Atlanta senior pursuing fashion career

Monta Reinfelde

Born and raised in, Atlanta, Ga., senior Derek Malveaux, said he has been around fashionable people for all his life.

The marketing major and design, merchandising and textiles minor said the big-city atmosphere where everybody wanted to stand out made him want to be a part of it, and he’s since pursued a career in the fashion industry.

When Malveaux came to Bowling Green three years ago, he said he was surprised.

Most of the people were dressed very similarly, and there was no creativity in their looks, he said.

Over the years, Malveaux grew used to the way people thought of fashion at WKU. However he never lost his own style of dress and love for fashion.

One way Malveaux helped keep his passion alive was by modeling in a fashion show last Thursday night hosted by Henderson senior Raemia Higgins and in collaboration with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.

Malveaux said this wasn’t the first time somebody offered him the chance to model. However, this was the first time he actually went through with it.

“It was pretty good experience,” Malveaux said. “I actually went to job interview for Abercrombie and Fitch one time. They wanted me to be a model. I was not really interested at a time, so I kinda turned it down, but I might go in that one day.”

Higgins, who is good friends with Malveaux, said he has always had incredible style.

“He’s suave, always 10 steps ahead of the fashion scene in Kentucky, and very comfortable in whatever extreme outfit he may be wearing,” she said. “That is a combination that is very rare in our area.”

Malveaux said he is concerned when people say they can’t see a man taking part in the fashion industry. He said the mindset is wrong when people think only gay men are involved in the fashion industry.

“It is something people have to get used to,” Malveaux said. “Without having a stereotype that he is a gay because he is modeling, or he is a gay because he has those wild clothes on. It is fashion. People might like some things and not like other things. It all comes with it.”

Most of Malveaux’s friends are interested in fashion as well. Not all of them are studying fashion or want to pursue it as a career, he said, yet they stay up to date with current trends and news in the industry.

However, Malveaux said he has experienced moments when his friends were teasing him about his passion for fashion as well.

“There have been some jokes here and there,” he said. “But it comes with it. It’s not bad at all.”

Malveaux said he is always trying to find ways to express himself in fashion. Currently, he and his friend Louisville senior Jordan Pitney, a design, merchandising and textiles major, are working on a T-shirt line that they are planning to sell in the near future.

“We are trying to collaborate on T-shirt line right now,” Pitney said. “We are in the process. I am sketching up designs now and he is sketching as well.”

Pitney said he is glad to be working together with Malveaux.

“He is a really talented person,” he said. “He has the ability to translate ideas into images and it is hard to do.”

Malveaux’s friends said they are sure that he will have a bright future in the fashion industry with whatever path he will decide to take.

“Fashion is the third largest global industry in an all aspects,” said Pitney. “I mean textiles, home linens and clothing, so there is fashion for everybody. Derek will fit in fine. He will find his niche.”