Nigerian Tier Ealey Explains His Artistic Fashion Design Secrets

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Nigerian creative director, designer and artist Ealey thrives on inspirational images. In her home in Queens, which is decorated with floor-to-ceiling windows featuring views of New York City and mood boards that run along the walls, she literally surrounds herself with it. It’s how he stays true to his roots and how he connects with the creative life forces around him. The result was Ealey’s clothing company Tier, which earned seven figures last year and was visible to people across the country.

Tier makes high quality streetwear for men, women and children. That includes everything from monochromatic sets to outerwear to custom baseball caps. Regardless of the item, however, Ealey and his co-founders, Esaie Jean Simon and Victor James, create every Tier piece with two important things in mind: authenticity and durability. And the label’s slogan, “Art Never Dies,” reflects that. It’s a sensibility that Ealey says stems from his three days as a student company founder attending Long Island University in Brooklyn in 2014.

“When we think of people like Tupac or Michael Jackson or Van Gogh, their work meant so much while they were here even after they left, it still means that,” Ealey said. “I think that’s a person’s true test—what impact can you have on people in your line of work that are both a representation of and a memory of what you did here?”

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