B.C. man scores touchdowns in the fashion world

Tyson Gibson has one of his designs laid out and ready to put together from his workspace in the Abbotsford home that he shares with his parents, older brother and younger sister. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)
This is one of Tyson Gibson’s designs that was featured on the catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week in October.
This is one of Tyson Gibson’s designs that was featured on the catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week in October. The model is his older brother Mason.
Designer Tyson Gibson works on a garment from his workspace in the Abbotsford home that he shares with his parents, older brother and younger sister. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

A former Abbotsford football player is scoring touchdowns in the fashion world.

Tyson Gibson, 21, had seven of his designs modelled Oct. 9 during Vancouver Fashion Week, had a stylist use his clothes in a photo shoot, and has had invitations to attend fashion shows in New York and London.

The attention has affirmed for Gibson that he’s on the right career path – something that was difficult to determine when he started fashion-design school in 2018 without ever having constructed a piece of clothing.

Gibson is a 2016 graduate of Robert Bateman Secondary who spent much of his youth playing sports. He dabbled in soccer, baseball and hockey before focusing on football and golf.

He played for eight years with the Abbotsford Falcons community football league as a wide receiver and later for the Langley Rams. He was also involved in the Bateman golf academy.

But a flair for fashion was always his thing.

“Honestly, it kind of started out with shoes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a shoe guy … In Grade 6, I’d have all the crazy-coloured shoes. So definitely shoes were like my gateway to clothes,” he said.

When Gibson was older and could afford his own clothes, he was drawn to bold and colourful street-wear designs from labels such as the California-based Pink+Dolphin.

Gibson’s first foray into his own designing occurred when he was in Grade 11 and was playing on the B.C. football team that faced Alberta in an event called the ABC Border Bowl.

RELATED: Five Abbotsford players compete at ABC Bowl

Players were invited to draw up their own designs for the jerseys, and Gibson’s versions were chosen. He enjoyed the challenge and the satisfaction of people liking what he created.

Gibson had always loved drawing, but this gave him a taste of something concrete – and rewarding – that he could do with it.

He was in Grade 12 when he decided that he wanted to give a career in fashion design a shot, and he enrolled in the Blanche Macdonald Centre’s one-year fashion program.

At first, the technical aspects were difficult. Gibson had barely touched a sewing machine before, and he didn’t know anything about drafting a garment and putting it all together.

“That was definitely the biggest challenge for me because it was like learning a new language. It’s not like anything I’ve ever learned before,” he said.

The first garment assignment his class had was to remake a pair of their own pants. He chose a pair of Pink+Dolphin pants and, although they didn’t turn out the best, they were wearable. Gibson loved the feeling of putting in the time to create something from scratch.

His technical skills improved throughout the year, culminating in the program’s final assignment of designing and making three pieces for the year-end fashion show.

Gibson’s looks combined sportswear with high-fashion influences characterized by bold colours and geometric patterns.

After the fashion show, he posted the looks on his Instagram page, and was then approached by a stylist who used his designs in a photo shoot. Gibson was also invited to attend a fashion show in New York, but he would have needed to create 12 designs in a month – an impossible task, given that it took him four months to make the three pieces for his school fashion show.

But the attention motivated him to keep going, and he applied for, and was accepted into, Vancouver Fashion Week, where he and his girlfriend had volunteered in 2018.

Gibson had five months to get eight pieces ready for his five-minute slot on the catwalk.

“I wanted to do a decent amount of diversity with these looks, so, for example, I’d have a T-shirt and shorts and then pants and a jacket, a crop top and pants. … So I’ll start with a basic idea of what the garment is and then kind of play around with how I want it to look,” he said.

RELATED: From football to fashion: Abbotsford designer makes Vancouver Fashion Week

Gibson lined up friends of his to model the looks, including his brother Mason, a rapper who also wrote the music. He said the experience of having his looks displayed on the runway was “really exciting” and he enjoyed directing how the models’ hair and makeup should be done to complement his designs.

Not long after the event, Gibson was invited to attend a fashion show in London, but the travel and registration costs were out of his reach. However, he was told he is welcome to come to next year’s event.

For now, Gibson is focusing on creating one-of-a-kind pieces for individual customers and on getting his name known. His dream is to eventually establish his own brand.

“I love doing it. Finishing stuff is just so gratifying – looking at it, just the quality that it’s made to. It’s a creative outlet,” he said.

Gibson’s designs can be viewed online at tysongibsondesign.com or on Instagram at @tysongibsondesign.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN | Creating a “community of practice” inspires

Art Matters by columnist Sarah Zimmerman

Hockey puck with nails found at Terrace Sportsplex Arena

City believes it has already caused $4,000 of damage

Kitselas First Nation receives $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

Terrace Skating Club takes home 24 medals from regional championships

Skaters claim top spot for fifth year in a row

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Coastal GasLink work camp in Vanderhoof gets approved by the ALC

The work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport was first rejected by the commission in October last year

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read