Would You Say Your Childhood Was Unusual and If So, How?
I was propelled forward in life early – finding myself somewhat lost and feeling like an alien. Moving from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois to Huntsville, Alabama, I was advancing fast in school. I completed both 4th and 5th grade in the same school year, and then went on to complete High School within 3 years. At 16, I had already graduated from High School and begun college, unheard of for most people my age. Being so young, the experience left me feeling overwhelmed. I could feel the confusion and practically hear the other students’ thoughts as I said my age. The only thing that helped me to feel as if I belonged, that made all of this bearable, was fashion.
Describe For Us How Fashion Had The Power To Make Life Bearable?
Fashion played a major role in my ability to cope throughout college. Before I wanted to become a fashion entrepreneur, before I started my business, I relied on fashion to feel calm and to have a sense of belonging. It allowed me to relax and to build connections with others, to lose that “High School kid” vibe that I was certain others could see. I used fashion as a way to mature myself, using current trends and styles to look college age. I grew to love the power that fashion had.
Luckily, that love came easy to me as I found I had a natural talent for style. I embraced the subtle yet different styles, those that allowed me to blend in without becoming one of the crowd. I could feel myself, have my own sense of style, without standing out too much. My college years helped me to develop that sense of style that I carry with me through life, but it was only a seed at that time. It had yet to grow into the creature that it is today. The military life, surprisingly enough, is what drove my fashion sense and made me grow the most.
Most Would Not Associate Fashion With The Military So, How Were You Able To Merge The Two?
I went into the military at 18 and am a 13-year veteran of the Armed Forces. My time in the military goes beyond fights and training, beyond what most people know of the Army. It is not all about the tough and the grit, the battles that you face. The experiences that you have in the military are astounding, with exposure to cultures and lifestyles that can open you up as a person. You meet people and see things that can shape you as a human, and I have experienced that.
Would You Share An Exprience That “Shaped You As A Human”?
My first major experience in the military was where I was first stationed – South Korea. South Korea is a powerhouse in the fashion industry today and has always had a deep love for it. When I went there, you could find all types of fashions, from all across the globe. There were vendors nearly everywhere you look, selling brands of all types. You could even find yourself a counterfeit if you wanted one of those cheap knockoff brands. There, I was able to find brands, clothes, and items of all types. I got out of my comfort zone, I experimented with fashion and styles, and I became more engaged with the industry and fashion as a whole.
Fashion Often Equals Fun, Being In The Military Were You Able To Partake In Any Celebrations Defined By Fashion?
Upon arrival back in the States, I moved to Georgia. There, I deployed a total of 3 times over 5 years. I still remember the first time I deployed with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Landing in Spain, everything felt like a party. Life was rarely as sweet and exciting as it was there, especially for a 20-year-old. The 48 hours I spent in Spain showed me culture, lifestyles, and fashion that were stunning. During this time, there was even a festival, similar to Mardi Gras, that exposed me to unique styles and fashion you could only see during that time. My view of fashion broadened significantly over this two day period.
After Spain, I went out to Iraq. I have also been out to Germany, California, and Missouri, and currently live in Washington D.C. Through every location, I have been able to build up my knowledge and view of fashion.
Its Common For Us To Recognize Cultures By Certain Appeal But With An Eye For Fashion, What Do You See?
Something I have noticed is that there is a string, a connection, between all of them. Everywhere you look, you can see similar influences. Even in places like Iraq, which is different from Western culture, you find similarities in fashion. You see Western influence as well as what has influenced Western fashion. It shows how there is a give and take in this world, with each part constantly evolving and improving upon the other. They take pieces from one another and grow – creating fashions unique yet connected.
Military Travel Fine-Tuned Your Fashion Sense, But Did Military Exprience Contribute To Your Success?
I have taken away more than greater fashion sense in the military. The military has helped me to become a fashion entrepreneur, opening up my second clothing label. I have learned about sourcing products and overall logistics over these years, giving me the tools and knowledge I need to run a business.
Your History Is Exciting, What Do We Have To Look Forward To In The Future?
Right now, a large part of the business and what I am doing is still a secret. I want to ensure that everything meets my standards, and your expectations for style, before I get going. After all, no long-lasting brands stand the test of time without a good first showing. Quality matters – and so does your first experience with me and my clothing.
It Wont Be A Secret For Long!
For The Big Reveal Be Sure To Connect With Tyrone F. Reeves On Instagram.