Reported By: LaKisa Renee
INHERENT, which began as a small on-line store in 2020, soon grew into a flagship boutique storefront in Colorado Springs, CO only a year later. But on the evening of Valentine’s Day 2023, INHERENT Founder, Designer & CEO, Taylor Draper, took his full collection of men’s & women’s custom-made tailored sportswear to the runways of New York Fashion Week to the shrieking delight of some 400 guests who were on-hand to celebrate the debut as well as cheer on the monumental efforts of the designer himself. Draper’s decision to take to the runways of NYFW was not one taken lightly. He has long envisioned his collection on the runways, but it wasn’t until recently, Draper found the personal courage to do so.
Draper has long endured a personal battle with mental health issues, in particular depression. He first came to formal terms with his condition at age 15 following a troubled childhood in Florida. At the time he was diagnosed with clinical depression, he weighed over 300 pounds, and saw nothing changing if drastic measures weren’t taken. Knowing that to have any hope of escaping the demons that plagued him, his mother and he would have to make a major life change. They moved to Colorado Springs to start anew and rebuild their futures upon a healthy foundation both physically & mentally.
Photo Credit: Elvia Gobbo Photography
A natural born entrepreneur, Taylor founded his first company at age 18 in the world of graphic design. While making many mistakes for certain, his first venture taught him the basics of business-building, marketing, and brand development. In 2017, after years of demanding 60-hour work weeks, Draper found himself once again battling crippling self-doubt, struggling with weight gain, and now facing divorce. To save himself and his marriage, Draper sought healing and support through extensive counseling and found confidence in the most surprising of places: his wardrobe. “I realized that caring for myself and my appearance gave me the confidence to show up to counseling appointments, helping me build strength to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage and begin to repair,” explains Draper.
For Fall/Winter, 2023, Taylor Draper elevated his concept of luxury fashion even further, with a collection that embodies all the trappings of luxury, while never forgetting to celebrate the company’s ongoing mission to promote men’s mental health. The collection draws inspiration from classic English tailoring, New York streetwear, and Ivy League styles mixing them all in a manner that only Draper can, to create his own unique blend of timeless and modern fashion under the INHERENT moniker.
For the two years leading up to this collection’s runway debut for Fall/Winter 2023, Taylor Draper has enlisted the help of branding guru Myrdith Leon-McCormack, founder of MLM Represents. Together, they have been seeking to not only grow the brand beyond its Colorado roots to be a truly global presence. One of the first major steps in achieving this goal is to feature the collection on the runways of NYFW, in partnership with several newly inked brand alignments that MLM has brought to the table.
The collection was constructed from wool, cotton, and cashmere suiting’s, twills, plush corduroy, and shirting’s, with a serious dose of butter soft knitwear that showed up draped in thought provoking ways to create a feeling of accessible Avant Garde. His rich color palette of moss and forest green, chocolate brown, and midnight navy, with a few other colors added in for accents, create a sense of warmth and comfort during the colder months. The range of styles and silhouettes ran the spectrum, from traditional blazers and trousers to contemporary streetwear inspired pieces, all crafted with the highest quality materials. Wearing INHERENT is a statement. A statement both of style and support for the mental health of men (and women) everywhere. “My mission will not be complete until phrases like ‘walk it off’ or ‘man up’ are redefined in our vocabulary to mean that a man is in touch with his feelings and can communicate them in a healthy way,” says Draper. “Every man’s first instinct should be to open up about feelings of overwhelm or depression without shame, guilt, or fear.” Through Inherent, Draper helps men and women build fully functional, versatile wardrobes that awaken confidence and foster authentic self-expression.
Sponsors of the INHERENT Fall/Winter 2023 Collection Show included:
– Non-artisan, Char Boutique Soul By Amal Ameen, OMHH Hair & Beauty, Style Esteem, and Bifties
– Watches By Piaget Watches
-Women’s Shoes By Vanessa Noel
Taylor Draper established the brand INHERENT in 2016 with the mission of not only dressing men in style but giving them wardrobe choices that gently challenge them to develop a sense of style that breeds self-confidence to face the world with their head held high. Began as an on-line shop selling custom suits and accessories, the business soon grew into a flagship store in Colorado Springs, CO. The company advances men’s mental wellness through its non-profit: Foundation by INHERENT. The Foundation by INHERENT is creating programs, resources, and events to change the face of men’s mental wellness. A portion of all sales made, and employee’s time gets put directly into the Foundation. The larger goal for Draper is normalizing feelings of anxiety, depression, or self-doubt while sparking honest conversation around mental health, ultimately giving men the confidence and courage to speak out.
Designer Website: www.thisisinherent.com
About Myrdith Leon-McCormack & MLM Represents:
Myrdith Leon-McCormack is a highly accomplished and talented beauty and fashion expert who has made significant contributions to the industry far and wide. As the founder and CEO of MLM Represents, a branding and PR company, she has helped many individuals and small brands enter the retail and luxury space. Through MLM Represents, Myrdith seeks to bring focused light on her clients’ labels which now include Beverly Johnson, Piaget, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Kosibah, Carlton Jones Collection, and INHERENT for the past two years. Since beginning her career in the beauty industry as a celebrity manicurist, where she counted talent including Umma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Lopez as her clients. Myrdith has been a fixture in the New York fashion industry. She can also be seen sharing her expertise and insights on the industry through her regular contributions as lifestyle editor for the Huffington Post and Scratch Magazine UK. She has also found success in the bridal industry, where she ran a successful bridal salon, which received accolades for its service and expertise in all things bridal. Her success in the bridal retail market led her to identifying a void in the market for bridal fashion coverage that is sensitive to brides and grooms from diverse cultural backgrounds. Not one to sit by and allow injustice to persist, Leon-McCormack answered the need when she founded the multicultural lifestyle bridal publication “World Bride Magazine” which has been successfully published ever since as the go to title for an ever-growing list of subscribers globally. Myrdith’s work as well as that on behalf of her clients has been featured in top fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Ebony Magazine, and InStyle. Myrdith is also proud to have serve as a leadership role with The Bridal Council and Leadership Council for UNCF (United Negro College Fund).