art design

Tier’s Nigeria Ealey Explains the Secrets to His Artistic Fashion Designs

Glading Marteen 

Creative director, designer and artist Nigeria Ealey thrives on inspirational images. In his West Coast home, which is laced with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase city views and mood boards that extend the length of the walls, he quite literally surrounds himself with them. It’s how he stays true to his roots and how he connects to creative life forces around him. The result is Ealey’s clothing company, Tier, which earned seven figures last year and can be seen on people all over the country.

Tier makes high-quality streetwear for men, women, and kids. That includes everything from monochromatic sets to outerwear to specialized baseball caps. But no matter the item, Ealey and his co-founders, Esaie Jean Simon and Victor James, craft every Tier piece with two touchstones in mind: authenticity and durability. And the label’s slogan, “Art Never Dies,” reflects that. It’s a sensibility Ealey says dates to the trios days as student-company founders attending Brooklyn’s Long Island University in 2014.

“When we think about people like Tupac or Michael Jackson or Van Gogh, their work meant so much while they were here that even after they’re gone, it still means that,” Ealey says. “I think that’s the true test of a person—what impact can you leave on people in your field of work that’s a representation and remembrance of what you did here?”

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