Janie Bryant

Brenau Women’s College GOLD Speaker Series to feature Emmy winner Janie Bryant

Jun 22, 2020
Kathryne Davis

Brenau Academy alumna and Emmy Award-winning Hollywood costume designer Janie Bryant will share her story of challenges and successes in a highly competitive creative profession during a virtual Zoom talk Tuesday, July 14, from 4-5 p.m.

“From the Academy to the Emmy: Janie Bryant’s Design for Success” is the second installment of The Women’s College of Brenau University’s GOLD Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration at brenau.edu/gold-speaker is required to receive the Zoom link.

After graduating from Brenau Academy, Bryant spent a year at The Women’s College before eventually going on to study fashion design at the American College of Applied Arts. She credits her time at Brenau with helping her find her voice and said it laid the groundwork for future success.

“I loved my time at Brenau so much,” Bryant said. “Being in an all-female environment, I felt for the first time like I could really be myself and say what I wanted. I started speaking up, shining in the classroom and beyond.”

Since then, Bryant’s career has taken her all over the world including to Paris, Toronto and Bucharest, Romania. Her most notable credits include HBO’s Deadwood, for which she won an Emmy, and AMC’s Mad Men, which earned her four Emmy nominations.

The dynamic speaker series, which brings compelling leaders who are trailblazers in their fields to speak to Brenau students and the community, is an ongoing component of The Women’s College’s GOLD Program. Each year, the program emphasizes carefully chosen themes with the first year dedicated to Gender awareness. As students advance in their education, they spend ensuing years focusing on Ownership of personal responsibility and civic engagement, Leadership and Diversity.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to feature in the GOLD Speaker Series an alumna with Janie’s impressive credentials,” said Debra Dobkins, dean of The Women’s College. “I’m eager for our students and the larger Brenau community to learn how one woman made her mark — and earned a living — in a career in the arts.”

In addition to the 2017 film remake of Stephen King’s It, Bryant has also worked on two Amazon series, The Last Tycoon and The Romanoffs, and recently wrapped production on CBS All Access’ Why Women Kill. Her next project, FX’s The Old Man starring Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, is scheduled for release later this year.

Outside of TV and film, Bryant has designed Mad Men collections in collaboration with AMC and Banana Republic and has worked with many brands including Brooks Brothers, Sony, Nike, eBay, Airbnb and Hearts on Fire Diamonds. In 2011, she released her first book, The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men, which offers style tips and inspiration as well as a peek into the design process for various Mad Men characters. She recently launched JXB, a line of extended-size luxury clothing for curvy women.

Julia Rodriguez, a senior in Brenau’s costuming for film and theatre program, called Bryant “an inspiration” and said she is looking forward to the virtual talk.

“To see her continue to go on and succeed is incredibly telling, not only of what Brenau women can be but what they will become,” Rodriguez said. “She’s an important role model to people like me.”

Bryant’s talk follows that of inaugural speaker Leatrice Eckber Gochberg, who told students of The Women’s College how she fought her way through the male-dominated world of New York City real estate. Upcoming GOLD Speaker Series events planned for students returning to campus in the fall will feature women leading the fight for social justice and equity in their communities.

For more information, contact Lacey Carpenter at lcarpenter1@brenau.edu.