It’s become the norm to see male fashion designers dominate the womenswear scene. But not too often do you see women staking a claim in menswear.
Desyree Nicole and Gabriella Elyse are changing the game with their Black-women-owned menswear line, Todd Patrick.
Initially launched in 2016 after Nicole decided to skip out on playing women’s basketball professionally in Italy to pursue her passion for fashion.
Naming the company after her little brother, CEO/Founder Nicole took a family-driven approach to create a menswear brand for the masses.
“Initially, the brand was to inspire him living in Detroit, and in turn, it ended up inspiring me to figure out what life after basketball looked like for me,” Nicole told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“I found my groove and love how it changed how I view things as far as creating.”
Through pure grind, grit, and determination, Nicole went from sleeping on couches in New York City to opening up an official brick-and-mortar store “four doors down from Dior and Hermes.”
As the new wave of Black luxury fashion designers carves out their lane within the fashion industry, Todd Patrick is presenting itself as a new trusted leader in the market.
“Many black designers have since the beginning of time been the influence and it’s amazing to see a shift occurring as far as recognition,” Nicole said.
Made “for those that appreciate fashion; design and art,” Nicole says. “Fashion is an investment, and I appreciate those that understand that. You’re essentially paying for wearable art.”
As a woman making space within a male-driven industry with products for men, Nicole knows that the odds were stacked against her. But the quality and character of her pieces add to the credibility and longevity of her brand.
Seen on Jeezy, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Omari Hardwick, and many others, Todd Patrick is only just getting started.
“It’s only a few of us, and I hope I inspire the next little girl that decides she wants to design,” Nicole said. “Show the next kid that comes from where I do that it’s possible.”