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LRÉ gazes directly into the camera in front of a concrete wall with writing on it. Her hair is in braids, twisted up on either side of her head, and she's wearing a black, white, and red jacket.

Air Force Veteran and FIDM Student LRÉ The Artist is Fashion Designer With 9 Years Experience Running Her Brand Toyin LaTour

Apparel Industry Management Student and U.S. Air Force veteran LRÉ the Artist had designed and run her own fashion line, Toyin LaTour, for eight years when she decided to attend FIDM in 2022. When she started, she learned to sew on YouTube and used her own sweaters as patterns. “However, I felt that I was lacking technical and business skills here and there. FIDM helped me bridge the gap between being self-taught and being taught formally. It's an amazing place to learn how to bring your ideas to life.”

LRÉ grew up in Greenbelt, Maryland and attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School before joining the Air Force, which is where she was when she first launched her line. “It was kind of easy to do because I worked nights so I had the daytime to work on my garments, go to events, and do fashion shows.” With a planned graduation in Fall 2023, LRÉ plans to exhibit her next collection in a film in 2024. We checked in with her to learn more.

Toyin LaTour fashion runway show with models indoors

Please tell us about your fashion line, Toyin LaTour. How long have you been in business? Who is your target market? My brand is about creating garments that reflect an experience similar to the art world. Garments that generate conversation and trigger an emotional response. They are meant to be statement pieces worn by people who don't care about the input of others. I started my brand in 2014 so I have been a designer for almost nine years now and I'm grateful for how much I've grown creatively. My target market consists of individuals who prioritize seeking the finer things in life that also helps them express themselves. People who take a little extra time in the morning because they know if you look good, you feel good, and you do better. People who take the time to understand themselves and know what they consume is a reflection of who they are.

model wearing Toyin LaTour standing outside at night against a metal fence

What is your point of view as a designer? I believe designers are meant to create garments that help the wearer shine while being true to who you are. I think many designers get sucked into creating things that please the masses instead of creating from the heart and letting the right people find and support you. There will always be people who don't like what you have to offer, but consistency will bring you people who love everything you create. The same holds true for other creatives, musicians, artists, producers, etc.

model wearing Toyin LaTour standing outside at night on the street

What are your ultimate goals for your line? My ultimate goals for my brand are to create a community of people who appreciate the high quality luxury version of streetwear garments. While I currently have no desire to have multiple brick and mortar locations, I would like to have a flagship store I can use to release collectible limited edition garments.

Anything else you’d like to share? I am currently planning an exhibit to showcase my next collection as a fashion film here in LA. My goal is to have it premiere in January 2024 and I can only hope other designers see this film as motivation to know that you can literally do anything you plan to do as long as you remain focused, driven, and ambitious.

Explore LRÉ the Artist’s work on Instagram @LREtheArtist.

Categories:  Apparel Industry Management Military Veteran Student