Fashion is a universal language that is loved across the globe. From fashion weeks in Milan to Style weeks in the Caribbean, the love of fashion is able to reach every culture. It has the power to reflect and challenge societal norms, challenge stereotypes, and promote inclusivity and diversity. Fashion shows, magazines, and online platforms contribute to shaping beauty standards by influencing pop culture on what’s hot and trending in the fashion world. However, with all the noise that fashion is able to make, none of this would be possible without the creatives in the space of fashion working tirelessly behind the scenes day and night to create unforgettable pieces that shape the industry. They are the groundbreakers challenging the norms and making history daily.
“You know what I like fashion because it doesn’t place me in a box. I have the freedom to do whatever I like and create what I like. I don’t have to conform to what others want, I can just be Murph. There are no rules, only creativity. I like it when I get new clients, they ask me for my ideas and not just give theirs even though they have to wear it lol. They trust me to create a one-of-a-kind piece just for them. We are a brand that embraces diversity across the board, and we understand that beauty comes in all forms and it’s important for us to embody that when I’m in the lab.”
The world has watched Timeekah ‘Murph” Murphy bloom and blossom overnight as one of the most sought-after fashion designers and stylists. The army vet broke the internet during Nelly’s grand birthday bash in Atlanta in 2022 as she was behind the infamous blue suits that he along with, Usher, Jermaine Dupri, and 4 others wore during the celebration. The blue suits were one the most-tweeted-about outfits worn, and it was all done in one night. Murph has been able to challenge fashion norms by promoting inclusivity, questioning traditional standards, and using clothing as a form of self-expression. As a designer, she has the power to shape perceptions, influence social change, and redefine the way society sees fashion.
“With Alani Taylor I like to test the boundaries and get people out of their comfort zones. I create a lot of gender-neutral pieces that blur the lines between masculine and feminine aesthetics as well as pieces for all body types and encouraged individuals to express themselves. That’s one of the reasons that I created The Lab, for other creatives to come in and be able to express themselves while making pieces from scratch. Each one of the designers brings a different vibe to the space and when people come to shop, we want them to see all forms of expression through fashion.”
Murph launched her own fashion line, Alani Taylor named after her daughter in 2016 and she has been on the go ever since. On what one of her greatest accomplishments has been, she says,
“Being a mother has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I started Alani Taylor to give my daughter a legacy and to build generational wealth for her. I’m showing her that as a creative, we have the power to control our narrative and that there’s nothing that we can’t do. I bring her into the studio to watch me work and build for her. She has her own space in the studio where she can be free and play. I think it’s so important for her to witness it all in real-time because, in the long run, this will all be hers. I’m showing her the real work behind the machine.”
One of Murph’s major breakthrough opportunities came in 2019 when she got the call about being one of the fashion designers for Beyonce’s, “Black is King”. “Black Is King” is a visual album and film directed by Beyoncé, released in 2020 during the global pandemic. The visual reimagines the lessons from Disney’s “The Lion King” and celebrates the beauty, strength, and resilience of Black culture. The fashion in “Black Is King” not only serves as a visual spectacle but also carried out the symbolic meaning of cultural identity, a celebration of African heritage, and a statement of Black excellence and empowerment. The costumes play a significant role in the portrayal the film’s narrative of amplifying the message of pride, resilience, and beauty. Murph says,
“When I got that call I was literally shook. I literally couldn’t imagine being one of the creatives working with one of the world’s biggest stars of my generation. I got to be creative and come out of the box and work with different objects like ropes and different textures of clothing. Seeing it all come together was like an out-of-body experience. I knew that it would change the trajectory of my career but I didn’t know that it would be like this. To watch Black is King and know that I had a hand in being one of the designers to help Beyoncé ‘s dream come to life was one of the biggest blessings in my life.”
Since Black is King Murph has worked with other major stars such as Ashanti, TI,
“Fashion is so dope and the creators are just moving in a dope direction. There is absolutely no industry that creatives cannot succeed in and be great. Being a part of such great movements from Black is King really stretched my imagination and creative vibes to whole different level”
Being a fashion creative is proof that you do not have to wait to be invited to the table to have a seat, you cannot build the table from scratch and create your own seat. Murph opened up her own creative space, The Lab in Atlanta, GA to help other creatives build their own fashion line and have a space to sell their items. The space will also serve as a future event space for private fashion showcases for the in-house designers. From serving the country to becoming a mother to being hired to style the elite and being a creative director for a hit television show, Timeekah “Murph” Murphy is the fashion designer to watch. On what fashion means to her she says,
“For me, fashion is all about self-expression and allowing people to see my personality through my clothing. I love showcasing my creativity through textures and different styles. Fashion is my means of showcasing my own individuality and building my legacy for my daughter. I want to influence consumers in a positive way and shape fashion trends globally that make the whole world stop and pay attention.”
By: Jazmyne Courtnii Byrd