by Tommy Skyrunner
BAXTYR: So my names Baxtyr, I had to say that because people never believe that that is my real name. I'm originally born and raised in Iowa. I'm a creative of many sorts. I have my degree in photography, I create graphic design, started my first clothing line at 17, and have been prospering ever since. I like to think of myself as a rare black chick that was bigger than the cornfield that she grew up on. Lol
TOMMY: Yo that’s probably one best self-introduction I’ve heard. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t believe you. You’re definitely a multi-faceted woman. To take it back to the beginning what got you inspired to creating?
B: Growing up in Iowa I kind had to immerse myself in things. My family isn’t originally from here, I just happened to be born here. My dads from Texas and my moms from Kansas, with family residing in DC, Illinois, California, and Atlanta. So I traveled a lot growing up. I lived in Japan for a summer when I was 15, and that's what really put me on. It made me want to design and take up photography seriously.
So when I got back to the states I started going to work. Seeing different things and re-interpreting them on my own was what I started to do and it showed through my style and creativity.
T: So traveling around I already know that exposed you to so many different art forms and influences. How was Japan though?
B: Japan was amazing! I lived in Kofu which is a small city outside of Tokyo. I totally immersed myself in the culture and it changed how I look at things ever since. They were so ahead of their time and still are. I have always been a tech and fashion nerd so I was in heaven out there. The fashion is unmatched. Being out there just pushes you to want to create. There's so much inspiration around you. I feel as though everyone needs to take a trip and visit Japan, especially if you are a creative
T: That sounds like paradise honestly. Yeah, that might be the next international trip I’ll make. That was the perfect location for you to go honestly. Like you said it pushed you to create more what was one the first thing you made after that point you took seriously?
B: That would be the perfect place for you! It definitely pushed me to start taking my photography seriously first. I was always into film photography so that is what I shoot most of the time. That was the main thing I started focusing on, then came the graphic designing. I taught myself photoshop my sophomore year of high school and I felt so accomplished lol. That's when the clothes came into play.
T: Such a natural progression. Shooting film seems to take a different level of technicality, your photography is great. I saw some of the shots from Cuba. Lol yo, that’s an easy task, photoshop back in the day was like another language. ILL Couture is how I found who you were through mutual friends. What was the brand inspired by?
B: It definitely takes more skill and patience. But thank you! My Cuba pictures are some of my favorites to this day. But oh, Illcouture lol my first baby. I started that brand when I realized that people really looked at me for fashion advice. People would ask me all the time where I got my pieces from, and one day I was like “you know what I want to be able to say I made this shit next time someone asks me”. So that's what I did. I didn’t think it would take off like it did, but people were really
Fucking with me. I was a tomboy but I also like to be sexy too. So I kind of implemented my tomboyish vibes to create a unisex line that I could dress up and down. I started making my own accessories and jewelry. It was like once I started on Illcouture my ideas were endless.
T: that’s when it just works, no force but you saw the vision. Yeah, I remember being school checking out your merch. Want a lot of brands back then that creative. I didn’t even know you did jewelry! Would’ve loved an ILL real or something. But that’s great, have you ever thought about relaunching?
B: Ita crazy how you come across people because the same way you stumbled upon me is the same way I found out about you lol. And yess I released some earrings, necklaces, and broach pins under Illcouture in my first 2 years. I still have some lol. But as far as illcouture there will not be a relaunch of that brand. About 2 years ago I started on my 2nd brand, BXTA. I have a few collections in the works under my new brand and some realllly cool collabs on the way. BXTA is more of a platform for me
To be able to showcase everything that I am capable of doing and not just clothing.
T: That’s crazy, the internet definitely connects people randomly. You might have to send one of those if you could lol. Tell me more about BXTA. What are some things you create with this brand?
B: I can definitely send you one! Lol. So I have a lot of things in the works from my new line that will launch soon to events, a lot of photography, styling and behind the scenes work. I have endless ideas like one day I want to own my own restaurant or food truck where I reinterpret my favorite foods and make them my own and also serve my own special dishes as well. I like to cook lowkey lol.
I also want my own store so my end and final goal is to put 2 and 2 together.
T: That company sounds fantastic honestly. I think you’d be a great stylist. You have a unique sense of style. That’s a great idea. People would love that, get some great food and shop a little bit. What’s your favorite food to create?
B: Thank you, this year I said that I was going to take my styling more serious, so it’s time to work. I feel like I have a different style as well and It shows in all aspects of my life. So I can’t wait to bring that into my store/ restaurant. Food has always been a big part of my life. One day I want to go on a food tour and travel the world and eat. I like to cook everything from pastries to seafood and I like to experiment. Lol
T: That’s all gonna fall into place soon. Nothing I personally enjoy more than a meal made with some care and passion. You definitely gotta record that would love to see how that experience was lol.
T: Alright and final question, if you had to build a draft pick of worldwide creatives to help your brand who would you choose?
B: Virgil, Nigo, Aleli, JoeFreshGoods, and Vashtie.
All Photography taken by Baxtyr