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When Aaliyah Jay speaks, over four million people listen. With a decade’s worth of videos on YouTube, the Brooklyn native is one of the top Black beauty influencers and she is now looking to break into the fashion industry.

Jay had a heartbreaking introduction into fashion ——she added apparel to her Twisted Saints collection, which started out as a swim line with original pieces. However, Jay’s dream turned into a nightmare when she found out that her China-based vendor ripped off the designs from another Black woman-ran business.

“I felt so dumb, embarrassed and just upset with myself; all the money I spent, I ripped off another designer who is young and black and I was becoming friends with,” Jay wrote on Instagram. “I don’t know how that slipped by me. That was my bad though and I had to take accountability for it!”

With her head held high, the 27-year-old beauty went back to square one and didn’t let this deter her from her ultimate goal: to be a fashion icon. With the help of a new team, Jay relaunched Twisted Saints and released three trendy pieces on Jan. 28. The collection, which goes up to 2XL, consists of a sheer patterned mesh top ($60), skin-tight leather pants ($90), and a ribbed yellow and blue bodycon dress ($120).

MADAMENOIRE caught up with Aaliyah Jay to talk about her journey to becoming a designer, what’s she learned, and what’s next to come.

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