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

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read