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Meet Garry Clare of Garrcee Collection

Today we’d like to introduce you to Garry Clare.

Garry, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a young teen, I was intrigued by the culture of fashion. Being raised by stylish parents, I learned how to dress to impress. My mother was raised in Los Angeles and loved to wear the bright, colorful styles of the 70s including bellbottoms and afros. My dad brought his Caribbean style from Belize and crossed it with the American culture, which shined a bright light on me as a child. It was an amazing thing to see them step out of the house for work or party events.

Growing up, most kids in my neighborhood either played sports or were part of a click. In many cases, that eventually lead to joining a gang. I was lucky enough to be involved with school sports and had an interest in fashion, which kept me from going down a different path. I was one of the kids that didn’t have all the latest clothing brands to wear but I always had a creative mind. I’d take something no one was wearing and make it my own style, and that gave me my own identity when I stepped out on the schoolyard.

After school, my downtime would be spent watching Good Times, I Love Lucy, A Different World, and Knight Rider. These shows gave me laughter, love, and a unique form of style growing up. In the late ’90s and 2000s, Hip Hop music and TV shows like Martin and Fresh Prince were inspiring all the new waves of clothing. I also started to notice more people that looked like me creating their own clothing lines – Karl Kani, Cross Coloursla, FUBU, Phat Farm, to name a few. Once I graduated High School I was looking for a way to learn fashion but the colleges offering those courses were priced too high for me to attend.

I started working full time and put the dream of becoming the next major black male designer on hold. After eight years of not working on any fashion related project, I got a job at a film studio and ran into an old friend of mine who also happened to work there. We started talking about life and the things we wanted to achieve. That’s when he hit me with the hard question, “What happened to your clothing?”

From that point on I started drawing, making T-shirts, and building a buzz with my designs on Melrose. I worked full time at that film company for eleven years while building my clothing brand. It was a battle filled with long hours and little sleep but I kept pushing forward. My journey in the business of Fashion has been all self-taught. From meetings to fashion shows to designing, sewing, and marketing my brand. I’ve had to figure it out from the ground up.

It’s been a total of eight years that I’ve been in the fashion game. During that time I was able to collaborate with other fashion designers and together we produced large fashion events from San Diego to Beverly Hills. Through it all, I’ve experienced many gains and learned from many losses, but I never gave up on myself.

In 2017 I decided to put more trust in myself and produced my first solo fashion show. Later that year I was blessed to be featured on FOXNEWS11LA as an up and coming designer. Today, my brand is being carried at a retail clothing shop on Melrose and I’m planning my next fashion show for the summer of 2020. Overall, It’s been an incredible journey.

Getting Featured on FOXNEWS11LA is awesome and hopefully just the beginning.  We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s all about dedication and motivation. No road is easy, especially when you’re creating something from the ground up. I started building my clothing brand without fully understanding the rules of the game. I had a love for art and clothing and thought that if I designed it people would buy it, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I lost a lot of money by pushing through special orders without taking payment upfront first. At that time, I wasn’t focused on building a blueprint for each year’s direction and didn’t have a plan for financial growth.

Sorry to hear about the losses on those orders – but I guess you live, you learn.  What else should we know about your brand?
GarrCeeCollection represents the journey of my family. It is built on strength, love, and truth. I set out to create a line of clothing that radiates positivity and boldness and have come to understand the difference between a dream and reality. When you dream, you close your eyes and visualize with a hope of making something come true. I used to dream. Now I move towards my goals with my eyes wide open. I have a clear and steady vision and I bring that to life with every piece of clothing that I create.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, my family would have parties and I always loved to dance. I never cared if anyone else was on the floor. I’d get out there and do whatever the latest dance moves were because, in my head, I had it down pat. I was always up for trying something new, especially if it was related to dance, sports, acting, or art. I recall a moment when I asked my best friend, Terrell, to take me to a dance audition for Beyonce and Destiny’s Child.

I had no formal background training in dance choreography. All I had was a love for dance. We were there from 9 am until 2 am the next morning. I made it all the way to the final round and It was a truly mind-blowing moment. In the end, I wasn’t selected to go on tour, but taking that leap of faith and having the support of my friend has become one of the best memories of my life. It also taught me how to have dedication and motivation without letting doubt get in the way.

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