TMLWS x The Mod Prep

Tim Lewis is the creative mastermind behind TMLWS, which is his the consonants of his name without the vowels! A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Tim combines a truly artistic style with innovative design to create fashion for the urban youth of today. Tim is a new type of fashion designer. Heavily influenced by music, art and passion, Tim is truly an artist. In true TMP nature, I wanted to do a Q&A with Tim, so that I could pick his brain on his personal style and design aesthetic.

-What’s the 411? (What’s your current situation i.e. school, work, internships)

Wow this will be my first time speaking on this subject since I release the Matoaka Moc Custom.... Right now, I work for myself, TMLWS Clothing and Motion™, My Art Production Company. I’m working full time for my company with my business partner and manager @Awesomeisjayell. 

-How did you get attracted to fashion? What aspects of the industry do you want to have a career in? 

I honestly started off a sneaker head as a kid. My brothers both always had dope sneakers. I found out about my favorite artist in third grade watching BET at my Auntie’s house on 106 and Park. Kanye West was introducing "Jesus Walks" when i first got into music as well, he’s what attracted me to fashion. As an artist there isn't anything I would say I don't do… so every aspect of the industry I want to have some form of play in. I’m an Art Conceptualist and Art Director so I like to have control of all my work because I have the vision and I KNOW EXACTY WHAT I WANT.

-Who do you wear? How would you describe your personal style?

My style is Timeless, I only wear undeniable pieces I won’t wear just anything, I won’t put it on just be cause it looks cool or I like it because there are certain brand I just won’t put on my back no matter how much I like them. There is a certain level that a piece has to be at for me to purchase, the piece also has to be undeniable. I’m not rich so I will only name pieces I own or have owned before I won’t include brands I plan to buy, Balenciaga, Martin Margiela, Yves Saint Laurent, CDG, Paul Smith, American Apparel, Topman and TMLWS bespoke pieces of course. 

 -How did TMLWS get started? What has been your favorite part of it so far?

I love telling this story....
TMLWS all started at age 13 in middle school when I asked my dad how to sew patches on my jeans. He showed me one time then forwarded me to his mom (My Grandmother) who actually taught me how to hand sew. Years later, in high school I tried out for our MLK High School Fashion Show, I made it. The director had seen a couple pieces and because I wore a piece I made to school one of the days we had practice for the actual show. After practice the director asked me could I have a six piece collection done by the week before the show. The week after the show, I put it online it sold out not instantly but all 25 units of the TMLWS SS 2012 Estrella Collection sold out.

My favorite part has been me going beyond my three fashion shows and actually doing a Art Exhibit, and my peers seeing my progression since high school and middle school and saying I inspire them. Also people actually hearing my crazy stories and visions but trusting me and seeing my vision clear enough to trust me to take their ideas and products to the next level. I’m the youngest person I work around so it really is inspiring to me and pushes me more to hear my older peers tell me I’m ahead of my time and them actually trusting my visions. 

-What are your favorite products? What’s the design process like?

My favorite products are jeans & shoes. My design process is very mental and mostly vision's I don't draw anymore I got bored with drawing after high school, so now I do a kindergarten drawing to kind of give people a idea but Motion™ consist of graphic designers, including myself, so I just usually have one of my graphic designers to draw it up but the products are usually conceptualized because I know exactly what I want or already in the process. After, I just step to the sewing machine and get to it. I guess you can say I’m like the Lil Wayne of the fashion word because he doesn't write, he just steps to the mic. I've been using that process with sewing for years now. After art school, I stopped drawing all together. Especially after I interned with a guy in college and he showed me the cheat code to making patterns, and I learned how to make patterns on my own. The guy who I interned with was older and had been sewing since he was like 13, so after he took me in and showed me everything he knew. I've been doing my own thing ever since.  

-How do you plan to stay innovative with your shoe designs? 

This first shoe design I actually thought of in high school. I actually thought of my next shoe design in high school too which actually was suppose to release first, but everything is happening the way it should. With innovation you have to have the imagination to always stay ahead of yourself. Most of my designs I’m putting out I thought of years ago. Things I’m designing now won’t come out for the next two years or so. With that being said you just got to stay ahead, you also have to KNOW what you are doing at all times. This is with ANYTHING in life for everyone who is reading this, if you don't know what you are doing STOP! and re-evaluate. Figure it out and start again, this time with a purpose, a goal and you have to predict your outcome. You have to create you own situation. Don't take what is given to you NEVER settle for just that.

-What are some of your short and long term goals when it comes to TMLWS?

Short term goals, bless the world with some next level pieces while providing them with the best quality product & customer service I possibly can. Grow a fan base and a clientele large enough to where I can release anything, and have it sell out with in hours if not minutes. Most importantly raise the taste level of fashion. Bring respect to Atlanta and the US, fashion wise. Haute Couture doesn't believe in an American Designer. We are jokes to them, and the fact I’m from Atlanta, Georgia! Now I’m looked at as a COUNTRY, AMERICAN designer! Long term, most importantly I just want to change the world through TMLWS the brand whether it is through fashion, music, me as motivational speaker, or even me as a world leader.
I want to inspire our culture and my generation to do what they believe in! Follow their passion! I want to make the kids in the cities I've lived in like Augusta, Georgia & Dublin, Georgia proud to be from where they are from. I want to let them know that they can do it too. Strive to be a legend. Make your mark in this world wherever you are from.  Do not let society get control of you. You take control of society. Life is much bigger than your 9-5 that you work everyday. Never get comfortable and always want more but never get greedy. It's not about how & where you start, it's about how & where you finish. You can't move without Motion™. 

I'm forever finding new ways to be inspired... and Tim has really inspired me to really holdfast to my dreams. I think his products are AMAZING, and I know there are huge things in store for this amazing young man. Tim, thanks so much for doing this Q&A, and inspiring me too.

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