Why Terry L. Davis founded the first Black female jeans manufacturing firm

BY Preta Peace Namasaba June 14, 2024 3:05 PM EDT

No piece of clothing defines American culture and fashion more than jeans. Over the past two centuries, jeans have gone from being worn by gold miners during the American gold mine boom in the 1800s to being produced by luxury brands like Gucci, Versace, and Calvin Klein. They have been associated with American cowboys, served as a means of rebellious self-expression by young people, and are now firmly entrenched in popular culture. Jeans nowadays transcend gender, age, and economic class,  featuring in most people’s wardrobes as both luxury and streetwear.

Although jeans supposedly represent the American values of creativity and rebellion, this revolution has not been inclusive. Terry L. Davis challenged the status quo by establishing the first black female jeans manufacturing company in the USA.

“The Brilliant You Denim Classic Collection was inspired by changes that my personal body experienced over a period of ten years. As others can confirm, we do not always have control over how our bodies change. But we all know that as we enter different seasons of our lives, we will experience some type of body change,” Davis explained.

Davis was inspired to create the Brilliant You Denim Classic Collection by the changes her body experienced over ten years. Most clothing was not designed to accommodate body fluctuations and choosing what to wear was extremely costly and time-consuming. Davis began to think of how economical it would be if everyday clothing was designed to accommodate the changes that bodies go through. She remembered the numerous conversations about finding comfortable jeans that she had with her friends and knew she had to do something.

Channeling her engineering and problem-solving skills, Davis set out to revolutionize the denim world. She and her team pioneered an innovation enhancement concept that could accommodate bodily changes. The solution utilizes object shaped highly stretchy fabric sewn directly into the seams of the jeans where the body typically experiences changes. It allows the jeans to adapt to an individual’s body changes, increasing comfort and fit. Additionally, the Brilliant You Denim Classic Collection allows wearers to personalize jeans with enhancement options and other custom choices.

“I remembered many conversations with friends that love their jeans, but needed to drop a couple inches before they could wear them, especially after being tucked away in the closet. I also remembered many of my friends saying they had given up on finding jeans that are comfortable after being washed, or only fit at certain times. Putting all this data together, I processed it by drawing from many years of engineering experience,” Davis described the process that led to her founding The Brilliant You Denim Classic Collection.

While most small businesses outsource their manufacturing, Davis made the tough decision to build her own jeans brand. She had initially considered outsourcing to several companies in China but knew the adverse effects it would have on the US economy. Davis forfeited the easier route and made rebuilding manufacturing in America the company’s vision. The company‚Äôs manufacturing facilities are located in Greensboro, North Carolina, providing employment and growth opportunities for Americans.

The Brilliant You Denim Classic Collection has expanded its business within the country and is now looking to export its products to Canada and Mexico. The company has trademarked its brand and currently holds 11 patents, with several more pending. Davis has made her mark in the historic evolution of jeans in American culture.