Holland's line of luxury fashion suits and accessories won top prize at the 2019 MAGIC fashion convention in Las Vegas.
Montee Holland, and many other incredibly stylish black men like him, got his first lessons in swag from his mother. At the time, growing up in Detroit, Holland didn’t know that watching his mother dress to the nines for every situation would be the building blocks for a knockout fashion career.
“I didn’t have an art background or interest in drawing (but) I did have a single mother who knew how to put all kinds of stuff together,” Holland says. “I learned how garments hung and how things coordinated, but mostly I just knew I liked looking at nice clothes.”
Holland’s craft is fine menswear. He’s the president and CEO of the Tayion Collection, a brand of high-end, luxury fashion suits and accompanying accessories like shirts, shoes and ties. His business also offers separates like blazers, jackets and other outerwear.
Suits from the Tayion Collection have never been in higher demand, Holland says, especially since his line won the coveted “Best in Show” award at the 2019 MAGIC fashion convention in Las Vegas, the very place where the collection took off in 2003, with notice from none other than Steve Harvey.
“The first day (of the convention), we were writing orders until they turned the lights out on us! We still had a line of people half an hour after they closed. The second day, we had no idea they were coming with the award – they just showed up with the champagne and told me right then.”
Holland says his suits evoke the vibe of “nostalgic Woodward.” He says, “In the ’20s and ’30s, a guy would come home from work, change out of his grind suit and put on another one for his extracurricular activities. Vests and three-piece garments were the norm in the Renaissance era. At Taiyon, we give men an option for intentional, casual style.”
Customization doesn’t end once a shopper leaves the store. Readers with kids might be familiar with the fun little clothing brand, Garanimals, that offers mix-and-match separates. Holland adopted the tactic, happily dubbing his brand “Garanimals for grown-ups.”
Holland joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Cody High School. During his four years of active duty, Holland traveled the globe and dabbled in custom fashion at garment stalls in Thailand and Germany.
“Tayion is very, very international. Just in the last few years, I’ve been all over the world sourcing and making deals, forging connections. We were just in Laleli (Turkey) putting roots down for a line sourced from their fabrics. It’s such a high quality of product out there, almost no one knows.”
Holland’s suits have been worn onstage and in movies from well-known directors like Tyler Perry. He also offers a more price-conscious line, called T-Fusion, that he created as a response to his product being counterfeited.
“It bothered me at first, but then I realized that if you stay fresh and relevant, people will always want the original, period,” Holland says. “That, and if we offer the same quality suit for every budget range, knockoffs aren’t even necessary. So, we knocked ourselves off.”
Instead of viewing his military career as disconnected from his fashion pursuits, Holland says his experiences with the Marines directly affected how he runs his business now. “I learned so much and I do think being a Marine helped me out a lot. Determination and honesty are what we strive for, for our customers. I am my own customer.”