ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira native Brittney Brooks, also known as “Knoxx”, is representing her hometown on HBO Max’s “The Hype”.

Knoxx started her college career at Alfred State College for basketball, breaking a scoring record, and was offered a scholarship at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. However, her journey did not stop there. Later, after a change of heart, she received a brochure from The Art Institute of California – Hollywood and moved to Los Angeles to make her mark in the fashion industry. 

DVMN Pigeon is the brand that she started over a decade ago. She enjoyed shopping and came across the idea of making clothes of her own. 

“I used to be a sneakerhead, collecting a lot of sneakers,” Knoxx said. “That’s what kind of got me into fashion, and then I moved to tracksuits; after that I started to like Dipset. One day, I wondered if I could do my own thing and make my own t-shirt instead of buying Polo. I was just making them for me and my friends. I got a couple of sales after I started my website, then I was like I really could do more things like jackets and hats and it snowballed into what it is now,” said Knoxx.

The Hype is hosted by Speedy Morman and features Offset, Bephie Birkett, and Marni Senofonte as the judges, known as Cosigners. The competition series consists of 12 streetwear designers competing to be the next brand worthy of “The Hype”. Each designer went against one another through a series of timed design challenges.

Knoxx received a notable win in one of the challenges. In one episode, she shared her experience growing up in Elmira. She described it as a “Zebra Town”, as Elmira is known for its two max prisons and diversity. Knoxx used this as inspiration to create her design in a way many have never seen before. 

“There’s a book that was written about Elmira and how black men get incarcerated from all the metropolitan areas, get sent upstate, and get a penpal … there’s a lot of biracial people in Elmira,” she continued. 

She had a strong season, making it to the finale. Knoxx was the only female designer left standing aside two other designers.

“… to be a recognized, black, gay Creative Director for a prominent fashion house in the industry. That’s really what I want to do. It’s not all about DVMN Pigeon, I wanted to be known as ‘Knoxx the artist’. But my stance I want to be like, you know, a queer, black Creative Director that gets recognized for the work she puts in,” Knoxx added. 

She plans on continuing to break barriers for women in the fashion industry and building her brand. 

“… everybody is unique. There’s space for you, and if people out there can resonate with your journey, whatever you have to say, your walk of life, how you give it up, then take the space and hold it.” 

All the episodes are now available for streaming, for more information visit www.hbomax.com