Daryl Foster- Fashion Designer/Creator of Andre Belle Grove
Morehouse College Alumni, Daryl Foster has a fairly different story than many fashion designers and also looks at his craft in a unique way. Foster, 24 of Baltimore, Maryland graduated from college in 2012 and didn’t get his start in designing until he was 18-years-old.
Growing up in Baltimore taught him how to count every blessing and “turn lemons into lemonade.” He says that there are many talented people in the Baltimore area, but there are very few outlets, which makes it difficult to manifest and promote their talents opposed to larger cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
At Morehouse, Foster studied sociology and business and according to him, sociology and fashion have many similarities but most people cannot connect the two. “Studying sociology has taught me how to identify social trends and study human reactions. In fact, for my senior project at Morehouse I studied the sociologist Georg Simmel who pointed out that fashion design was not only just about clothing styles, but was in fact a basic process that propelled modern life, in turn developing an individuals identity. This senior project inspired me to create Andre Belle Grove,” says Foster.
Andre Belle Grove is Foster’s clothing line, which caters to both women and men and is also versatile and can adapt to any environment. Foster says that each piece is hand-sewn and crafted which gives the garment its own personality.
Back in 2008, Foster helped create a lifestyle brand where he was the creative director. “That experience has taught me the business and marketing aspect of fashion,” says Foster.
As a college student on a tight budget, Foster was intrigued with creating his own line. He couldn’t afford his favorite brands such as: Rag and Bone, Rick Owens, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, so he was determined to master the art of sewing and creating from scratch. “I studied entrepreneurs and designers like Daymond John (creator of FUBU), who started with a dream and created a career.
Now in 2014, Foster is making a name for his talent and anticipates the official launch of Andre Belle Grove. As mentioned before, Foster designs pieces for both men and women and he says women are definitely more difficult of a job. “It took a lot of studying women in order to understand the mind of a female consumer,” says Foster. “Lets be honest, women can be very picky! Thank God for the women in my life that give me fashion advice on a daily basis.”
Not only did Foster start designing at a later age than usual and intertwine sociology and fashion, but he also is a heterosexual male, which defies stereotypes of the fashion industry. In fact, Foster is mistaken for a homosexual male all the time. “I never took offense because evidently many influential high fashion designers are often homosexual. These comments are confirmation that I have potential to be in the same breath as these designers,” says Foster.
When it comes to Foster’s personal style, he describes it as a “fashion rollercoaster,” because one day he’s in a tailored suit and the next day he’s in casual or sporty clothing. “My wardrobe consists of many prints and textures. I usually buy my clothes bigger and tailor them myself,” says Foster.
Inspiration is what motivates a person to do what they are passionate about, and Foster’s special inspiration happens to be his son Aston. “His smile and jovial personality motivates me to create,” says Foster.
Foster is open to work with any designer, model, or photographer that is driven, open-minded and innovative, but specifically he would like to work with Rita Ora, Michelle Obama, Lupita Nyong’o, Dianna Argon, Idris Elba, David Beckham and Nick Young.
Within the next year, Foster has a few goals. He wants to launch his brand, open pop-up shops in different cities around the world and collaborate with an established fashion brand.
We wish Daryl Foster nothing but the best! ABG will be available for to everyone very soon! Until then follow him on Instagram: @AndreBelleGrove or contact him at Andrebellegrove@gmail.com for business inquiries or questions.