Internet famous runway model Jeremy Meeks talks about creating his own fashion line and the need for more Black designers.
From the jailhouse to creating his own fashion house, Meeks, 36, has made tons of moves since going viral for being #prisonbae back in 2014, when his mugshot made it to headlines. Meeks’s initial charge was assault, and he was later charged with gun possession. Today, the stud is putting his notoriety to use by opening his own fashion line.
“Before I even came into public attention, society had their biases, judgments, and labels for me’, Jeremy said in an interview with Grazia. “That’s called being a black man. But that has really motivated me.” He then used a quote by Booker T Washington, saying, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which [one] has overcome while trying to succeed.”
In pursuing his fashion design career, Meeks says it has taught him patience. “There is nothing better than getting baptized in real experience. It’s taught me to be patient; it’s taught me to show myself compassion; it’s taught me to be very focused about pursuing my dream in spite on non-believers and doubters. It’s kind of cool to watch the process of how things go from just an idea in my head to market.”
As someone who had the opportunity to revitalize his brand through his newfound fame, he says he wants that same concept for his line, Jeremey Meeks. “The line represents resilience,” he said. “Falling down and getting back up.” He says that he hopes his line “exudes quality, confidence and uniqueness,” adding that the fashion industry needs more diverse designers. “The world needs more Black designers. My inspirations are art, Black people, edge and culture,” he said, noting that Nipsey Hussle, Basquiat, and Hebru Brantley are some of the people he references.
Besides working on his fashion brand, Meeks says he keeps busy and mentally stable following his incarceration by playing tennis. He also revealed that he’s “really excited” to start therapy. “I have been able to bond with my son that’s here with me in the States, work from home, get into a good routine of working out and focusing on making the best of this time with my son,” he said. Meeks co-parents his two sons with his ex-wife Melissa, but he is currently in a relationship with Top Shop heiress Chloe Green. “I hope the future holds change, not just for me but literally for this world,” he said. “Less hate, more love, lots more compassion. From a professional standpoint, I want to really walk in and find my purpose.”
When it comes to the possibility of people seeing him beyond his “prison bae” image, Meeks says, ‘I do not feel I have anything to prove to people like that. I am proud of my success in my career because I want to make my people proud.’