We Took A Look At The Current Landscape Of Dallas Fashion, Found Ten Of The Most Interesting Figures And Asked Them About Their Craft.
While Dallas is widely known for its music scene and yummy food spots, lurking in this dope city’s shadow is an active, vibrant and diverse fashion scene. From streetwear to high fashion and all in between, there is always a fashion-related event to go to if you know where to look for them.
We wanted to shed light on some of these creatives, both new and seasoned, and their impact on this fairly-underground fashion scene that is waiting to bubble up and be at the forefront of Dallas Culture. From all facets of the fashion scene, like modeling, designing and reselling, each person on this list has a unique story to tell about their journey within this small but powerful community.
Some even came from music, or are making the jump to music or acting, which just goes to show you that creative people are never satisfied.
Here are (some of) the most interesting people in Dallas fashion today.
Name: Kendu-Marquette Williams
Style: Believing in his vision.
Williams has overcame a lot, from being homeless to the passing of his brother in 2017. He has used this trauma to make beautiful clothing designs that take him to new heights like New York Fashion Week in 2020 and designing clothes for rapper Lil Nas X.
One of his inspirations is music. He listens to many genres of music, but house music is the one genre that provides the best response to his creative process. Every time he closes his eyes while listening, he often sees colors and patterns that he brings to life in his designs.
Williams’s biggest accomplishment was last year when he sold out his first-ever fashion show, “BORN INTO CHAOS,” which jumpstarted a lot of modeling careers in Dallas, according to Williams.
“I truly believe in my vision and believing in others and encouraging them to reach their goals.” he says.
Williams will be a part of the “ColorWaave” event happening tonight in the Design District. It will be a safe space for LBGTQ creators to collab and merge with street culture.
Williams is also currently working with a legendary music artist, but couldn’t disclose who — trust us, we tried to get it out of him.
Name: Elia De Leon
Age: In her thirties
Style: Chic with a little bit of edge.
De Leon is the owner of her own boutique aptly named Eila De Leon in the Bishop Arts District and has been designing for quite a while now. Her first collection debuted during New York Fashion Week back in 2009.
De Leon was inspired to sit at the sewing machine and later pursue a fashion career by her seamstress mom. Her style and designs are heavily influenced by vintage clothing, loving to reinvent old fashion trends.
Her advice for upcoming designers? Just to go out there and do it.
“Learn fashion illustration, patterns, dropping, sewing. Go to school or teach yourself. Practice makes permanent. And brand! Branding is key, and thanks to social media everyone has a free platform,” she says.
She’ll be hosting workshops in addition to her new projects.
Name: Chellsea Labestre
Labestre helps local artists develop their style and models become the “face of a fashion brand.” She firmly believes that feeling good about your personal style will go a long way toward contributing to a person’s overall wellness.
Styling is an art, and Labestre certainly knows what she’s talking about. Her Instagram has guides for anyone trying to better their fashion sense. Such as “Trend Tracker,” which highlighted local Dallas brands.
She says that she loved fashion since she was a kid and her Filipino culture played a significant role in her getting into it.
“When I moved to the states, people started noticing how I put clothes together and my style,” she says. “I have a background in business, so why not pursue my passion and make a living out of it?”
It took Labestre years to figure out her style. However, she loves being versatile and doesn’t want to box herself in a certain style because fashion constantly changes.
“I’m a free-spirited type of person and I am approachable”, Labestre says. “If they need my help or advice in fashion, they can literally DM me. I don’t bite.”
Name: Charly Williams
Style: Both in front and behind the scenes.
Williams was one of the runway models for the 2022 Spring Emerged fashion show, but most of her work is behind the scenes by helping her business partner Davesha Sowell curate fashion shows.
Williams gets a lot of her inspiration for her style from fashion model Aerin Creer. She says that studying other models is the key to success in the modeling world, but she is always up to wear anything that makes her look good.
Her modeling career started in 2019 with the help of Sowell’s agency Alluring Temptations and she soon wanted to learn about the behind the scenes of modeling. But the industry wasn’t her first career choice.
“I’ve been singing all my life,” Williams says. “I started with fashion because that is the way life took me, but I will never give up on music.”
Working on her first EP has been a challenge. It doesn’t phase her, though. The timeline on the EP is still unknown, but expect something really soon from her.
Name: Laurence Wei
Style: A blend of experimental and avant-garde, with a touch of punk influence.
Wei is the youngest fashion designer on our list.
Always focused on his craft first and never looks for validation from his peers, he lets his work speak for itself.
Last week, he just had his first-ever fashion show for his debut collection “SUBJECT 001” for General Experiment in Dallas.
“It was such a great experience and really showed how much I am really capable of,” Wei says. “Obviously, having thousands of followers and hundreds of likes per post feels great, but it’s entirely different when meeting real people expressing their love for your work.”
This up-and-coming local star will be moving to New York to attend Parsons School of Design for the upcoming fall semester. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for Dallas when he returns.
Name: Claire Carlson
Style: The synergetic relationship between music and fashion.
Carlson is a Texas native who is fairly new to fashion but is curating her first fashion event called “SHOWPIECE.”
She’s been making beats since the age of 14, using it as a form of escapism. It wasn’t until college, with the encouragement of her friends, that she would take her music seriously. Since then, she has released techno beats under the name “Clarity” for all the world to hear. Her love of techno music is the main driving force behind the upcoming show — she noticed that luxury fashion houses and designers were playing techno at their runway shows.
“It’s a celebration of the intersection of tech-house/techno and streetwear, tech wear, demi-couture, and avant-garde fashion,” Carlson says about the event. “An evening for techno and fashion enthusiasts alike to come together, network and be exposed to both worlds.”
SHOWPIECE has a stacked roster with a runway show by SMITH II, a dance piece by Hailey Summers and sets from Stetra, Limbo and herself.
Her song “White Rabbit” is an absolute banger, BTW.
Name: Jewels Clark
Style: Vintage with a Texas twist.
Clark would describe herself as a “trendsetter.” She got into modeling around 2016 and says that her first real taste of the Dallas fashion scene was in 2017 at a Downtown photo meet-up hosted by High Vis and Missy Monoxide.
She has had a successful modeling career so far with having the opportunity to walk in Spring New York Fashion Week in 2020. Not only does she dabbles in fashion as a model, but also she is also an actress and musician. She’s a versatile artist musically, her songs varying from jazz to hip-hop. Our favorite track from her discography is “Tub of Lonely.”
“I’m a well-balanced artist,” Clark says. “I practice rotating my passions, so I don’t get burned out on one thing.”
Clark is grateful for the number of connections she made throughout this community.
“There is lots of light in it, and I love how focused the designers are on their work,” she says. “I’ve gotten to not only model their fashion, but creatively direct photoshoots and bring together models from all backgrounds.”
Clark is currently working on hosting a Summer Solstice Pop Up on June 23rd from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at De Novo Active in Bishop Arts.
Name: Prince Okigbo
Style: Between commercial and high fashion.
Okigbo has been modeling for six years and was part of the 2022 Spring Emerged fashion show. He described his style as between commercial and high fashion — think of Tyler The Creator for reference.
He loves that Dallas has so many creative and talented people working in the fashion industry and supports them when he can.
“A lot of people have what it takes to emerge to the next level,” Okigbo says. “Soon, Dallas will take over the world in every aspect of fashion.”
At work, Okigbo would often read fashion Magazines such as GQ and Vogue until one day, he pictured himself In them. ver since then, he is always studying the history of fashion.
He is currently making the transition from modeling to acting, having just had his first audition this past spring. It may be long way before we see Okigbo on the big screen, but he is up for the challenge.
Name: Titus Hunt
Hunt is the co-founder of the brand “Untamed Heart,” which was started by his brother Devante and him in 2017 in their dorm. After graduating from college in 2019, they hoped to return to Dallas and hit the ground running on expanding the brand. Then the pandemic happened. But it wasn’t a total waste for Hunt and his brother.
“While being stuck in the house during the start of the pandemic,” he says, “we jumped at the opportunity to learn new skills such as sewing, designing, screen printing and creating content to cut out the middle man.”
He credits his inspiration to complex black creators like Virgil Abloh and Joe Fresh Goods because they are more than fashion designers — they’re DJs, interior designers and architects. It shows him not to stay restricted to just the fashion world, but to be untamed like his brand.
“The Dallas fashion scene is on the come up,” Hunt says.
“Untamed Heart” will have a pop-up at Nordstrom at Northpark Center on June 18th, where it will release its new Untamed Superstars collection. Also, be on the look out for the To Be Untamed Podcast Show at the end of this month.
Name: Sebastian Rodriguez
Rodriguez is the owner of a vintage resell shop called Black Label in Traders Village at Grand Prairie. The shop has various styles for your fashion needs, from T-shirts, denim, sweaters, outerwear and sneakers.
“The ’90s and even early 2000s, I believe, holds some of the best production of clothing,” Rodriguez says. “Not only for how clothing was constructed, but also the creativity that was put into graphics.”
Rodriguez always had a hard time keeping a “traditional job” during high school, so he would have to thrift his clothes to get something stylish for his personal collection. After a while of doing that, he started posting his finds on Instagram and realized that people would be willing to pay for them.
“[It was] a hobby turned into a passion which would also bring some money in,” Rodriguez says. “I partnered up with local vintage resellers who aligned with the same things I wanted.”
His group opened up a unit at Traders Village, and after two years of moving a couple of times, finally had a unit to himself to sell out of. His biggest accomplishment to come of it so far is selling pants to famous stylist Zoe Costello.
Rodriguez says that Black label will be expanding really soon and its next event will be as a vendor at the DFW vintage swap meet in August.
Cover photo via Kendu-Marquette Williams’ Instagram.