CT fashion designer goes viral with help of his mom — and Cardi B

With the help of his 60-year-old mother, Hartford-based stylist Travis Dimeer Terry took his IEMBE brand to a new level. In December, she tweeted four photos of her mother Lavern Terry wearing IEMBE’s lime green “Gretchen” bag. She wore a white dress with thigh-high boots, a furry hat and a green coat to match the bag. It went viral.

The tweet received 80,000 likes and over 9,000 retweets, as well as the attention of rapper and pop culture icon Cardi B, who commented with sunglasses emojis. His comment received 3,500 likes.

“The funny thing is this is the third time I’ve used my mom as a model and this has just taken off,” said Travis. “I feel that if I change my model, people will ask me where my mother is, as she is now, in a sense, the face of the brand.”

Laverne had never modeled before. “I told him I thought the shoot would look great in the snow and it should be shot on Pratt Street (in Hartford),” he said. “I didn’t even think the shooting was good because I wanted more snow, but I woke up the next morning and it went viral.”

IEMBE is a black-owned luxury brand that stands for “in my bag” and proposes “you define luxury, a motto we live by,” Terry said. The brand, which sells bags and clothing online, came to life on January 3, 2020. And one piece, the “Biblical IEMBE Jacket”, was a huge success.

The jacket, which has an Adam and Eve design, with the brand name written on the sleeve, has been worn and posted on social media by celebrities and pop culture personalities such as Jordyn Woods, fabulous, Mild mill and Jim Jones.

The rapper Fabulous poses for the camera wearing the “Biblical IEMBE Jacket”.

Contributed by Amanda Barona

“When did I see Fabolous wearing the ‘Biblical IEMBE Jacket’ with a paisley tapestry design not just once but twice? It was huge,” Travis said. Fabulous was also the first celebrity to order the jacket.

Travis said he was impressed with the stars when his friend asked him to send Jordyn Woods the “Biblical” jacket.

“I was so excited to send her this jacket that on my way to the post office, I wanted to beat the time to make sure it got to her,” she said.

Celebrity or not, Travis said he likes to see customer tags with their reactions on social media. “Nothing beats seeing people receiving their purchases and fulfilling them,” he said.

Terry grew up on Barber Street in Hartford and graduated with a BA in Economics from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia. Her foray into fashion began when she canceled a spring break trip to Miami because she didn’t have a bag to carry. With the money from the travel refund, she decided to order bags on Amazon, designed a logo, and created prototypes to test the design of her bag.

Travis Dimeer Terry, founder of IEMBE and a native of Hartford.

Travis Dimeer Terry, founder of IEMBE and a native of Hartford.

Contributed by Travis Dimeer Terry

“My brother told me that if I wanted to start my own business and make these bags, I had to do it right and it helped me find the connections,” she said.

Travis said he wanted to create a vegan leather unisex bag. “Something people don’t know until they order is that it’s a 4-in-1 bag. Customers have the option of using it as a handbag, bookbag, shoulder bag or just a clutch bag,” she said. “This design will conquer the world.”

The bags have a “Telfar and Hermes Birkin” look, according to Travis’ sister Lanitress Terry, a Hartford firefighter. “They certainly sold like them also because they are always out of stock,” he said. Travis’ goal is to see IEMBE on the shelves of Saks 5th Ave.

Laverne said she enjoyed helping her vision of her son come to life. “We always have fun together and when he asked me to be his role model, how could I say no? I’m so proud of him and what this brand stands for.”

“I feel like our mother modeling for IEMBE will change the perspective on having to be a certain age to be in front of the camera,” Lanitress said. “Seeing them change the game and go on this journey together is exciting.”

Travis hopes to inspire others to follow their vision. A first-generation graduate of his family, he said he specifically hopes to be a role model for his cousins ​​and let them know you don’t have to be from New York or Los Angeles to be successful.

“Just because you’re from Connecticut doesn’t mean you can’t make your dreams come true,” he said.


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