Taheed Watson is one of the newest brightest minds in the fashion industry. His vision of style and flair can be seen through his brand, Heed NYC. The company was conceived in 2017 and officially launched in 2020. From its inception, Heed NYC has been a breath of fresh air. The brand has it all. From chic grab bags and various accessories for women to neatly designed active wear and comfortable sneakers for men (we TRULY love the assortment of colors in the sneakers), there is something for everybody. The signature sunglasses are a must have and their duffle bags makes a fashion statement with an exclamation mark. The Heed NYC brand is quickly carving a niche for itself.
Heed NYC continues to build momentum in 2021. It’s been showcased at the BET Awards, various press outlets, and worn by several celebrities including En Vogue. We look forward to watching this brand growth and become a mainstay in the fashion industry.
Taheed took the time from his busy schedule to sit down with Industry Rules to discuss his brand and his passion for fashion:
AF: What was one of the main reasons for getting into the fashion industry?
TW: It’s all my mother’s fault that I’ve always had a passion for fashion. I grew up with a single mom who was an Interior Designer. After my father left, I was her best friend and she would take me with her on jobs, as well as shopping, and would always ask my opinion on color matches, styles, etc. I got to be so good at it that she would get compliments on my creations. I think it started from there. Since then, I have always had people appreciate my fashion sense and one day I decided that it would be great to create things that I would want to wear, and if I am lucky, other people would to.
AF: How did you come up with the idea for HEED NYC?
TW: The concept of HEED NYC has always been with me. It was something that was established in my mind many years ago. Although, the actual name I have to give credit where credit is due. It was my fiancé that thought I should name the line HEED. Obviously, it’s an eponymous adieu to my name [Taheed] but it’s much deeper than that to me. The definition of the word HEED is pay attention to; take notice of and that speaks volume of not only how I want the brand to be received but what that means in our society. I’ve always been keenly aware of my surroundings and want my brand to make a statement that our designs will focus on taking note, being aware of and taking heed to a growing multi-cultural society that is driving the evolution of fashion. Our vision is to embrace the diversity; to be unapologetically fearless, and to expand our brand footprint worldwide. We want everyone to TAKE HEED!
AF: What do you love about being a fashion designer?
TW: I tell people all the time that my fashion creations are like my children. I want them to learn, grow, be present, be smart, to be the best that they can be, and change the world. It gives me goose bumps to see my creation on the street and know that I made that for someone and out of all of the choices they had in their closet, they chose to take a little piece of me with them that day. It’s an awesome feeling.
AF: How do you stay current with the latest fashion trends?
TW:One thing that I must admit is I try not to follow any particular trend. I want to be inspired but not necessarily influenced. My designs are a culmination of everything that I am up to this point in my life. Since I am constantly growing as a person, I expect that my design choices will continue to change and evolve.
AF: How would you define your personal style?
TW:I feel like I’m 10 people in 1. My personal style is all over the place. There are days where I am jeans and sneakers and other days where I am blazer and loafers. For me, it’s a feeling. How do I feel today? I think that is reflected in my brand, although there is continuity in the color schemes… I also leave space for creativity and imagination. Your style is your art and own personal canvas, and it is up to you to interpret what looks good, not someone else.
AF: Since the brand launch, what has been your most memorable moment?
TW: I think the most memorable moment is seeing all of the praise and accolades I have received over my unique unisex luxury sunglasses. I personally designed them to resemble my iconic logo and they truly are unique in every sense of the word. Sometimes people are fearful of change and to be different, so my sunglasses may not be for everyone, but I like that. Only the most fly, fearless and stylish are wanted. I will continue to expand my sunglasses line, and I look forward to fulfilling orders of the many people that have showed a genuine interest in them.
AF: What’s next for HEED NYC?
TW: Once HEED NYC has established a large enough footprint internationally, I plan on looking at other complimentary brands to acquire and place under the umbrella. I don’t expect to be personally designing forever, so I am also looking to assist up-and-coming designers in helping them grow their brands and have them benefit from my business experience. I feel like if done correctly, the sky is the limit.
Please follow us on Instagram @heednyc for product news and announcements. You can also check out our website (www.heednyc.com) for weekly updates.
Photographer Credit: Flip Tour
Model: Cheyenne Cox
Make-Up: Tray Damir