Angela Simmons Covers, “Rolling Out”

Closing out an amazing summer that included empowering girls ages 8 to 16 and a third season showcasing designs and designers during New York Fashion Week, Angela Simmons continues to prove she’s an influencer both in philanthropy and fashion. And, she even spent her first few months as a global ambassador for Beautiful Textures.

If you weren’t quite ready for the younger Simmons daughter to step from behind her father, Rev. Run’s shadow, too late! Brace yourself. Angela is all grown up. She’s well versed and she’s focused.

“I am a fashion designer and philanthropist; I love giving back. Those two things define me best but I am also an entertainer,” she says during a one-on-one conversation with rolling out at the Wall Street’s Gild Hall in New York City.

A giver by nature, this summer Simmons kicked off the second season of Girl Talk Takeover, a national program that empowers young girls through fashion, beauty, fitness, health and sexual education exercises and introduces them to successful role models. She also collaborated with Strength of Nature, the parent company of Beautiful Textures.

“I wear different hats,” Simmons laughs as she puts in a plug for her latest digital launch, AngelaIAm TV on, which is a portal for artists, fashion designers and musicians. “It gives a platform to these really talented individuals who wouldn’t have the platform that I have on a normal basis. It’s important to support one another. It’s hard to find support when you are new and people aren’t hearing your voice or the craft you are showcasing.”

Here, the entrepreneur discusses faith, family, finance and, of course, fashion.

What does family mean to you?Family is really everything. It’s important to be close to your family. Sometimes family may not be your family, family [i.e., relatives by blood]. A lot of time, people choose friends as their family because they’re always around and impact you the most. I feel, once you reach 17 years old and you’re in high school, your friends are who you’re hearing and dressing like. So I do feel like friends play a major role when it comes to [defining] your family.

What lesson has your dad taught you?What has definitely stuck with me is do your best and forget the rest. It is such a simple saying but it means so much. When you apply it to anything in your life, it works. When you think it through, you’ve done all you could do, you’re done. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re done. It’s not worth beating yourself up over. Life is too short.

What about your mom?My mom is a super strong woman. She’s definitely taught me the value of working hard and getting what you need. Growing up, I witnessed her working two jobs, one a schoolteacher and another job in an optics place on the side. It really did something for me as I reached womanhood. I realize things change in life but you just keep going. Work hard at what you want and never give up.

What is your relationship like with your sister?We are really close. I feel like there was a [tipping] point where we got closer. We’re four years apart so it was like for a while, I wasn’t old enough and cool enough to hang out with her and then finally, one Miami spring break that I was finally able to hang with her. From there, it was like great [clap!] we can hang out now. Since, we’ve become business partners and best friends. We call each other whenever. It is super cool. Since she’s on the other coast, it is a lot of Face Time, phone calls and texts.

How cool is it to be an auntie to baby Ava?Yes. I am an auntie. She is getting so big. She lives on the West Coast. Whenever I get time off, I am like, I am in L.A. She’s my first niece, very near and dear to my heart. I love babies. The fact that my big sister had a baby is like whoa.

Your dad has a cooking show. What’s your favorite meal he prepares?Man, my dad, when I wasn’t a vegetarian, used to make me this burger, which I now eat vegetarian-prepared. He would make a burger and put an egg on it. I’ll never forget it. He’d been traveling and he came home and said, ‘Yeah, this what they do in California.’ My response was ‘Ugh!’ Man, after I tried it, I would go to every restaurant and ask if I could have an egg on my burger. I actually make it myself and when I go to a vegetarian restaurant, I ask for a vegetarian burger with the egg white on it.

Your skin is absolutely beautiful and flawless; what is your diet like?My diet is comprised of salads and vegetables. My guilty pleasures are pasta and New York City pizza. I eat healthy. My go-to foods are arugula and avocado salad. My breakfast is egg whites scrambled with spinach.

What is your beauty regimen?When my makeup artist, Angel, isn’t traveling with me, I will wear my signature [which] is a red lip, mascara, blush and maybe some bronzer if you’re lucky, a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I am really simple. I comb my hair, but I am not good at doing hair. Those two things, I am not that great at.

What is your fitness regimen?I try to workout everyday. If I don’t get to the gym over a three-day time period, I am pretty cranky. I have to workout a lot. It’s a part of my day, my lifestyle. It goes hand-in-hand with my meetings. I wake up, workout and eat. It’s a part of me. It’s not something I do because I want to be buffed. It’s my lifestyle; it feels good. I feel good. I like to be in shape and wear certain clothes.

I hear you like boxing.Yes, I do boxing. I also do yoga and strength training. I mix it all up. I get bored quickly so I have to mix it all up … so I throw in a few spin classes.

When did you move back home to New York?I moved back about two years ago. I love it here, it’s just the cold winters are not for me after seven years in L.A. with the sunshine. The winter, here, I don’t like. But at least I travel enough that I don’t have to always bear the cold. But there’s nothing like landing in New York City. The energy in New York is so different. It’s like no other place. When I land in New York it is energizing.

Now that you’re home in the fashion capital, what does your career as a fashion designer look like?I attended a fashion high school and graduated in fashion design. I attended FIT for a while … studied pattern making; I’ve done it all. I have my own clothing line: Angela by Angela Simmons.

Describe the Angela collection.My collection is ready-to-wear, New York City-inspired. I have been a part of fashion week for the past three seasons. For two seasons, I presented up-and-coming designers.

What are your must-attend fashion and beauty events?I can’t miss Fashion Week in New York City. It is my thing. When everyone who loves fashion comes together in one place, there’s great energy and it’s just fun. There are so many creative minds and I am easily inspired by my surroundings.

My next must-do is fashion week in Paris.

Who are your favorite designers?I love Vivienne Westwood; shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti, I love his stuff. Valentino, Celine … I could go on and on. Also, I like to mix brands with H&M, Topshop, Zara. I am a girl who can shop anywhere. You can put me in Target and I will find an outfit and make it look good.

Is there a style moment that you regret?There’s one. I wore this see-through dress while in L.A., braless, and it wasn’t flattering for my body type. So I am calling it a regret … lesson learned.