Longtime Swavor Creative Director, Shek Tarawallie has joined Under Armour. Hailing from Prince George’s County, Maryland, the designer’s resume spans over 10 years. After starting his brand with $191.78 at a community college with one t-shirt, Swavor has developed a cult-like following all over the world. “Honestly, I have always felt like I have overachieved from a creative standpoint. I truly was just blessed to arrive at the correct time. I built a brand on storytelling and never had to rely on a celebrity or influencers for a spark. We really did this from the ground up. Nobody locally would co-sign us. But the people never let us fail.”
Having started with one logo t-shirt & spanning into a brand based on storytelling, Swavor consistently eclipses itself every single time. From social stances to billboards, to collection after collection, the only more amazing thing about it is: It all is engineered by one man.
“I think people have always assumed Swavor was bigger than it was. In reality, it has been just me operationally and conceptually. My business partner quit, and I had to teach myself photoshop. I had to teach myself how to build a website. No banks would touch me, so I did all this while working a 9-5 in Architecture and Construction. The opportunity to work full-time in a creative space really takes my breath away every time I see the UA logo. Like…UA saved my life man.”
The allegiance of the “Swavor Regime” spans beyond just clothing and design. His Instagram series, “Free Advice” has developed a cult-like following within itself. Which inevitably has forced Shek to release a publication this summer. Making him…. on top of everything else, a soon-to-be author.
Sprinkle in 30+ full fashion collections, a few fashion awards, a fashion show in Paris, a successful rap career, a degree in Psychology, a career in Real Estate development, a book on the way & now the next frontier: Under Armour, there is no doubt that this is sentimental. “I have always had a special love for Under Armour because it was from Maryland. I grew up 10 minutes away from where Kevin Plank went to college. We both started our companies with one shirt. So it’s crazy how full circle this is. I never had to move to LA or New York… I got my shot in Maryland. It has been a dream. Everyone I am surrounded by is so talented. Half the time I am in awe.”
While excitement among the Swavor faithful may ring true across the “Regime”, don’t expect a collection designed by Shek right away. “Right now I am doing a lot of work with global photography, digital marketing, learning from stylists, & watching sample discrepancy sessions. It is definitely something to adjust to because I don’t run the show. I have to be patient for my opportunity to impact creatively. But I believe it will come. My goal is to become a Creative Director from a Global perspective. Under Armour is a sleeping giant & I think my ideas can be impactful. But I have to walk before I can fly and I am honored to even be in the position to learn. Until then…Swavor collections are still dropping & I got better….a lot better.”
This is the story of a journeyman. Who had the audacity against all odds & somehow has risen to a new summit time and time again. It is without question one of the most captivating fashion stories in modern times. We may have to wait for his first Under Armour collection…but make no mistake: Shek Tarawallie will be a force to reckon with. It seems not only possible….but now, inevitable.
Pre-Order’s for Tarawallie’s first mini-book, “Not So Free Advice” will be announced in the weeks to come.