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Research, Design, and Publication of a Coffee Table Book 

and Creation of an Original Dance Piece by BRIANNA MIMS

Live Performance & Book Launch in Los Angeles


This project explores and deconstructs the symbolism of suits apropos respectability politics, gender identities, capitalism, patriarchy, professionalism, and the relationship between politics and appearance.  Old suits will be deconstructed and repurposed into new wearable art pieces that will be photographed on dancers and models.  Text written by Brianna Mims will further unpack the symbolism of suits. The book launch at Wisdome in downtown Los Angeles from November 17-20, 2021, will feature video projections by Gillian Garcia and original choreography by Brianna Mims with dancers performing in the deconstructed suits. 


PHASE ONE ~ Research & Suit Drive 

PHASE TWO ~ Deconstruction & Design of Suits  

PHASE THREE ~ Photography & Writing 

PHASE FOUR ~ Publication 

PHASE FIVE ~ Rehearsal & Production 

PHASE SIX ~ Live Performance at Book Launch 


1 ~ donate funds

2 ~ donate used suits

3 ~ send images of suits

4 ~ submit a story about a special suit or person who wears suits

5 ~ be interviewed on camera about suit wearing

6 ~ volunteer expertise, connections, or services

DONATE FUNDS:  HAVEN’s goal is publish this extraordinary book and celebrate its creation through live performance. Your donation will help cover writer/choreographer, photographer, costume designer, seamstress, videographer, lighting designer, space rental, stage manager, dancer fees and publishing costs. Any contribution to make this project come to fruition is greatly appreciated. 

DONATE USED SUITS:  Do you have a used suit that you no longer wear or no longer want? HAVEN seeks clean suits in any fabric, color, or style to be included in the coffee table book  and/or part of the live performance set design. Please mail your unwanted suits to:

℅ Brianna Mims Book Project
HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance
21145 Mulholland Drive
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Please send images of suits, stories about suits, requests to be interviewed, offerings of volunteer services, and all other inquiries to: EMAIL for HAVEN BOOK by BRIANNA MIMS 


BRIANNA MIMS (Director, Writer, Designer, Choreographer) is an artist, abolitionist, and facilitator. Her work is rooted in shifting culture alongside policy to create sustainable change. Mims is a graduate from the University of Southern California where she studied Dance and NGO’s and Social Change. She uses art, research, and facilitation as a catalyst for self-exploration, civic engagement, healing, and dialogue. In collaboration with artists of various mediums, Mims developed and presented an iteration of Justice LA's art series,  #jailbeddrop which consisted of a performance and interactive installation rooted in challenging our inherent notion between "crime" and punishment. The work contextualizes and facilitates a space to explore interpersonal accountability and reflect those values back on our “criminal justice system.”In this book, Mims will use the symbolism of suits to further unpack cultural notions that keep us tied to systems of patriarchy and capitalism.

EDINA HISER (Master Seamstress) recently graduated from the USC School of Dramatic Arts where she earned a BFA in Theatrical Design.  Since graduation, she has worked on a variety of theatre, opera, and film projects in both the costume and art departments.  Edina also works as a freelance stylist, artist, and seamstress. She is thrilled to be a part of this awesome exploration of suits as it pertains to so many different areas and is very personal for everyone.

CHEYANNE TEIA FIGUEIREDO (Unisex Designer, Stylist, Soft Sculpture Artist) has an AA degree in Fashion Design and a BA degree in Professional Studies with a Specialization in Menswear from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, CA. She has a diverse background in design, patternmaking, graphic design, textile design, and styling. 

GILLIAN GARCIA (Videographer) Gillian Garcia is a filmmaker and photographer. She has been creating visual imagery from her independent studio the last few years, with a focus on portraiture, fashion and documentary. Garcia leverages her experience working in the commercial world as starting point to realize ideas, utilizing the language of advertising to create strong impressions in a matter of seconds. Garcia spent her twenties making images, pursuing documentary interests, traveling, and having a multitude of diverse experiences that now inform her work. Photography was always a tool for discovery — growing up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, the medium motivated her to move out of her comfort zone, meet new people, and travel to unfamiliar places. In 2011, Garcia moved west from New York City with an interest in moving image. Her work is constantly searching to convey emotions through creative means—both visually and aurally. 
Garcia's portfolio of high-level work in the past three years speaks volumes of her talent, technical ability, and ambition. She has worked as a cinematographer with photographer Juergen Teller on campaigns for Valentino and Burberry, and as a director for Sophie Buhai, Uniqlo, Vince, Totême, and Proenza Schouler. The sensitivity with which she depicts her subjects is exemplified by her films for Maybelline x M2M, i-D x Chanel, and Nike Women, all of which paint nuanced portraits of empowered women.

LILLIAN BARBEITO (Producer) ​brings more than 35 years of experience as an artist, producer, director, and educator to her role as Founder and CEO of HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance. During the course of her career, she has been a performer with contemporary dance companies, the co-founder of a world renowned non-profit organization, and an internationally recognized, certified teacher of Countertechnique. Barbeito grew up in the desert under the blues skies of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she trained with the Santa Fe Dance Foundation and worked with The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Southwest Ballet, and the Santa Fe Opera. She earned her BFA from The Juilliard School where she studied on a 4 year, full-tuition scholarship awarded by Tomorrow’s Leaders of America for her essay about the world dancing together in harmony. Barbeito had an extensive performance career that took her to Europe, New York, and then finally to Los Angeles, where she founded BODYTRAFFIC with Tina Berkett. She has taught internationally for organizations such as CALARTS, Idyllwild Arts Academy, L’Artere and L’ecole de Danse in Quebec City, Lyon Opera Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy, The Wooden Floor, and UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures. Barbeito is one of 36 teachers in the world who is certified to teach Anouk van Dijk’s groundbreaking Countertechnique. She has choreographed over 50 works for high schools, universities, competitions, regional ballet companies and professional modern dance companies throughout the US and Canada. She is currently on faculty at Loyola Marymount University and the new Director of Dance at Chaminade. Barbeito is married to filmmaker and environmentalist Grant Barbeito. They live together with their sons Oliver and Forest, and two bearded dragons in Woodland Hills, California.

Fundraising team: Brianna's Book Fundraising Team (2)

Lillian Rose Barbeito
Los Angeles, CA
Brianna Mims
Team member

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