Designer Spotlight: Imitation by Jerell

Born in Washington, D.C., designer, Jerell Gantt, has always had an artistic eye. Raised by an artistic mother, the appreciation of true art was always a fixture in his household. His mother went to school to obtain an art degree and Graphic Illustration was her subject of study. Jerell would sometimes attend school with her so this was his inspiration for his own artistry.  Knowing that fashion was his future, Gantt studied Fashion Design at the esteemed, Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah Ga. It was there he realized his creative look at fashion was far different from the norm.  “It was more of a cultural experience. It was my first time around a bunch of artist. I went to school for Fashion Design but my aesthetics and shoe design were self-taught. At one point I was advised to give up, but not as often as you would think! Art or design is always the most affordable thing! There are a lot of naysayers against fashion. I always believed in myself. My family has always been very encouraging.”

1119767_orig

Fusing his enormous love for R&B, Pop, and Rap music, with reference of urban culture, Gantt created IMITATION BY JERELL in 2008.The artist choose the name IMITATION because the designs are imitations of songs. In other words the pieces are often named after popular songs. The word imitation means re-inventing something to copy it.

large

It was merely 2 years later while moving to Atlanta, Ga., and creating a customized heel for a hobby; Gantt had his ultimate “AH HA!” moment.  Adorned with spikes, studs, mirrors, sequins, zippers and anything your mind can imagine, Gantt began to put his soul into sneakers and heels to become the ultimate custom creation stop for customized footwear and accessories.

Gantt has worked with celebrities like, Keri Hilson, ShaunieO’neal, Mya, Tracee Ellis Ross, Swizz Beats, and many more. Jerell admits it was not easy to get celebrity exposure because the music industry can be very finicky. The request usually has to go through a string of people. The artist usually loves it after the management finally lets them see the product!

Due to his heavy celebrity exposure IMITATION BY JERELL has become a staple in the new and imaginative fashion community. Since he has gained so much success with IMITATION by Jerell , a children’s line may be on the way. “I try not to limit myself. I would love to inspire the children. When I was a child I loved to see cool clothing and shoes. Iwill also include handbags one day. I am working on a handbag at this moment!”

Within 5 years from now this designer has huge plans for his brand. He wants to market himself with something that can reach the masses. He also wants to go international since his designs are loved overseas. He will start pushing his jewelry line as well and he plans to be in homes across America very soon! Clothing design is going to be incorporated too since that was his field of study. Getting his line in retail stores is also an ultimate goal! However, he won’t stop doing custom made shoes even if his shoes were manufactured he will make custom pairs! With a majority of women having shoe fetishes, IMITATION By Jerell is sure to gain popularity globally. IMITATION is the future of STATEMENT SHOES!

6004496_orig

By: Kela B.

Top Image Photography  Ahmad Barber

Makeup by Kristin & Elle Noire
Hair by Charlene & Sherita Blango
kontrol

Publisher

Julian R. Lark is a distinguished entrepreneur and award-winning stylist, sought after for his take on classic glamour. Having over a decade of experience coupled with a degree in Fashion, Lark has made himself an integral part in creating breathtaking moments for countless Hollywood celebrities. As a tastemaker in fashion, he has launched an online boutique and showroom in Atlanta to make breathtaking moments accessible to his growing audience. Julian forged his own path by creating the nationally published Kontrol Magazine as Editor-in-chief and lead stylist. He has crafted memorable moments for Hollywood icons like Anita Baker, Lynn Whitefield, Toni Braxton and Lil’ Kim. He’s been called upon to work on projects for numerous studios and networks including FX, Netflix, Bravo, OWN, WeTV and VH1. Press features of his work include Huffington Post, People, US Weekly, E! News, The View, and The Wendy Williams Show. In addition to his work as a stylist, in 2014 Julian launched his first stylist class, which is designed to help aspiring stylist learn how to build a successful career in the industry. Continuing to leverage his audience he has launched his own cosmetics line, and agency for stylist. Julian has proven himself to be a creative visionary and industry zealot. His drive, coupled with his uncanny ability to empower through fashion and style will undoubtedly ensure constant growth, both personally and professionally, in fashion and beyond.