Designer Bryan Hearns Shares The Inspiration Behind Normani’s VMAs Look

Photo: Bennett Raglin/WireImage.
Last night's VMAs were dramatic to say the least. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello gave a steamy performance, Missy Elliot reunited with "Work It!" dance partner Alyson Stoner, and Miley Cyrus sang her breakup anthem live for the first time. But out of all the memorable VMA moments, it’s Normani's appearance we can’t forget — or more specifically, her straight-out-of-the-noughties onstage 'fit.
There to perform her record-breaking single, "Motivation", the former Fifth Harmony member strutted on stage in a velour tracksuit, a one-shoulder bra top, and high top Air Force 1s. The man behind her outfit? Bryan Hearns, who also happens to be the go-to designer for Cardi B and Ariana Grande's tour wardrobes. He talked to Refinery29 about the inspiration behind her retro look.
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Refinery29: What was your inspiration for Normani's performance look?
Bryan Hearns: The inspo was basically the Motivation video. Normani, alongside her stylist, Kollin Carter and her team wanted to bring the video to life onstage. It’s deeply inspired by the 2000s. The purple velour, the rhinestone wording and the one shoulder moment — the whole thing epitomized 2000’s fashion.
Were you inspired by Normani's personal style?
BH: Having worked with Normani in the past, I’ve been able to experience the evolution of her personal style. Right now, she’s focusing on bringing all the nostalgia of the 90s to her music, performances and style on stage.
How long, in total, did it take for the look to be designed?
BH: The look itself took about a week to come together, between sketching and edits. The final version, however, was sewn together in less than 24 hours.
There was a certain type of pressure and anxiousness knowing this was Normani’s first big solo performance and that it was at the VMAs, where so many iconic performances have taken place.
How collaborative were you with stylist, Kollin Carter?
BH: Very collaborative. Kollin and I work together all the time on looks for Cardi B. We have a great working relationship, so when he came to me with this opportunity, I knew we had to make something amazing happen. He’s very good at knowing his clients' vision and bringing it to life.
What 2000s era trend would you most like to see come back en vogue?
BH: I love a peek-a-boo low-rise jeans moment – think X-Tina Aguilera. ICONIC!
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