FLINT, Michigan—De’Air Amad Lewis-Culbreath is a millennial one-man show determined to become a breakout Flint designer.
He is the designer, creator and namesake of DeeLux.Styles, a brand focused on bringing variety and flair to luxury streetwear. He is one of 15 Michigan-based designers and 20 vendors being featured in the 7th Annual Blackout Runway Show at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at the Flint Farmers’ Market.
“I talked to (my mother) when I was way younger about this and she even said that she gave me this name for my business,” said Lewis-Culbreath. “She told me that she already knew that I can do this and that I would be a designer.”
His knack for creativity led him to study culinary arts at Baker Career Academy while in high school, but he remembers even as a young boy being drawn to clothing. He even remembers putting together his mother’s outfits, telling her what did and didn’t look right.
Lewis-Culbreath began flirting with the idea of becoming a clothing designer and in the fall of 2018, everything finally fell into place when he decided to buy a Cricut, a machine that can cut through a various materials including paper, fabric, or fondant.
“I really was in my basement making the actual designs.” said Lewis-Culbreath. “So I put my first shirts out there October of 2018 and I’ve been doing it, and pushing it, and believing in it, ever since.”
Lewis-Culbreath also works as a lead learning guide for YouthQuest, but finds time to keep designing more styles for DeeLux.Styles in the basement of his Flint Township home. Despite being early in his career, Lewis-Culbreath said he has been a part of at least eight fashion shows. He’s even looking to show soon in Tampa, Florida.
Facebook, Instagram, and vendor events are the main carriers of his styles which include crew necks, crop tops, hoodies, dresses, jackets, and Lewis-Culbreath’s favorite — jogging suits. His creations can be customized, changing out the color, fit, even fonts and cost $25 to $100.
Using social media and banking on the appeal of customization, Lewis-Culbreath said he has been able to reach consumer bases from Detroit to Dallas.
No matter where he goes, Lewis-Culbreath knows he’ll have his family there to support him.
“They all believed in me,” said Lewis-Culbreath. “They told me since day one that I could do it. … All my vendor events, all my fashion shows, I’m coming in the door probably with 20 people wearing my brand. They are very supportive.”
The Blackout Fashion Show is expected to draw about 300 people to the Flint Farmers’ Market this weekend, organizers said. It is being produced by Jer De Cor FMC, a Flint-based modeling and event firm led by Jeremy D. Cornelius, who has been involved with Walk Fashion Show, Vehicle City Fashion Week, and Atlanta Fashion Week.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $20 to the fashion show. For more information, call 989-475-5323.
You can find check out De’Air Lewis-Culbreath’s designs on Facebook