Tony James

Fabulous Designer: Tony James

At Phoenix Fashion Week, the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest, fans experienced the works of Tony James, founder and creative director of Throne of Grace, which empowers individuals to express their beliefs through fashion.

Follow at: @throneofgraceclothing

Hometown: Phoenix

Your first fashion job: Urban Outfitters (Tempe on Mill Ave.)

How would you describe your style? My brand style at this point mirrors my personal style. It’s a mix of streetwear and contemporary fashion. My goal for myself and my brand is to effortlessly blend street elements with modern aesthetics.

When did you know you had a passion for fashion? I knew early on that I had a passion for fashion. I was inspired by the hustlers in my neighborhood who wore the latest sneakers and designer outfits. I mentally arrange their outfits in my head on how I would wear them if I had money for those types of clothes. I would also thrift often with my mom and had to learn to get creative on how to create a fashionable outfit without looking like I was shopping at a thrift store. It became real when I was the go-to person to arrange/style outfits and project fashion trends for my friends and family.  

Your biggest fashion accomplishment so far and why? Aside from getting myself involved with Phoenix Fashion Week, I would say my greatest accomplishment has been taking a concept, a thought and taking the necessary steps to get my brand off the ground. It always takes me back to see a celebrity, or influencer, or better yet a regular person walking around the mall with a Throne of Grace garment on.

Throne of Grace

The biggest obstacle you overcame? My biggest obstacle has been me getting out of my own head and dealing with self-doubt. There’s this level of fear that attaches itself to us, as creatives or people in general, that tells us lies of inadequacies, not being worthy and unprepared. Far too often I fell victim to those things, and it created delays. It’s still a daily challenge, but I have learned to operate out of purpose and guided by a calling that is far bigger than myself. For me, it allows God to do in my life what he created me to do.

A designer who inspires you and why? I’m definitely inspired by Japanese fashion designer, Nigo. I love his understanding of the roots of hip-hop and streetwear fashion and his ability to infuse it with a futuristic vision and purpose. He understands the climate of streetwear fashion but will always add a new vibe to it that typically will set the mood and trend for fashion-forward thinking. [I admire his] use of over-the-top patterns, staying true to classics and not being afraid to use minimalism.

Phoenix Fashion Week advice for someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer? Believe in yourself! Understand that being creative is a process that ebbs and flows. Some things were meant for the world and some things were part of the process of preparing you. Find out your why, what your purpose is and diligently pursue it. Fall in love with the process and build your community through authentic connections.

What can fans expect to see from your collection? A stunning array of outerwear that transcends time. From classic outwear jackets to cozy puffers and stylish parkas, signature pieces and hats, each piece exudes a timeless appeal. But what truly sets this collection apart is the seamless fusion of streetwear and contemporary fashion, all styled with an undeniable grace.

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