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.

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

Terry Fong embraces his best friend Princeton at Incinerator Rock, which became the travelling companions’ favourite spot during five years of exploring. (Cam Shaw photo)
Tofino played key role in inspirational dog’s journey

Terry Fong explains his recently published book, ‘Princeton - A Love Story’

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests: Greater Victoria teacher union

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Myla Bui holds up one of the paper cranes she made which have raised $31,031 for the Help Fill A Dream Foundation. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Cut out for this: sister of Leila Bui helps sick kids with 1,001 cranes each

Young Saanich philanthropist raises $31,031 for sick kids, folds thousands of paper cranes

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: Island man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub will soon be the eighth Craft Beer Market location in Canada. (Google Maps)
Craft Beer Market buys Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub

Craft Beer Market operates nine locations across Canada

The Neighbourhood Market at Saanich Baptist Church is one of 10 that provide fresh produce to people in need across Greater Victoria. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Daily free food markets offer fresh produce to Greater Victorians in need

Ten Neighbourhood Markets operate across the region

AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Courtenay’s K9 Kind Dog Training & Behaviour Consulting, owned and operated by Carrie Lumsden. Photo supplied
Comox Valley dog trainer joins select club

Carrie Lumsden receives special BC SPCA accreditation

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

Most Read