Former cover model alum, Gregory Fortner embarks on an opulent 4 Fold clothing line called, “GéChic,” with dreams of fitting Michelle Obama and Dwayne Wade.
How did you get started?
I begin designing in 2017 after having a dream in which I saw several garments from my first collection. I was in the Mojave Desert.
Explain your collection in three words?
Chic. Opulent. Classic.
How did you come up with the name GéChic?
I created the name GéChic as a way to include my name and simply to describe the aesthetic. Gé as an initial for Gregory and chic to define the brand. Coincidentally, upon further research one night, I discovered it was more significant that I knew because the Gé in Chinese means style & good fashion, so primarily the name selected fit precisely as it should.
Who’s your target audience, and when did you debut?
My target audience is the fashion enthusiast who appreciates a balance of simplicity and opulence coupled with innovation. My garments range from simple button-downs to a fringe diamond-embellished blazer. I also infuse hints of innovation taking a classic button-down and extended and embellishing the collar for an atypical look. Because life is about diversity, I believe my brand covers all fashion needs from casual to the red carpet. I released my very first garment on my 30th Birthday, September 6, 2017, so you can say that’s when I officially launched!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I know now that you cannot successfully operate in business without understanding first that it is a BUSINESS. I made many sacrifices to accommodate for the sake of exposure at the risk of damaging my business.
As a new designer, my goal was to get the brand out there with as much good exposure possible. Even with an extreme amount of sacrifice, it takes balance. While some opportunities require sacrifice, you can’t do that with everything, or you’ll have nothing and end up with no business. So I’d say I’ve learned to balance the business.
Any plans for womenswear?
Yes, GéChic is a 4 Fold brand! Womenswear will undoubtedly be one of the brand’s departments that we go into soon and excited to debut! As with any good decision, I’m taking my time to develop it so that it’s perfect when it debuts.
Inspiration for current collection?
I believe in some way, nature and the Creator’s first work inspire all my work! The inspiration for my second collection, The Black Collection, came from the night’s sky. The Black Collection is my artistic interpretation of the night beauty that can be found even in darkness!
You have this deep black space as a canvas, and the beautiful stars create the perfect embellishment. You will see black garments with touches of sparkle here and there metaphoric to the night sky! I also wanted to show the beauty of blackness! Black is so bold that it needs no color to stand out.
My dream clients are Dwayne Wade, Michelle Obama, and Chadwick Boseman.
Favorite thing to do in your leisure time?
I have a few things I love to do besides designing! I love to be in nature in the warmer months running & working out. I get so much inspiration, and my creativity flows fluidly. I also love singing, as well! I wanted to be a soul singer for most of my childhood, haha!
I also love cooking! I’ve tapped into my inner chef in recent months, and I enjoy it! I love being around great people who fuel me with good energy; it’s so necessary.