Local designer aims high with “Poised Society” clothing line. Did we mention he’s a teenager?

Gabriel Brown (center, back) and models at photo shoot on Kelly Drive

Don’t let his age fool you, Gabriel Brown isn’t kidding around about fashion. The 17 year-old has been building his Poised Society brand since he first dreamed about his own fashion line at 14. Unlike some teen business phenoms, he’s built it up himself. Website design, graphic arts, clothing design, photography, and even some of the textiles used in his pieces, he created himself. And he works a regular job to pay for it.

We met up with Gabriel recently at his first popup fashion shop in Dobson Mills (he’s a resident there) to find out more about Poised Society.

Where did the idea come from? “I wanted to be an actor when I was much younger and did pretty well with it – even had an agent at one point and assignments in New York. Going up there opened my eyes to fashion and the many ways people expressed themselves with clothing.” It was a short jump for him to creating “something that was my own signature, that helped me stand out.”

He calls his fashion urban luxury streetwear apparel. Urban luxury means “you can dress it up and go out or dress it down if need be.” What started with t-shirts for men has branched out into designs for women, children, and even babies. (“You’re never to young to be poised,” he joked.)

He tries to design for as many people as possible because that’s the idea behind Poised Society. “The term society means a lot to me, particularly one that is as diverse as possible. I believe in everyone standing together, regardless of race or sex.”

It’s a message of positivity he feels is hard for some to hear right now but one that he believes in. “I want to make a difference by setting an example for people. To be open and collaborative is the way to make progress. I want to show that, not just say that.”

And that requires confidence. He points to a “Fearless” tee (with a lion on it) – “you have to fearless regardless of what you’re doing. You have to be confident. If you’re not confident, that shouldn’t stop you. You can always work at getting more confident.”

When it comes to fashion, sometimes you have to “wear it on the outside til you feel it on the inside.”

What’s next? “I’m creating a line of athletic wear next. Can’t wait to finish it.” He’s also begun collaborating with designers in center city. “We place items from our collections on each other’s websites.” It’s a way to build each other up and offer people more choices.”

Get Poised

Check out Poised Society’s website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.