“What’s it like to be a celebrity?” I inquire.
He shifts in his seat, turns his head slightly to the left and looks at me intently. “I don’t consider myself a celebrity.” The whole room goes silent in surprise.
“You are a celebrity,” I respond, as I give him a quick reality check while pondering on the various events I have attended where Ty couldn’t even so much as walk across the room without being photographed, video recorded, and spoken to, at least several times. Google search his name and over 22 million results surface. His humble nature is endearing and I believe, a huge part of his success.
Everyone wants to know Ty Hunter, and if you’ve met him a few times, you fall under that spell of thinking you know him. It’s hard not to, he’s just that nice. Challenged to dress the biggest star since Michael Jackson, one might assume that he’s standoffish or stuck-up, but his demeanor is actually warm and welcoming.
He enters HB Studios and, almost immediately, there is excitement in the air. The staff is buzzing around, finding things to do in his vicinity with the hopes of grabbing a picture with the Ty Hunter. His signature honey blonde and brown locs and flawless skin has the ridiculously attractive Ty appearing to be in his early 30’s vs his early 40’s. No one in the room believes it when he reveals his age: 42. I was tempted to demand receipts.
Ty Hunter is a fashion industry staple. I place him in the light of a Karl Lagerfeld or an Andre Leon Tally, there are just certain names — faces, presences — that cannot be forgotten and Ty Hunter is one of them. He creates trends, ideas, that others then follow.
Today, he shows me how to take the perfect selfie with his Ty Lite case that everyone from Kelly Rowland to NeNe Leaks has been spotted not only using, but also raving about the results. The case itself is brilliant. It has three different lighting options: cool, warm, and brilliant that will ensure no matter where you are (or the lighting), you will get a great photo. The case is also protective, which is perfect because we all know how many of us drop our phones (and pray the screen isn’t cracked) on a regular basis. He invites me to the launch party which, no surprise, is packed shoulder to shoulder. As I weave my way through the crowd of celebrities and influencers, I spot Ty. I keep moving, at no point assuming he’ll even notice my presence. Throughout the oh-so-stylish fashionable chaos our eyes lock, he smiles, and waves me over. He’s chatting and talking selfies with two models whom I recognize from fashion ads in magazines.
“Hi!” he warmly hugs me and then turns to the group and introduces me, “This is Danielle. She’s a Fashion Editor.” Warm and welcoming. They smile and say hello before congratulating Ty on his success and gliding off as they post the photos on Instagram and hashtag #TyLite.
Ty’s interest in the social media and technology space continues to grow and he has made his interest profitable. In addition to launching the Ty Lite to promote the perfect selfies, he also has his own set of emojis: Ty Hunter emoji that was launched in October of 2015 with the help of his friend and celebrity photographer, Johnny Nunez.
Ty Hunter is truly the trendsetter for today’s most influential stars. His emojis have become so popular (and such a great idea) that they have influenced celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, and others to follow suit. However, Ty’s personal influence spans the celebrity and fashion set to his fans and followers. In a world full of negativity, his light is not just welcomed, but also craved.
“I just want to spread positivity and love in this world and just be a movement for that. Before I leave, I want to change as many peoples’ views on this crazy race thing that’s going on. We are all human. This isn’t a rehearsal. Life is too short.”
Ty’s positive and inspiring demeanor isn’t limited to just those who have the pleasure of being in contact with him. He has amassed a following of over a quarter of a million individuals on Instagram. He uses his platform to spread positivity and encouragement to those that visit his page. His posts are always in yellow and black and his signature has become four exclamation points that let you know the message comes from him.
The four exclamation points were also the signature on his clothing line that was launched in 2014 that was titled, “With Passion by Ty Hunter.” The snapbacks, t-shirts, sweaters and more are all representative of Ty’s positivity and movement.
“I am fashion.”
While Ty pursues his passion in social media and technology, he assures us that fashion will always be at his core. At this years’ Met Gala, he was right by Queen Bey’s side, dressing her in a Givenchy latex gown that had the entire Internet abuzz over one of the evening’s most talked about looks.
From his once humble beginnings in Texas, Ty is now considered fashion royalty; however, never forgets from where he came or all the people that helped him along the way, particularly Tina Knowles, whom he refers to affectionately as, “Mama Tina.” He’s a strong believer in making your own opportunities and persevering despite the circumstances.
“Don’t allow your environment or your habitat deter you. You can be anything you want. Your dreams and goals, you really have to believe that there will be better ahead.”
He motivates others that are pursuing and following their dreams to “write things down” and to read motivational quotes.
“Anything to keep on pushing,” he encourages.
With a successful clothing line and taking over the social media and tech space, in addition to being a staple in the fashion industry, I ask him what’s next? He looks at me and laughs as he’s unable to reveal his next project at this time, but assures me, he will let me know once the time draws closer.
I thank him for his time and he gives me a warm hug as he gets ready to depart. We open the studio door as there are already people waiting for a picture with him. He takes photos and speaks to every person before leaving the studio.
It’s a classic indicator of what the world can see about this entrepreneur, even if he is too humble to recognize it himself- the stylish Texan is the next big thing in fashion and business.