Fashion Designer, Eleanor Jones-Brown, is the perfect person to kick off October’s Houston, We Have Style column. Why? Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Eleanor Jones-Brown of El B Icon Fashions is a survivor, achiever and up and coming designer in Houston.
We all know that life happens, but it has REALLY happened to Eleanor Jones-Brown. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Eleanor moved to Houston when she was 13 years old. Originally, Eleanor wanted to be a doctor, but life happens. Married at the age of 22 and having three children before she turned 26, she found herself divorced and a young single mother, but life happens. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, and still, life happens.
What makes Eleanor Jones-Brown so remarkable is that instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turned it all around and made life happen the way she felt God intended.
I have always been an achiever ever since I was young. I graduated in the top 10% of my high school out of 700 students. Then even with three young boys, I completed my degree from the University of Houston and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Education.
I got remarried in 2000 and had another son. I have been married for 17 years to my biggest supporter and business manager.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my outlook on life completely changed. I began to live more intentionally. I left education briefly to attend nursing school, but I still did not feel that I was where I was supposed to be in life.
Living Your Purpose
While Eleanor was recovering from her surgery, she knew that it was important that she live her purpose. Although she loved being an educator, she felt as if she had lost herself, and then one day while scrolling through Instagram, she saw a sewing tutorial for a fold over clutch and thought to herself that she could make that. And, she did.
Eleanor has always had a love for sewing. She made many of her clothes during high school, and she learned her sewing skills from her mother, who is a seamstress and always made all of her event and prom dresses, often from Eleanor’s designs. After she had made her first handbag, she put it on Instagram to sell it, and it sold within three minutes, and that is when Eleanor knew that this was what she was meant to do.
What’s in Eleanor’s Bag? Style!
Fashion to Eleanor is individual, and it is an expression of who you are through how you dress. It is all about pleasing yourself, and Eleanor shows that through her stylish handbags, totes, clutches, bucket bags, wallets, skirts, and necklaces.
When you see her work, you can see the artistic inspiration in the fabrics and designs. Culture plays a significant role as well in her design aesthetic.
That is why many of my pieces have a strong African aesthetic. Although I keep up with the trends, I would not say that I am trendy. I am more timeless in my style. I get inspiration from major designers like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Gucci. I love high fashion.
El B Icon Fashions is a nod to her father, using his initials with hers to form the name of her business, and her tag line, “for the fashion icon in you” explains her design whimsy perfectly.
I feel that every woman should be a fashion icon in her own right.