Mom to two toddlers and wife to former Chicago Bears Running Back, Matt Forte, Danielle Forte is the creative influence and founder behind the 828 brand. Fashion has always been a passion of Danielle’s growing up; she says an individual’s sense of style is one of life’s “guilt-free” pleasures for creative self-expression.
In 2015 Danielle launched her first fashion line, the Danielle Forte Collection, but as she matured, so did her brand. The “grown-up version” of the Danielle Forte Collection, 828 Clothing, launched on August 28, 2017. The launch date was a nod to the Romans 8.28 proverb, which speaks to love and purpose; principles that both Danielle and Matt say guide their personal and professional lives.
828 Clothing was founded alongside her husband just after giving birth to their daughter; and encourages mothers to retain their style identity through the different stages of pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy. “I designed this first collection from a personal perspective, reminding myself of my own motherhood process,” she says. “I created styles that physically expressed what I told myself throughout my pregnancy, that ‘while I won’t always be pregnant, I will forever be a mom’.”
While Matt enjoys providing stylistic feedback for the 828 collection, the real collaboration between the husband-wife-duo comes from 828 Baby. Launched shortly after 828 Clothing in November 2017, 828 Baby was a natural progression for the brand, with unisex clothing for babies up to 24 months. While Danielle manages the visual expression for the line, selecting color swatches, fabrics, and cuts, Matt actually designs the pieces, crafted all the tongue-in-cheek sayings on their signature onesies and uses his life as a professional athlete to inspire everyday wear for kids, with a focus geared towards sports.
Danielle plans to grow both brands to international attraction and eventually incorporate philanthropy and education into the line with her and her husband’s non-profit foundation, What’s Your Forte. Danielle names her parents and God as her biggest influences and says her proudest accomplishment is her family.
When Forte is not designing and running 828 Clothing and 828 Baby, the Illinois native enjoys, working out, going to church and dancing with her daughter Nahla and son, “Baby Matt.” Danielle will be completing her life coaching certification in July.