Romeo Hunte Isn’t Letting Up Anytime Soon
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)

You can’t speak about fashion without mentioning Romeo Hunte. The style OG, whose creations have been spotted on Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Zendaya and countless other celebrities, and his namesake brand, have become the shining example of what happens when streetwear and luxury masterfully collide.

“Honestly it was just really just believing in myself,” Hunte tells ESSENCE about the source of his success. “I was more athletic as a child and in my middle school and high school years. So when it came down to it, choosing fashion was really about the fork in the road. I had a few scholarships for track and field, but I wanted to do fashion.” He explains that his family was hesitant about his decision. “At the time there were no other black designers really on the calendar,” he says. “They knew what I had in mind for my brand so they were really, really afraid and they were scared for me. So my success ultimately comes down to always believing in myself.”

That undeniable talent recently captured the eye of luxury retailer Farfetch, leading to an exclusive capsule collection. “It was a great experience but it kind of happened really fast,” he shares saying it all kicked off during lockdown. “With this collection, I just really wanted to highlight my main signature — mixed mediums. It’s been something I’ve been a part of the brand’s DNA from the beginning — the hybrid. I’ve always loved to mix things, it used to be mixing art with hip-hop or art with fashion in the beginning, but now I have the opportunity to mix even more. Hunte attributes his childhood for his affinity for the juxtaposing styles. “I was just taking my mother’s pieces and just deconstructing them all as would take different fabric and add it to the cuff of the jean or just make another garment more special or unique,” he says.

 
 
 
 
 
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Furthermore, the Farfetch collection is more accessible. “My audience has been attracted to a lot of our mixed medium pieces and I wanted to kind of make these pieces — though maybe a bit limited — not as expensive as the collection pieces.”

But speaking of the collection pieces, Hunte also launched a resort collection right before the Farfetch drop — a genre that while not particularly new to the designer, isn’t something he frequents. “I’ve dabbled in resort before but then I would kind of pull back out of it,” he says. “The resort collection was developed during a lockdown so it was more just thinking about comfort. A lot of the pieces remind you of pajamas or being half-dressed. Like, you know, we’ve been known for the boxy suit for a few seasons now, so I went and made it a jumper to look like he had on his loafers with his blazer, you know? Stuff like that.”

 
 
 
 
 
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Howver, the work doesn’t stop there. “I’m a visionary,” Hunte says. “I’m currently working on my Spring ’22 collection which you all will see is a continuation from the fall where we left off. Remember, resort is a spinoff collection and Farfetch is a capsule. That said, look forward to seeing the story continue from the Spring/Summer 2020 with the Tommy Hilfiger collab. From there, that will continue into Spring 2022.”

 
 
 
 
 
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But how is it that Hunte has so much bandwidth for creativity? “Most of my inspiration now comes from things I’ve already done and now I’m just pushing for it and evolving it, or it comes from art, music, film, my clients. And then when you think of my men’s collections, a lot of it comes to my friends in south.”

Ahead, shop some of our Romeo Hunte favorites.

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