SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF LOVE - INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR THOMAS OF LIVE TO LOVE APPAREL.
Taylor Thomas is the girl behind Live to Love Apparel, her own fashion line and company which she runs solo. A Colossians verse (3:12-14) is the fuel behind her mission to offer a fashion-heavy world with a variety of designs (t-shirts, hoodies, cardigans, tanks, accessories) which ACTUAL meaning. 'We live in a world of hate, greed, power, criticism, and addiction that can so easily become toxic and deforming, so why not spread His endless love with each and every person and remind them that there is so much more to life?'
Taylor's determination and committment to her line (as well as her academics, the young Texan is also a full-time student) left me wondering how much time and effort she has left to concentrate on her own style and wardrobe. I asked about her personal style, greatest inspirations and what's to come for Live to Love.
Inspirer': Give us a brief description of your style.
Taylor: Urban chic. I tend to dress more casually, but my style and personality always shines through. I might wear an oversized tee, skinny jeans with an oversized cardigan all day, but at night I would have no problem throwing on 6 inch heels and a cute dress. I don't like to limit myself to any one style just because that's not me.
What does the majority of your wardrobe consist of? Favorite pieces/accessories/outfits?
I enjoy dresses, cardigans, and I have a lot of shoes. I also have pretty much every color possible of deep v-neck t-shirts just because they can be worn pretty much in every season, you can layer on them, and you can throw on a pair of skinny jeans and flats, or dress it up with heels and a leather bomber jacket if you want to.
How much thought do you put into your everyday outfits?
Not really much thought just because my normal routine is pretty much going to sit in class all day or a day of working on LTL or running errands. Fashion has always been something that has come easily for me and I don't put much effort into it mostly because I'm not trying to fit a mold. I wear what I like, so it's really easy for me to know what I like and don't like.
Do you consider yourself to follow trends, or start them? How experimental are you with putting together looks?
I don't watch much TV and don't read magazines, so I don't really see what people are wearing or what the new trends are. I've never been afraid to be myself, so I guess my wardrobe has always had a sense of authenticity to it.
Who do you consider your greatest fashion inspirations?
I don't really consider anyone to be a "fashion inspiration" since I normally wear what I like. I have always been intrigued by Audrey Hepburn's classic beauty and style because it's timeless and I seem to be drawn to the simplicity of it. I rarely wear anything with loud patterns or something that seems to be trend-driven. It's incredible to have those staple pieces in your wardrobe that don't really go out of style and that you can enjoy for long periods of time like a simple black dress, classic stilettos/pumps, or a nice winter peacoat. The simpler the better when it comes to clothes. I love wearing something simple and then throwing it with a more detailed and intricate necklace, purse, or pair it with a pop of color like red shoes, or a coat.
Favourite stores and/or brands? Why?
I really enjoy Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, & Gap. They all have simple & casual clothes that are fun, and I can still set myself apart from other people and not look like a carbon copy of every other young adult out there.
Give us a brief chronological explanation of how your personal style has evolved.
I've always been very particular when it comes to what clothes I wear, but I think more so in the recent years my style has become more effortless. I used to have to match everything and I think I was more worried about what other people thought about me. In high school, I would have considered myself a "prep" and my wardrobe consisted of about every color of Polo & Lacoste collared shirts. I seemed to limit myself and wasn't allowing the real "me" to shine through. Once I went to college and "found myself," my personal style definitely became more eclectic. I'm sure my parents had a lot more influence on me than I would like to admit. Also, not living in a big city, it's not easy to be the "different one." I used to not be confident enough to not be afraid to fit the mold, so I'm definitely thankful that I've transformed and am more confident with my personal style. I'm far too creative to keep it all hidden. It's much easier to just be yourself.
Your lowest fashion moment?
Looking back at old pictures I'm sure we all cringe and say to ourselves, "What were we thinking," but I've always been pretty on top of my appearance. Back in the 90's when my mom would put big hair bows on my head with my dreadfully obnoxious outfits, it may seem like a faux pas, but that's what makes fashion so great; styles change and it's intriguing how people choose to express themselves.
It's better to be authentic to who you are than to try and fit the mold of someone else. & The simpler the better.
What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment with Live to Love Apparel?
I would say reaching as many people as I have because it's not only within my own state or country, but it's worldwide. To know that I am positively impacting people, and then for them to positively impact other people merely by wearing LTL is incredible to say the least. It's more than I could have ever asked for. It's like a domino effect. It not only means something to them, but by seeing a message on a shirt, it may spark something in a perfect stranger that walks passed them on the street. Love and optimism are extremely powerful.
Future endeavours for your business?
To keep expanding and spreading love. The possibilities are endless.
What do you find to be the hardest part of running Live to Love?
The work and the stress that comes with the business side of it & keeping it all up and running by myself.
How does Live to Love differentiate itself from other brands available?
It's a message of hope, optimism, and love when we are constantly surrounded by greed, ugliness, and toxic messages. It's meaningful to not only me, but everyone who supports it.
And finally, why do you think fashion can be such an effective means of portraying a message?
Whether we like to admit it or not, we judge people by their appearance. We think we have somebody all figured out just by how they express themselves because fashion speaks for us. It has its own voice without us having to say a word.
Not only is she a major inspirational role model, Taylor Thomas sets herself apart by being herself. And people sure have noticed! With her personal Facebook account reaching maximum friends, a further 5000+ on the fanpage and Live to Love's Myspace page hitting 12200, her message of love is circulating. In addition to her fans, bands and artists which support Live to Love include: Above the Golden State, Andrew Garcia, The Scene Aesthetic, Sleeping with Sirens and Stephen Jerzak.
Be sure to check out the latest from Live to Love Apparel, with the Fall line recently released!