Henry Spencer's Golden Hanger Designs

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 00:07 Written by  Charmaine Little

About four years ago, Henry Spencer created Golden Hanger Designs, a hand-crafted, custom fashion line for women. But, if you think it’s like any other fashion line, think again. GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) had the opportunity to interview the Detroit native to discuss his highs and lows, where he gets inspiration to design the perfect “freakum dress” and how his tailor-made apparel is unlike any other.

GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): What sparked your interest in fashion design? What was one of your first defining moments?

Henry Spencer: For as long as I can remember, I've been into fashion. I think I was in 10th grade when I created my first ‘design.’ At the time, there was a pair of distressed Gucci jeans I wanted, but I couldn’t afford the $600 or so price tag. So, I bought a pair of jeans and distressed them myself. When I wore them to school the next day, everybody wanted a pair.

GMO: Being a Detroit native, how would you describe the city's fashion scene? How did that influence your style?

Henry: Detroiters have a unique style. Some may call us ‘flashy’ and ‘over the top,’ but I've traveled to a lot of cities in the U.S. and I can definitely say that Detroiters have a style like no other. It’s more than clothing, it’s our entire aura. We just get it.

GMO: What's the biggest challenge you've had to overcome on the road to being a successful fashion designer?

Henry: Moving to L.A. was challenging. I created my brand about four years ago. After participating in over 50 fashion shows, being honored in local magazines and being known as a rising fashion designer on the East Coast, I moved to L.A. and basically had to start all over from scratch. I loved it! Moving here allowed me to take a step back and look back at my accomplishments and decide what I wanted to do next. I've been here for about four months, and I can say moving here is the best decision I've made yet. I love meeting new people and working. There are millions of people here living their dreams, so it makes me want to grow and work harder. I'm excited to be here to expand my brand!

GMO: What was your perception of the fashion industry before you started your line? Is it what you thought it would be?

Henry: Honestly, when I started my brand, I didn't know much about the fashion industry. I just knew I wanted to be a designer, so I worked hard to become that. I had to study and learn so much. I’m still learning. I never let a day go by without learning something new.

GMO: Bossip.com interviewed and showcased a Golden Hanger design on the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) red carpet. Congratulations, that's major! How did that come about? What was it like?

Henry: So major!  CJ (the spokesperson/host for Bossip) texted me and told me she needed a custom design. I didn't know she was going to wear the dress to the VMA's! When I found out, a few days before the show, I was mad excited and honored to have one of my designs on the red carpet at one of THE biggest awards shows! I still think about it like, ‘Did that really happen?!’

GMO: Your line has been featured in so many fashion shows in the past and your designs are full of unique prints and material. Where do you get ideas for your clothing, and how do you keep it trendy and relevant?

Henry: I’m inspired by everything around me. It’s hard to explain where the ideas come from, it just happens. I think every artist has his or her little ‘rituals’ they practice when creating. I'll share them when I retire [laughs].

GMO: What current projects are you working on?

Henry: I have a show out here in Cali at the end of the month. This will be my third show on the West Coast, and I’m beyond honored and excited to be able to introduce my brand to people who aren't familiar. I love to see people who don’t know me or my work react to my designs.

GMO: Where can people find your designs?

Henry: They can visit www.GoldenHangerDesigns.com and www.GoldenHanger.BigCartel.com. I'll be adding some new items to by web store GoldenHanger.BigCartel.com over the next couple of weeks, so keep checking for new items!

GMO: You currently design custom dresses and apparel for women. What can we expect from Golden Hanger Designs in the future? Do you plan to expand to shoes, accessories, etc.?

Henry: Golden Hanger is a brand, so there is no limit to what it can/will become.  When I first started my line, I only had tee shirts.  At the time I didn't sew and never imagined I'd being sewing custom pieces by hand. Today, I create all of my garments by hand, so I'm sure over the next few years I'm going to expand beyond anything I can imagine.

GMO: How is your brand different from what people usually see?

Henry: Everything from Golden Hanger is custom, so no two pieces are alike.  I never want my designs to be like anything you’d find at the mall or any store.

GMO: I read that Kanye West is one of your favorite celebrities when it comes to fashion. Who are some more of your fashion heroes and favorite designers?

Henry: I admire and am inspired by any and every artist that I come across, whether it’s a musician, graffiti artist or a poet. The idea of ‘creating’ interests and inspires me.

GMO: What else would you like readers to know about you?

Henry: I just want everyone to know that anything is possible.  I started my brand at 19 years old. At the time, I didn't know much but I knew that I wanted to succeed.  I remember being young and always hearing ‘you can be whatever you want to be,’ and that’s the truth.  Whatever you want to be in life you can do it. Work hard, stay humble, believe in yourself and you will succeed.  It feels great to be able to share my story with people. I’ve been able to inspire many people and that’s what makes me the most happy. I’ve inspired many of my friends and peers to work hard and pursue their dreams it’s rewarding to see them excel.

GMO: What matters to you most when it comes to fashion and your designs?

Henry: I consider myself an artist. I want to be remembered as that. I’m working to make sure that my designs are creations that I’ll be able to look at years from now and still love them.

Charmaine Little

Charmaine Little

Charmaine Little is a contributing writer for GMO. She's a lover of all things writing and entertainment. One of her biggest passions is interviewing and sharing the story of up and coming as well as established artists, fashion designers and entrepreneurs.


Charmaine currently lives in Orlando, FL and can be reached at charmaine.little@gmail.com.