The 25-year-old was born and raised in a city with a great fashion scene, which led him to launching Llewellyn in 2005, targeted for trendsetters between 16-35 years old. This Chicago designer is no stranger to the runway. His clothing line has been featured in over 11 fashion shows including Blake Martin’s XY, an-all male DoMENation, iCandy1 and iCandy2 fashion shows. Jeffery spoke with GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) about his journey, from the sewing machine to the launch of Llewellyn.
GMO: What inspired you to create Llewellyn?
Jeffery: Becoming a fashion designer was ultimately a culmination of my love for storytelling and my attention to detail. With designing, my goal is for the Llewellyn consumer to tell a story through their attire. Clothes are more than fabric sewn together to provide covering over the form. They dictate social perception and insight various emotions. Llewellyn's founding principal is to help a consumer feel empowered to be their best self by being dressed impeccably.
GMO: What is your most popular garment that everyone is buying?
Jeffery: Presently I'm seeing heavy sells of the newly introduced range of denim jackets ranging from various necklines, sleeve fabrications and embellishments. Also there has been a heavy uptake in sales with our "Andrew" boxer brief. As spring is transitioning in, our lightweight sweaters are also becoming extremely popular.
GMO: What's the price range of your pieces?
Jeffery: Llewellyn is a price conscious brand that really prides itself on well-made garments that exceed their price point. Our range goes from tank tops that start at $20, underwear $25 and kilts and jackets range from $60 to $150. Sweaters and shirts fall in the middle of that spectrum.
GMO: How did it feel to have 24/7 correspondent Jeff Conway wear Llewellyn? What was that experience like?
Jeffery: Dressing Mr. Conway was an amazing honor. As someone who was a fan of his even before meeting him, I loved it. As a designer you look to always make the person you're dressing not only look great but for them to know they look amazing. Seeing the sparkle in his eyes as he saw himself in the jacket and tank was a proud moment for me. Hearing the adoring reviews he got on his ensemble was extremely pleasing.
GMO: How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
Jeffery: That varies depending on the garment. The "Andrew" briefs usually an hour and a half. A basic kilt takes four hours and a jacket can vary from three to five hours.
GMO: What do you like most about designing clothes?
Jeffery: When illustrating new work, there is a sense of flying. You're able to allow yourself to float on the paper and craft what you're heart wants to do. Sewing is a problem-solving skill. Sewing a concept challenges you to see a flat illustration into shapes then into pattern pieces. Transforming non-symmetrical shapes into an elongated form you have to sculpt to fit the body.
GMO: What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
Jeffery: As a designer, showcasing in Chicago Fashion Week in the Black Ice fashion show, produced by Blake Martin, is one of my most rewarding experiences. Every designer dreams of showing in a major city's fashion week. Every time I see a client wearing Llewellyn, it’s a major moment for me. Two of my favorite moments were seeing my personal role model, ANTM all-star Bianca Golden and professional basketball player DeMarco Majors wearing Llewellyn.
GMO: How would you define your personal style?
Jeffery: My personal style is a mélange of three things: dandy prepster, 1980s Harry Winston glamour & urban rock and roll.
GMO: Where do you hope to see Llewellyn in three years?
Jeffery: Llewellyn being sold in several boutiques, as well as in magazine editorials. By the time lapse of three years, I plan to be sold in Japan.
GMO: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Jeffery: Study, eat, breathe and sleep fashion. Study the minute parts of the business. Know your fashion history both present and past. Learn the work of your contemporaries. Take time to live and experience life away from fashion though. That last line is paramount.
For more information on how to purchase Llewellyn, follow Jeffery on Twitter @llewellyncoutur or visit his fan page