TaylordBlu Exclusive Designer Interview
Collection Name: TaylordBlu
Upcoming Showcase: Nolcha Show NYFW 2016
Media: The Runway Authority
What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
The best advice I would give, would be stay true to who you are; and if you are doing this for just money, then you’re in the wrong business. Also, be original, think outside the box, and follow your instincts always! If I don’t like something chances are others may not either. I am very detailed oriented, so subtle details matter to me in the bigger picture. Make sure you have you “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed, because what you put out there is a representation of you and a reflection of your business. I would also tell them surround themselves with people that are willing to give them some sound advice from a business perspective, suggestions, and team up with a mentor that can show you the ropes by helping you in network. There is no “I” in team, so those that you collaborate with should be given the upmost respect and appreciation for bringing you in on various projects. Last but not least…..COMMUNICATION is a must!!! Be clear in your dealings with vendors, stylist, or models when your brand is being used for editorial, photo shoots, promotional ads is a must. Being specific is essential to meeting your expectations.
How different is conception preparation in relation to F/W vs S/S collection?
There is a little bit of difference when designing for F/W vs S/S and that difference mainly hinges on color and fabric choices. Typically, in the fall/winter months the color pallet is usually darker versus in the summer months, everything is colorful and vibrant. So in knowing that, the way I approach designs is solely based on color. In the summer months so we like to play with jewel tones, and the winter months we use more soft blended colors (for example muted greens and browns). So there is some thought process given when designing for different seasons.
What were your inspirations for the designs you are creating for the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge?
My inspirations or designs that I am creating for this year’s Nolcha media fashion lounge would be based on spring flowers. We are launching some new lapel pins and silk pocket squares into our collection for the SS2017 Nolcha fashion lounge. Each one of our silk lapel flowers is given our undivided attention to detail. We have searched and found the most beautiful silks from around the world. So, we decided to expand our collection by adding the following; the carnation, daisy, and bow tie lapel pins. These quirky, but fun additions have been well received by everyone. Again, we have found the most intricate of patterns, to the most subtle hues of color, adding a hint of sophistication to each one by putting them on stick pins; which makes them much more elegant….like a flower hanging effortlessly on a vine. Also, we are bringing in a new lightweight silk fabric to our silk pocket squares. These pocket square are airy, fun, colorful, and add that next level intricacy providing detailing and subtle tones of color, which gives and almost iridescent hue when hit at the right angel of sunlight. We believe that adding color is the quintessential necessity, adding versatility and that right amount of accessory that ties everything together. The TaylordBlu collection has taken the lead in bringing something fresh and new to men’s accessories; especially for that successful, fashion conscience man looking to stand out in the crowd. The TaylordBlu brand is the new standard of excellence by providing quality, meticulous aesthetics, and craftsmanship to everything we design. Our unique and one of a kind selection of silk fabric(s) have become the difference that sets us apart from other collections.
What is the most challenging part about being a designer?
I would have to say that my biggest challenge about being a designer is where I currently live, and the demographics I service. I live in a very small city in Ohio, where fashion is not the scene. Imagine living in a city where steel mills and manufacturing plants dominate the landscape, and me trying to sell that person a neck tie…..lol, then you get my point. It has been somewhat challenging, but my goal has always been to help change the culture in the way men see fashion, and luckily I have been doing that one person at a time. Another challenge would be access to stylist, models, and industry professionals within the business. Since Ohio is mainly a commercial market, most of the big name stylist, musicians, and fashion industry personnel are in the major fashion markets like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. So over the years, we have successfully connected and collaborated with one of the best stylist in the business; Jen Abrams has been a great connection and friend that we have been happily associated with. She has brought the TaylordBlu brand in on some of her editorial shoots with models, athletes, and the industry as a whole; and for that we are forever grateful.
Growing up, was there anyone in your family who made you feel like designing?
Unfortunately no….I grew up in a single parent home with my mom raising five children on her own. Like most children in single parent homes, the television was our way to the rest of the world. So I can remember watching the music award shows such as, the Grammy’s, AMA music award show, and the MTV music award show just to name a few. Soul Train and black sitcoms like the Jefferson’s, Different Strokes, The Fresh Prince of bel air were also big influences in what was considered fashionable at that time. So television has always been an advertising giant for todays and upcoming trends. Like most young and impressionable kids, television was intersection between fashion, television and celebrity culture. I can say now without hesitation that I have come into my own style of fashion. I love the 1920-50’s era fashion, for many reasons. That Old Hollywood style appeals to me, like Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, and Cab Calloway’s of that day. With their tailored suits, fedora hats, and overcoats dotted the landscape in Hollywood and eventually trickled down to Main Street. This was the beginning of the teen subculture. Fashion was also influenced by music and stars like Elvis Presley with the pompadour hair, blazers, and leather jackets. Thanks to Marlon Brando and James Dean they helped make the basic t-shirt and jeans popular in that era. They say fashion revolves in circles, and interestingly enough we are seeing fashions reemerge from the days of old. What a wonderful time to be involved in fashion!
Fashion to me is an expression of who we are internally. I often call it our resume, because it speaks to the world without you ever having to say a word. We know that based on what we wear, is often used to classify us in society and our social standing. So we are often defined by how we dress, so finding that fashion that speaks to you is important, because it is your introduction to the world; kind of like shaking hands for the first time and saying “my name is…” Some of us are influenced by fashion every day; there are some things that we cannot escape, fashion being one of them. A lot of what we wear, how we speak, and what we drive are influenced from many fronts. For example we often look to television, musician, athletes, and politicians for latest trends. Finding that fashion or style that speaks to you is most important, because I believe originality and authenticity speaks louder that the clothes we put on our back.