Tyler McGillivary

Coolstuff Team
July 5, 2024

Meet Tyler, the designer behind the eponymous label of clothing and textiles that injects fun to a world that can often be a bore. Tyler started her label in 2018, and as early fans of her work we were so excited to hear a little more about how she became involved in the world of fashion, why she started her own label, and what designers are inspiring her right now.

What first sparked your interest in the world of fashion?

When I was in middle school it was the heyday of online fashion blogs and I became obsessed. I would spend hours scrolling through Tavi Gevinson's Style Rookie, Sea of Shoes, or Style Bubble, saving outfits to replicate with pieces from Urban Outfitters or the various church basement/ strip mall thrift stores I'd frequent. I viewed clothing as a creative escape against the otherwise bland backdrop of tween suburban life and would daydream about working at a magazine or having a clothing line. I still do my best work at my childhood home in Maryland because I find the slower pace allows me to re-enter that brain space and fantasize about clothes and ideas. 

Tell us about your namesake fashion label, Tyler McGillivary

I started my brand a year after graduating college, when I was 23 and knew absolutely nothing about producing clothing let alone marketing and selling it. I had worked for a couple years for an independent designer in college and I had experience in sketching and and general art making so I just started making pieces that I wanted to exist like tops in the shape of flowers and pants that had drippy slime legs. Pretty soon, I realized I wasn’t good enough at sewing to keep making things myself and the business was officially born. Today, the brand exists as a design playground for me. It is constantly changing but maintains core elements like a focus on nature, color, joy, and nostalgia. I find myself drawn to the same things over and over in slightly different forms like old cartoons, furniture design, National Geographic, 90s ravers, fairytales, nature books or antique trims. The brand highlights everyday wonder and reminds you that getting dressed should be fun and creative. 

What’s your favorite part about the New York fashion community? 

I’ve been lucky to carve out a community in New York full of designers who are both talented artists and lovely human beings, which creates an incredible space for collaboration. We’ve worked with so many designers on prints and sample sales and pop ups and I love getting to speak to other young creators going through the same challenges and experiences that I confront all the time. I truly don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t able to rely on the support of that community and learn from my friends who have brands or small businesses. We’re launching a new section of our site soon called “Secret Garden” that features some of these artists and other designers whose work we love. I am so thrilled to get to expand our community with this project and work with other small businesses in a new way. It’s so inspiring to see what other people create and come up with. 

What part does print & pattern play in your design process?

Our brand heavily focuses on prints and patterns which are all made in house. We source a lot of imagery and edit it to fit my vision of what a piece should look like. A lot of our work right now is image driven, meaning that I wanted to use clothing as a vessel for highlighting the bizarre and beautiful parts of our planet. The idea is for the clothes to transport you through the imagery whether to a tulip field in Holland or the butterfly room at the Natural History Museum. I often start with prints and build a collection around them, collecting images and pulling out accent colors for simpler designs. I’m trying to challenge myself to design more pieces without prints to support the more statement pieces we make. It’s a challenge because I gravitate towards more fantastical designs. 

Do you have a favorite designer right now?

I have so many, but some standouts are:

Viktor Gichev I have recently started following, just beautiful designs 

Phoebe Pendergast (burnt wallpaper pants!!)

J Kim 

Kiko Kostadinov womens

Paula conovas del vas

Paolina russo 

Simona Vanth 

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