By Lauren Lippert
On the Saturday evening that concluded 2019 Phoenix Fashion Week (PHXFW), vendors line the entrance.
Some are bland and look like everyone else but, on the far right corner, a tall, lengthy man is standing in front of rainbow-colored clothing items talking to an older man in a suit.
Dressed in jeans and in one of his own shirts, white with tie-dye in the middle, and a Yankees baseball cap, he is far more casual than the man in the suit.
As someone who knows nothing about fashion, England didn’t want to pursue a career in the fashion industry yet decided to join the PHXFW Designer Bootcamp in order to help make his message, dream in colors, more apparent.
“I want to push other people to chase their dreams while I’m chasing mine,” England said.
England originally was inspired to start his company after graduating from college and work as a poll service technician.
He would often find himself on Snapchat trying to make himself as well as his friends laugh.
It was then, England knew he would have the support he needed to take a “leap of faith” and quit his job.
“I ended up quitting based on my gut feeling,” England said. “That’s why when I started The Tie-Dye Company, I wanted the company part to be about who you surround yourself with, not the business company.”
After quitting his job, he wanted to find a new source of income and decided to sell things online where he saw that tie-dye was trending but not a lot of people were selling it.
“I was doing keyword searches in Google where you can see how many times people are searching for stuff and tie-dye had 350,000 people searching for it and 32 results were sellers,” England said. “I saw that not many people were selling tie-dye but a lot of people searched it so that’s when I decided that that’s my profitable product.”
Once England found what he wanted to sell and create, he wanted to gain more exposure and reached out to various fashion blogs one of them being PHXFW. He thought that because tie-dye had never been seen on a runway, England could be the first.
“Telling people that I started a tie-dye company or brand they kind of laugh at first,” England said. “But that’s my favorite part about it, I’m doing something that people don’t think I can do and I love that.”
England was then thrown into a three-month designer boot camp where he learned about the business side of running a fashion company. The boot camp helped England establish a strong structure for his company while also finding a sense of community among his fellow designers.
“It opened my eyes to the fashion industry which I had no idea about, and then the best part was the community,” England said. “It’s more like a family. You realize that it’s just a bunch of people collaborating together and working really hard to make something amazing happen.”
As someone who modeled for England, Zeke Leathers found England to still hold a positive mindset while in a time of stress. Although “unsure of himself,” Leathers said that England loves what he does and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
“A lot of the designers are busy and in their head, trying to figure stuff out especially at a fashion show that is that big, it can be stressful,” Leathers said. “But he was very laid back.”
England enjoys spreading positivity in any way he can from sending free shirts to influencers with a smaller following to talking to anyone about how to start a business from scratch, he wants everyone to follow their passions. For Tie-Dye Company fan, Kenzel Williams finds England’s positivity and passion admirable.
“He’s honestly not what you would expect when you think of a business person and I really appreciate that,” Willians said. “He’s not your typical business fashion person, he’s just here having a good time and just doing what he loves to do and is putting it all in his brand which I really appreciate.”
Even though England originally entered the fashion scene as a joke, he is here to stay. With one of his shirts already worn in a Chance the Rapper music video, England is already leaving his mark. His one last piece of advice?
“You don’t really have to know what you’re doing, just know your destination so if you find what you’re passionate about I think the most important thing you can do is just keep going towards it,” England said.