Menswear Designer Davidson Petit-Frere Has the Fashion World's Full Attention

Photo by Jamie McCarthy
With his growing label, Musika Frere, the dapper Brooklynite, 26, shares how he's making the fashion world take note.

With his growing label, Musika Frere, the dapper Brooklynite, 26, shares how he's making the fashion world take note.

ESSENCE: Did you always want to be a fashion designer?

DAVIDSON PETIT-FRÈRE: After graduating from high school, I went to college for a week, then left to pursue real estate. That's where I found my passion for suits and dressing like a gentleman. I would post what I wore to work on Instagram. My tailor noticed that I had a buzz, and it was bringing him a lot of clients. He offered to teach me the business from fittings to classic tailoring. I stepped away from real estate for what I thought would be a temporary thing—and it turned out to be my career. I decided to start my own venture.

ESSENCE: Your work is full of unexpected hues. What inspires this?

D.P.F.: My family is from Haiti, and Haitian men are known for being very colorful. I wear a lot of oranges, purples, reds, blues.

ESSENCE: A slew of megastars, including Kevin Hart, Jay Z and Stephen Curry, have worn Musika Frère. How did you pull that off?

D.P.F.: Today social media is a good platform to jump-start any business. It's free promotion. Everything is organic. It's also about the customer service of my team—me and my partner, Aleks Musika.

ESSENCE: Who were some of your style icons growing up?

D.P.F.: My dad. He's an engineer and always dressed to impress. Michael Jackson, because he was a rebel and ahead of his time with fitted clothing. Ozwald Boateng, because he was the first Black tailor on Savile Row.

ESSENCE: What grooming products do you swear by?

D.P.F.: I love shea butter—it keeps skin soft. A gentleman should always exfoliate his skin. I use St. Ives. Until my own fragrance comes out, I like those by Tom Ford, Chanel and Creed. Moisturize your face, exfoliate and always smell good. I also use Crest teeth whitening strips.

ESSENCE: What's next?

D.P.F.: I just launched a line of footwear called Lavati. The goal is to do sneakers, boots and, eventually, women's heels.

Visit musikafrere.com for more info.

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