“”GUGU,” my name (since I was born) in the Zulu language means: Something cherished, a blessing, something adored, something of great value and importance…” -GooGoo Atkins
Here name is Thomasina Atkins. But, you can just call her what her family’s been calling her for years, GooGoo. This renaissance woman is the epitome of what her name personifies– a blessing, something of great value and importance. Hailing from the talented Atkins family (sister to and stylist of, Mary Mary), Ms GooGoo is paving the road of her journey by dropping ‘tid bits’ of fashion sense & good humor to everyone she meets.
iWas able to snag some free time from Ms Goo and learn a little more about one of the most highly rated wardrobe stylist/costume designers of our time.
DivaJournal: Growing up the 3rd youngest of 9 children, how did that prepare you to become the stylist/fashion consultant you are today?
GooGoo: I guess it prepared me by making me HATE 6th tier hand me downs enough to start designing my own.
DivaJournal: At what age or point in your life did you decide fashion
was more than your hobby?
GooGoo: I’ve always been interested in fashion. It became more than a hobby about nine years ago when I was hungry and out of work.
DivaJournal: Before knowing the person behind the fashion of Grammy award winning gospel giants Mary Mary, iFound myself being drawn to the wardrobe behind the word. It was a different type of style that iAlways related to because of the silent message it sent to the gospel world as well as to the world of curvaceous women that (in my opinion)
you don’t have to be confined by your faith or your fullness. How do you feel about this & is this the message you are conveying to the
world when styling Erica & Tina Campbell as well as everyday persons?
GooGoo: Well I’m glad that’s the message that it sends. I don’t think “fly” has an age, religon, size, genre of music or any of those things tagged to it. It just is or [it] aint. Honestly, I don’t think of any of that when I style. I just buy what I think will look great. Thinking about all that other nonsense would interrupt my creative process.
DivaJournal: Who inspires you; who are your fashion icons of yesteryear & today?
GooGoo: I’m actually inspired by natural beauty. Like gorgeously long salt & pepper hair or snow on the mountains. Other people’s creative expression like lyrics & music, a web design, a work of art [are all inspiring to me]. There are certain individuals that I believe are the standard for beauty & style like: Halle Berry, Chaize Theron, Victoria Beckham, JLo, Felicia Rashad, Honey (my mom), Gwen Stefani and Beyonce. I love beauty.
DivaJournal: You pride yourself on not being “in the industry.” That being said, what makes you different from most stylists?
GooGoo: Correction “I’m not industry”. But I’m DEFINITELY in it. I just don’t fit into the industry’s boxes. They don’t dictate what looks great on an individual simply due to the designers “name.” I make them continue to impress me as a stylist as well. We all have our hits & misses so, when a designer isn’t hitting it, I’ll go to one who is & perhaps revisit [the other designer] when they get back “on”. Just because it’s awesome on the runway doesn’t mean it’ll translate awesomely on my client. So I don’t force popular opinion on any of my clients & make them believe it looks awesome because I keep reminding the viewer that its a “so-n-so” piece.
DivaJournal: You are all over facebook, twitter & iRecently subscribed to your youtube channel. What has social networking done for you & your brand? How do these different avenues help Goo?
GooGoo: I simply put Goo on these sites & see if people bite. I’m not everyone’s cup-o-tea but, I think there may be one or two individuals out there that may like my flavor. If/when they do, I gain a fan/friend.
DivaJournal: How does what you do affect the community & what words do you have for that young person w/a passion for fashion? What key
things would you want them to know before entering this industry?
GooGoo: Well its my job to make ppl look better. Hopefully they feel better about themselves in the process. What I would say to aspiring stylists is, “Love the art in you, not yourself in the art” ~Shakespeare.
In other words don’t be hype, don’t use something as important as a career choice as a means to be in the ‘in crowd.’ Be honest about it. Also being “different” is not an indication that you’re “good”. How about [you] Be You & let us take it or leave it.
DivaJournal: When people hear the name Goo Goo, what legacy do you want to leave them with?
GooGoo: WORK!…. and for people to stop calling me a “famous” background singer, MUA, hair stylist, & all these other industry/glam related titles that I’m not(anymore). I’d like for people to know who I am, what I’ve done, what I’m [currently] doing & all that good stuff.
#DivaJournal: Where do you see yourself taking your career
in the future?
GooGoo: In the future I plan to have a line for curvaceous, classy, sexy women. I plan on “GooGoo” being a household name.
Well, she is definitely a name in my household! To keep up on what’s new with Goo and see pics of her work, follow her on twitter:twitter.com/THEEGooGoo or visit her site: www.letgoodress.com. If you’re lucky one day you can “Let Goo Dress You!”
[PHOTO CREDIT: Tasha Walker www.tashawalkerphotography.com]