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)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.
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.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)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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)
Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

New signage was installed leading up to the intersection of 10th Avenue SW and Highway 97B in 2019, but concerns have been raised about continuing danger. (File photo)
Improvements urged for Salmon Arm’s Highway 97B/10th Avenue SE intersection

Council may bring up overpass with transportation ministry as crossing under provincial control

Sicamous Council approved a development permit for a new mobile home park on Hillier road on Wednesday, April 14. (Jim Elliot- Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous council approves development of 35 unit mobile home park

The new development will be located on Hillier Road

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read