New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but buzz over a young Detroit native who shined during the show with his clothing line is far from over. Thirteen-year-old Langston Howard’s designs already have attracted a celebrity clientele.
Babyface Ray and Big Sean reportedly are wearing Howard’s clothing from his independent fashion brand, which was featured in this year’s NYFW, which ran from Sept. 9 to 14. Howard launched his line in March, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Fashion has been of interest to Howard since he was in the first grade when he was inspired by painter Jackson Pollock and he designed his first T-shirt collection. Today, Howard’s T-Shirt line, “The Top,” has a distinctive artwork that sets it apart from the competition.
When Howard decided he wanted to create his fashion line, he used his own money, said his mother, Jacqueline Howard.
“He took the money he received for his 13th birthday and invested it into his company,” she said.
“When he decides to do something, he is relentless,” Jacqueline Howard told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s like zero to 100 overnight.”
Langston wanted to start a line that not only was fashionable but meant something.
“The Top” is a motivational clothing brand designed to inspire its customers of their limitless potential, according to Langston Howard. The line includes athletic leisurewear, along with hoodies, face masks and baseball caps. The clothing features original art designs by Langston, paired with inspirational quotes from some of Langston’s favorite athletes.
A shirt featuring a drawing of famed Haitian-American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat also has the saying “I start a picture and I finish it.” A Kobe Bryant T-shirt includes the words “Dreams come true.”
“I’ve always been an artist,” the 13-year-old entrepreneur said of his design process. “So I brainstorm ideas for about a month … then I sketch the design.
“And then after I have the sketch completed and I have the images that I want to be on the design, I show them to a graphic designer and they create the design through their platform.”
More than 200 households have bought Howard’s products, according to figures on the company’s website.
“If you ask me how he does it, I have no clue,” his mother said, complimenting her son’s abilities to conduct business at a young age.
Langston’s mentor, Shawn Wilson, credits his confidence and his “wise-beyond-his-years” maturity at a young age with contributing to his early successes.
“He’s very mature,” said Wilson, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan. “His concepts and his designs are mature as well.”
Langston is a member of the organization’s Fashion and Merchandising Industry Club, which is a subgroup program of a larger initiative called The Industry Club that the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan created to encourage youth to follow their passions.
“He’s very mature,” Wilson said. “His concepts and his designs are mature as well.”
Howard’s Big Apple debut won’t be his last as he told the Detroit Free Press he plans on returning in 2023 with newly designed pieces.