Tyvne is making it in fashion without the middleman
The stylist and creator on how TikTok has democratised fashion
Tayne has been making waves on TikTok for a while now — sharing his work as an SSENSE stylist, dropping personal style tips and sharing his own fits and takes on fashion. He also rates his followers' outfits that they submit to him for advice. His content is an example of a wave of creators that are democratising fashion by using the internet to create their own lanes. Access to the fashion industry is becoming less and less exclusive as creators like Tayne use social media to build their own reputation and credibility, as well as garner exposure. We had a lengthy chat with Tayne on life as a full-time stylist, his online journey so far, and his overall philosophy when it comes to personal style.
How and what got you into styling?
I’ve always had a sense of style and friends would come to me for fashion advice but in terms of actual styling, I got into it through a friend of mine who I became close with in school. After high school, he went on to study fashion management and I did fashion design. After graduating, he landed a fashion internship at SSENSE as either a stylist or studio assistant. He continued to work there after his internship was over and they were looking for more stylists, so he recommended me. I had no styling experience nor a portfolio but it was something that I was interested in. So I travelled from Toronto to Montreal and put together a portfolio in a week, but unfortunately the job listing closed. A few weeks later the job listing opened again and I applied and got the job. That’s really when I became a stylist.
Has being a fashion creator online led to more styling opportunities?
Yes, it definitely has. I was actually just at New York Fashion Week because someone found me on TikTok and wanted me to style for their brands lookbook and e-commerce. Being a creator has opened so many doors, not even in terms of just business opportunities and styling opportunities, but more recognition from the younger audience that I reach out to. My Instagram and TikTok have been blowing up too and through that I’ve been getting recognition. Even when I was in New York someone asked me for a picture which I was super surprised about. It’s truly been a blessing ever since I started creating content on TikTok. My whole life has just been moving on up.
That's the thing about TikTok, it opens you up to a lot of opportunities, and it's kind of democratised fashion because anyone can pretty much get in without a middleman.
Exactly, and that's kind of the most important part because sometimes the middleman can interrupt the avenue between the consumers and the creator. So when you just have that direct line between the consumers and the creators, it's a much more genuine relationship and people get to know me for who I am instead of an interpretation from a middleman.
Who are your favourite designers at the moment?
That's a very good question. Big names — obviously you have the Denma’s of the world, you have Rick Owens of course. Rick is my all-time favourite designer. I obviously love Alexander McQueen. I love newer designers too like Juntae Kim who was recently nominated this year for the LVMH Prize for his brand. S.S.Daley is a brand I’m also really focused on, I love their stuff. There’s so many brands though.
Rick just resonates with my personality, my vision and outlook on the world. I've been told that I'm very mysterious in a sense that people don't really know how to read me. And on the inside, I feel like my outlook on the world is not necessarily cold, but I see the world for what it is. The world really isn't the best place, it's not all flowers. There’s some dark stuff in the world and there's obviously a lot of pain that goes on and a lot of hardship. So I just bring that whole mindset and interpretation of the world into my fashion. I think Rick extremely suits that and it just fits my personality, it fits my personal look, it fits how I feel. When I wear Rick, I just feel unstoppable — no one can stop me at all.
What's currently going on with Rick and this whole Opium Playboi Carti wave might have to go down in history because it's just super fascinating of how an artist and a group of influencers can take a brand worldwide and become globally known.
He's gotten really popular over the past couple of years because of TikTok. It's crazy.
Yeah, I knew Rick because of A$AP Rocky back in 2014. So seeing it from then to this whole Opium Playboi Carti wave has taken it to a whole nother level. What's currently going on with Rick and this whole Opium Playboi Carti wave might have to go down in history because it's just super fascinating of how an artist and a group of influencers can take a brand worldwide and become globally known. It's crazy to me.
What’s your thoughts on the current wave of microtrends/aesthetics? (i.e., archival fashion, Opium, blokecore, etc). Do you follow or take inspo from any?
I feel like I'm at the age now where I'm not done taking inspiration, but I'm not too focused on what's cool right now, I'm more focused on references from the early 2000s and the 1990s. That’s when fashion was at its peak, in my opinion. So I'm often referencing that era, rather than this whole new wave of blokecore and Opium. I understand my kind of aesthetic fits under Opium but like I said, I’ve been on it since Rocky was doing his thing.
Other than that, I think that's just fashion in general; every so often there is going to be a new time period where there's this new trend that the younger kids are going to follow to some extent. Then when they get older, they're going to take their own inspiration from what they learned in that era and bring it to something new. So I'm not hating on it at all, I understand because I was once in that era myself. I was a part of the sneakerhead culture wave when I was growing up. Sneakers were a big thing where I was from. My sister had a crazy sneaker collection and me and her shared a room so that's partially what originally got me into fashion. This is why I understand being on a whole trend and wave in a sense where everyone is kind of on the same thing, but I don't knock it at all. I understand what stage the consumers are at in their life, I understand completely.
I look at the person's look and how the clothes enhance that look. It’s not even about the clothes at first, it's just the vibe and aesthetic that the person is giving off, and then I look at how the clothes are fitting them proportionately.
Your ‘Rating Your Fits’ series on TikTok is really cool, what key things do you look for when it comes to a good fit?
I want to give a disclaimer beforehand: I'm not like a fashion god, I just rate fits in literally two minutes. I see the picture and give a rating at the top of my head so I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings, but honestly, what I look at is the person themselves. Clothing aside, I look at the person's look and how the clothes enhance that look. It’s not even about the clothes at first, it's just the vibe and aesthetic that the person is giving off, and then I look at how the clothes are fitting them proportionately. I look at the colour coordination that they're putting together. I look at how the pants are hitting the shoe, I think that's a major thing that the younger generation doesn’t understand. The break in a pant is so important for an outfit in my opinion. I look at the whole silhouette of the outfit, I look at how well they put it together style-wise. A lot of people I see are just wearing clothes regularly and there’s not really much style in that. So I just look at how they put it together, the different layers and colours. I also take their age into consideration because I'm not expecting a 16-year-old to dress like a well put together 25-year-old who's established in their career or something.
Any differences between styling for e-commerce vs styling outside of that (i.e., freelance)?
Huge difference — it's actually night and day to be honest. I'll start with ecommerce because I literally do that every day. The way that SSENSE works is that we have two separate days; one day is our carpet day and then the second day is our set day. They're both interchanging. The carpet day is where each stylist has a designated carpet where there's a rack of clothes that are called our ‘main items’, which have to be shot the following day. So I go to the warehouse on site and I pick clothes that go well with the brand. We have certain rules that we follow, etc. I make the outfits on the carpet day following those rules, and then the day after I go on set and shoot them on a model.
With e-commerce, you're supposed to be selling something to a customer, right? So I'm not going to style e-commerce as if it's a creative shoot I'm doing for my portfolio. What we solely focus on is how the garment is shown, how clean it is, making sure the item we're shooting is not covered up. For example, let's say I'm shooting this t-shirt [that Tayne was wearing in our video call], in the full look I wouldn't cover the t-shirt with a hoodie because that defeats the purpose of shooting the t-shirt. We’re solely focused on cleanliness and making sure that the consumers can see the garment for what it is. We focus a lot on symmetry, like the left side being equal to the right side, making sure the garment is as clean as possible and that the looks are not overly styled or overly accessorised. They're just supposed to be put together really well so that consumers can look at it and think, “That's a nice outfit, I want to purchase it”.
When it comes to creatives, it's a whole different ball game. Now we're talking about references, we're talking about how I feel, we’re talking about what's going on in the world, we're talking about past experiences, we're talking about family, we're talking about all these outside inspirations coming into a shoot and building an outfit around them. Also, there's all these different people on set. For e-commerce at SSENSE there’s usually a photographer, a makeup artist and coordinator, but on a creative shoot, you have maybe a producer, you have lighting assistants, you have styling assistants, you have a much bigger team to create this whole vision. On the outfit side, it's more exaggerated and accessorised, just so you can really envision the character you're trying to portray to the world during the shoot.
It can get super crazy — the outfits can be heavily layered. You're bringing in outside objects to portray the character a little better. Let's say for example, I'm trying to portray a character who's an alcoholic. I would maybe bring in cans of Heineken or whatever into the shoot to portray this character. So, yeah, there's a lot more creativity. You get to have a lot more fun, there’s a lot more references and a bigger team to help make it come true, it's night and day. That's really the different aspects of it.
When it comes to dressing yourself, what are your personal rules/ethos to putting a fit together? And what do you do on days where you can’t be bothered or you’re in a rush?
Okay, so I'll start with the second part. When I'm in a rush it's mostly just loose fitting pants because I don't wear skinny jeans when I'm in a rush. Also, mostly all black and I wear a lot of greys as well. I try to keep it monochromatic and not too loud as I try to make it match my personality. I don't like being the centre of attention, so I kind of wear muted colours, like darker shades. I wear a lot of tank tops too because they’re just easy to wear. Also, comfortable shoes; I love Uggs, so I'm probably putting Uggs on to run around if I'm busy that day or for whatever I have to do that day.
When it comes to my day-to-day outfits, I solely base it on two things in the morning when I wake up: one, the weather — that's very important in Canada because it does get crazy out here, especially during the winter. Two would be how I feel. Sometimes if I wake up and I'm still tired, I'll probably wear a hoodie because I don't want people to see my eyes. Or sometimes when I'm feeling sluggish or not put together, I'll just throw on a flannel, but not worn properly. I tend to wear it off my shoulders — it just depends on how I'm feeling. I'm also into baggy pants or flared pants with any type of shoe. As well as Uggs, I have a lot of Ricks and Balenciaga boots, so any footwear is fine.
What if skinny jeans come back? Would you go back to skinny jeans?
I actually wear skinny jeans but in my day today at work like right now, I'm wearing a flared pair of jeans because I'm moving around a lot. I have a lot of skinny jeans. I'm not going to throw them away because the baggy trend is in right now, I love them. I'm also into cargos, I love cargos. They’re the perfect balance between workwear attire where you can still be put together and modest and formal in a way, but you can also dress them down and still have that loose fit, sweatpants, type of vibe.
Fave styling work of yours to date?
I did a shoot for this brand called Anxious Atelier, which is what I’m wearing right now. I'm close to the brand owners so they hit me up and told me that they were going to be in Montreal for a weekend and wanted to do a shoot. I didn't see the pieces at all, I had no idea what I was styling. They just said, “We're gonna do this and we’ll figure it out on the day”. The reason why I liked this shoot so much is because it was a run and gun shoot, nothing was planned, I didn't have an outfit in mind — nothing. Absolutely nothing!
The team at Anxious Atelier came to my house and I put two fits together in no more than twenty to thirty minutes. I also didn't have a location in mind, but there was a restaurant that burnt down close to my house. I decided we should find a way inside of there and so we climbed into the restaurant. We got in and shot the outfits and it was the best — I couldn't have asked for a better set. There couldn't have been a better set made, there couldn’t have been a better set out there in the world. The outfits and the shoot turned out amazing.
Another shoot that is my favourite to date is one that I recently did in New York for this brand called Mercy Mankind, which is coming soon next month. The shoot turned out well because I feel like it showcased my styling abilities to the maximum; I had a fitting and all the pieces were sent to me beforehand so I could have time to think about my references and what I actually wanted to do to execute them for the brand, while still keeping it under the brand’s umbrella.
Lastly, any of my Rick work that I do for SSENSE — because I love Rick.
Is a lot of the Rick Owens’ styling on the website yours?
Everyone has their strong abilities here, each stylist is good at certain brands and Rick is definitely one of those brands for me. They give me Rick a lot.
Who are your top 3 stylish people and/or fashion creators on socials?
I love rap so I look at a lot of rapper styles. I really like Lil Yachty’s style, it’s so fire to me. He's one of the best dressed artists to be honest. I also like Wisdom — he's a content creator. I feel like he's the best on Tiktok. I like Brenda Hashtag too.
Same! We like Brenda Hashtag because she wears black and white and she sticks to it.
Exactly. That's why it's so fire. She created her own world through her closet, like damn. I respect it.
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