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Check Out LaPhonso McKinnis, Sr’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaPhonso McKinnis, Sr.

Hi LaPhonso, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is LaPhonso McKinnis, Sr, my close friends and family call me Phonso.

I am the youngest of 9 with 5 sisters & 3 brothers. My love for fashion came at a young age. I always was the kid who showed off my clothes or shoes, whatever it was that I thought was dope to me. I always got to see my brothers and sisters’ different tastes in style so it made it easier for me to fall in love with fashion.

I started my own brand at the end of 2020. I was in a mid-life crisis and was dealing with a lot of depression and feeling really lonely. I didn’t have an outlet like others. After months of dealing with depression and having the feeling of not being loved I decided to find my outlet. My mentor had his own clothing line and he showed me the ropes and the way of starting up a clothing line.

Ever since I took it and ran with it. My brand is based on “MORE LOVE”. Showing and bringing more positivity to this world through clothing. It took me a while to come up with a name for my brand because I didn’t want to put myself in one lane in the fashion world. I wanted a name to which I can expand in any avenue, so I came up with “VisualsByPhons”.

Which to me means being able to visualize the fashion world in my eyes, while still spreading love and positivity. My goal is to eventually get into designer fashion with my brand. I have a whole vision and goal I INTEND on executing. I hope you guys are around to witness it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not at all a smooth road. I got my laptop and booklets with all my ideas in stole them out of my car.

That was my biggest blow and loss. Also struggles at first to get capital. Some brands are able to start off and succeed through pre-orders & drop shipping but it wasn’t the smoothest ride for me. You learn through trial and error though. That’s all you can do.

As long as you never give up on your goals and dreams.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m most proud of where I’m at now from where I’ve started. Not having anything to go off of and having to do it on my own. I did have a mentor for a little while but things just weren’t going in the direction I wanted things to go so I separated myself from that.

He was very knowledgeable, but where I wanted to take my brand I had to do things differently. From not having much help to figuring out a lot on my own I’m very proud of that.

My versatility is what sets me apart from others in the fashion game. Cut and sew will set me apart from others who still use 3rd party vendors, which there is nothing wrong with. I just think it’s a different level when you’re dealing with cut & sew.

Which by definition is; ” cut and sew is used to denote a garment (like a t-shirt), that has been customized from “raw” fabric, instead of simply being printed onto a pre-made, off-the-shelf garment. Cut and sew may simply be the augmentation of an existing garment.”

So that’s what makes me different.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Real hustlers know about risk-taking. It’s a part of the game.

I’ve taken a lot of risks to be able to get where I am today. Putting my last $400 on clothes that I don’t even know will sell. Not having a lick of traction or a crowd who’s interested in your clothing.

I did a lot without having all the information I needed. Wasted a lot of money. Taking risks is always good. You have to do it. One risk may change your life forever.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kendall Chambers A.K.A KennyDidThat @Kennydidthat

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1 Comment

  1. Denise Torrence

    June 14, 2022 at 5:14 am

    I’m proud of you nephew, congratulations the sky is the limit!!

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