Stevie Boi is one of today’s most sought after fashion designers. The Georgian born designer spent years oversees with military parents. There, he developed a passion for fashion and began creating his own brand, SBShades. This chic luxury eyewear has been seen on celebrities like Beyoncé, Amber Rose, Kesha and more. The brand would soon land on the cover Vogue Italia. The young designer has also entered the culinary industry with production of his own cooking show and cook book.
We spoke to Stevie Boi about his career, latest ventures and future initiatives.
AF: Why did you decide to choose fashion design as a career?
SB: It’s funny because I actually didn’t. I was in college learning basic law and working for the U.S. military. I simply made a pair of sunglasses and wore them to the club. A popular female rapper took them and put them on during her performance. The next day people really started to contact me on Facebook asking to purchase. And then from there it became my job to design.
AF: How was the transition from the military to starting your own eyewear business?
SB: My parents were military. I just worked for the Army. However, the military has taught me how to stay focused on the goal. The goal is and has been for me to remain relevant and never crumble.
AF: Describe the feeling when iconic celebrities like Beyoncé, Madonna, Katy Perry and Brittney Spears wore your fashionable brand – SBShades?
SB: None of it was planned. Everything was a shock. However, as amazing as it is to work with celebrities, I try to stay focused on designing. It’s ok to celebrate but I don’t want to become one of those one hit wonder designers.
AF: You are a talented and successful designer. Would you like to share any setbacks, particularly as a Black fashion designer?
SB: This is probably one of the best questions ever. For many years I have experienced so many racist remarks, people stealing my designs, getting kicked out of parties etc. However, I learned to just not say anything. I didn’t want to complain and lose focus of my goal. Plus, I didn’t think anyone would care or believe me. I also never came into the industry thinking I’m a “Black designer”. When I first started my designs were on A list celebrities, but they kept referring to me as “Urban Designer”. It’s hilarious now because I’m deemed as an “International Fashion Designer”.
AF: Can you share a little about your cooking show “Stevie Boi Eats” and your cookbook? What was the inspiration for both?
SB: The inspiration behind the book and the show are the same. I wanted to show people that I can cook, and I love to eat new dishes. I’m sick of the typical southern cookbooks. So, I decided to share recipes from growing up in Germany etc. and mix them with my southern heritage. So, it is a fusion book with stories of how I came up with each recipe.
AF: How have you been able to juggle a fashion design career, fashion styling, and your cooking ventures?
SB: It’s easy. I have to eat, so after sewing garments, I just go in the kitchen and create whatever I think people would like to try. Juggling a lot of things is actually the only way I can work. I do not like to sit for long. I can get really lazy when I get comfortable.
AF: How have you been able to manage your brand during the pandemic?
SB: Surprisingly it has been easy. For some strange reason my sales have went up. I guess people are bored and want to shop. I’m not sure but I have been designing at least 5 new items a day. It’s mostly because I want to stay ahead with my orders and fan base on social media.
AF: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into the fashion industry?
SB: The best advice I can give is to do your research on who have become before you. Designers/Artists in general sometimes have serious ego’s and refuse to acknowledge who paved the way. I think this is why I am able to rub shoulders with Beverley Johnson, Richie Rich, Custo Barcelona + many more. I had to show respect in order to receive it.
AF: What’s next for your career? How can people connect with you for business opportunities?
SB: I have so many things planned. One is my partnership with BLIP to put up my first digital billboards here in America. I also already finished my second cookbook. I have a line of CBD products coming out. I do plan to showcase in September for fashion week. I can be reached at StevieBoi.com.