part of being a designer?

Rhea: We always seem to know what we want to make and what we want the finished product to look like, I think the hardest part is not knowing how people are going to respond to it. We make everything that we want to wear, we just hope that other people want to wear it too!

What is your favorite aspect of being a designer?

Angela: Getting to create beautiful things with my best friend every day. We both genuinely enjoy the process every single day and get so excited watching each collection come to life.

Rhea: awwwwwww luh you boo.

How does your work reflect your personal style and beliefs?

Rhea: We both love playing with the idea of masculine versus feminine so that definitely shines through in our work.

Who is the HERO/BLACK client?

Angela: The Hero/Black girl likes to have fun with her clothing but is understated at the same time. She’s bold but appreciates quality.

Where do you envision your brand going?

Angela: We see Hero/Black being carried in luxury concept stores all over the world. We see ourselves dressing interesting and powerful women. We want Hero/Black to be a household name.

Do you plan to have a brick and mortar store or do you prefer to stay online?

Rhea: We’re not ruling out a brick and mortar some day but for now we love not being tied down.

Where can your fans purchase the Hero/Black designs?

A&R: Purchase full collection at as well as Chicago-based store, Sir&Madame.

Any last thoughts? 

A&R: Our first fashion presentation will be on October 8th at Virgin Hotels Chicago to release our Fall/Winter Collection. Stay tuned for more updates and follow us on Instagram! @shopheroblack