I have always had a passion for fashion. This brand is one that I created to inspire optimism in every day life. I wanted to inspire the world to go against the grain, to live an optimistic life on the outside as well as the inside.
The very popular saying "wear your heart on your sleeve" is quite true to me in the literal sense. The brand is called Destroy. Destroy has a very negative connotation, which is exactly why I wanted to create a brand with it. When I was in my teens, I started to feel very negative about myself and my life. I felt like I was destroying myself. I was
forcing myself to wear a facade, emotionally and physically. I followed other peoples trends, I tried to change my mannerisms I wore what others were wearing and I agreed with what the majority of people believed in, just to fit in. I destroyed the person that I really was. I took my own freedom and my own voice away.
After coming to the realization I was damaging myself I decided to
do something different. The middle of my junior year I started buying blank shirts from the clearance section of any store I entered, Taking them home and letting
the acrylics take charge. I hand painted shirts that expressed how I felt on the inside. I spent days on these. When i finished 2 shirts I immediately hid them in the back
of my closet. ( how fitting ) I was too worried about what people would think, and I had no confidence in what I had done. It took me two weeks to muster up the courage to show my parents. My parents hadn't even noticed I painted or designed
something until I stood there holding a shirt saying "ehh ehh? what do you think." .... I made it.. My parents intial response was "Troy Allen Smith you better not have gotten paint on my carpet." They had no opinion.. it was nothing to them.
That was when I realized that it should not matter what others thought, I was proud of what I had created and should be proud to show it off. I wore my shirt to school. The day was full of picking at my nails and nervous ticks. It didn't take long for my friends to realize that I had painted on my shirt. I remember being asked "whoa where did you get that?" Saying the words, "I made it." added so much value to my
self worth and instantly released the fulfillment I had been trying to find by hiding my true self..
The next day I wore my second design, which brought more attention and questions from my peers. I started getting requests to make individual peices for my friends first, and then classmates who didn't even know me. I would be stopped in the hallway with, "Hey Troy, can you make me one, anything you want, just something that cool." It was weird, it was crazy to think that I had spent years trying to be like everyone else and
trying to hide my individuality. The moment I accepted myself, people were coming to me, they were interacting with
the real me, the person I had always been ashamed of I demolished my facade. I threw away the metaphorical straight jacket I forced myself into for so many years. Now it was time to embrace myself and my vision. I wanted to destroy all of the negativity in my life. Throughout the years I created and gave away individual,
one of a kind shirts, to friends, friends of friends, and strangers. My senior year, in a class of about 500 I was voted to be "most creative in the "Who's Who" section of the yearbook. Since then, I have began constructing this dream of mine. The idea is to inspire change. Promote the idea of optimistic living by wearing on the outside what matches how you feel on the inside. I hope to inspire love, hope, and positivity.
I created a line that would encourage confidence to destroy negativity and promote happiness. I wan't everyone to embrace the
message and spread awareness. I believe in human rights. The goal is to donate to as many charities and organizations that we can. Influencing one life, creating one positive outlook, would be a dream fulfilled.
I will forever promote love, I will forever promote unity.
Its time we DESTROY the negative things in our lives. A negative word with a positive meaning.
Live loudly, live proudly, live optimistic.