Creative Director, Designer, Fashion Enthusiast: Briana Williams


Fashion Designer, Creative Director, and CEO of Mila Mara Agency & Luxury Brand from Detroit, MI. I fell in love with fashion when I was about 10 years old. I would draw designs and say "this will be on the runway!" Throughout my teenage years, I created a portfolio that I still have to this day. In college, I enrolled as a fashion student and immediately dropped out of my first semester. I felt that it was a waste of time to be taught something I could further teach myself. I went on to obtain a Bachelor's of Accounting at Wayne State University. 

In 2014, Homage Holders was created by sisters Briana (Hicks) Williams and Brielle Hicks. The clothing brand "Pays Homage" to their father who succumbed to suicide on October "16" 2011. Briana created the classic "OG" jacket while staying in the hospital for months after being diagnosed with a lifelong illness. Later the design would be featured on 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians" multiple times. 

Today, Mila Mara Agency was started while volunteering in a fashion show. My friend, Daun assigned all designers responsibilities to me. Over the years I have done multiple fashion shows. Most of the time, you spend thousands of dollars and you walk away with very little. I spoke with the designers and many of them had children and had to keep a day job to make ends meet. I believe you should live abundantly doing what you love to do- fashion! That's what we do today- develop and manage designers so that they can compete and receive opportunities globally.

 Why do you do what you do?

At an early age, I knew that fashion was my passion. When you wake up thinking about something and dream about it at night, do that thing! 

What are some projects you are currently working on?

I am currently working on multiple projects. Creative Directing, assisting with two virtual fashion shows, and hosting monthly fashion competitions with Detroit is Your Couture.

What are your goals for the short-term and long-term?

 Short-term goals include developing and assisting fashion designers locally. We will host seminars, shows, and workshops to cultivate their talent. Long term goals include expanding globally. We plan to manage and travel with designers to participate in pop up shops and shows across the globe.

 Who or what inspires you?  

 Now, I have children Milan and Marlee. They are my biggest motivation.  My plan is to leave a legacy for them and their grandchildren. My husband Darrin Williams, he is the love of my life. His exceptional spirit and love keeps me going when the obstacles come. He said something so profound one day. He said to me "you are not a fashion designer- you are fashion". Wow, that changed me.

If you could change anything about your industry, what would it be?

In the near future we will teach designers about inclusion and diversity. I believe that models should come in all shapes, colors, and sexual orientation. That is one thing I would change about the fashion industry. Also, I hope that true talent would sell over followers on social media. Overall, I remain optimistic about the industry. 

 What do you plan to do once you cross the millionaire mark?

Of course, philanthropy work. Generosity is at the core of my being. Once I reach the millionaire mark I would help open doors for others by providing grants and scholarships to help propel their careers financially. Also, I will speak about my journey to kids in the neighborhoods. Raised in a single parent home, in Detroit to a CEO fashion millionaire will inspire them.