• Fashion

Romeo Hunte on being a Designer: ” I learned how to overcome the challenges”

Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Zendaya

“I create to build a beat, to make something that is unique and dope, with major impact. I’m changing the game. That’s my disruptive way.”

                 – Romeo Hunte 


Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Zendaya. These are the social provocateurs of our time that Romeo Hunte has dressed.  


The Brooklyn born designer has been embraced by creatives across music, sports, acting and more. He is an admitted disrupter and innovator of style. We spoke to him via zoom to learn his impact and how his collab with Tommy Hilfiger came about.

Romeo Hunte

How he attracts icons of fashion and society

I believe it’s important to have an eye for great quality and great fabric. Also, being innovative and thinking outside the box is key — I feel that is what draws people into the Romeo Hunte World.



Hunte focuses on positive builds.

Starting out, there were a lot of surprises — it taught me to find a way to have my own resources. I learned how to overcome the challenges that come with building a brand, and it disciplined me to be a better businessman, and to focus on my designs and aesthetic

Selena Gomez

He needed to believe in himself to navigate the map as it was.

When I started, there weren’t a lot of people that looked like me. Before, the New York fashion week calendar would only have one or two black designers. Now, there are over 30 on the official calendar. It’s amazing to see more diversity and they’re all being acknowledged in their own way.


A more inclusive world.

I’ve started to see opportunities and doors open in a more diverse and inclusive away. There is change, but there is still more work to be done.


Saweetie wearing Romeo Hunte

Secret to success.

I was initially a luxury brand personal shopper and worked with Vibe magazine. I developed a skill for proportions and cut that have benefits. When I developed my capsule, I had a variety of clients and throughout that experience, I always felt it was important to listen to their needs. No matter who they are, I ask, “How do you want to feel” and “How can I fill the void in your closet?”


Expanding his vision:

It’s very exciting to see that I am now more known for menswear. I’ve been growing so much, and it’s been very organic. The husband or boyfriend would always request something from the women’s wear, but just oversized. I think it’s God’s plan to create dual wear or unisex pieces.


Manhattan Prep meets Brooklyn Street in a collab with Tommy Hilfiger.

I’m excited that I was the first black designer to collaborate with Tommy Hilfiger.  


Tommy Hilfiger has been a mentor. He’s always seen himself in me. We have a similar work approach and work ethic. He related to that because it’s something that he had to do.


I went into his archives and started with his old collections and upsided it. We focused on doing an international launch. It was an interesting time creating a collection during Covid when supply chains were closed, and we had to launch when the world reopened.


It was a hit – very unexpected and innovative for such a big, heritage brand as Tommy Hilfiger to work with a new designer. He would say, “With an upcoming icon.” It’s epic. It goes down in history. That’s something I pat myself on the shoulder for creating.



Tommy Hilfiger

Sticking to the classics, but always pushing fashion forward.

I get ideas in the middle of the night. I’m inspired by my past experiences, growing up in Brooklyn, and my eye for luxury. I just love good stuff. I’m attracted to great fabrics, the crazy world of swag. It’s fly. It’s dapper.


I get inspiration from everything from couture, to streetwear, to formal, to bridal – everything. Streetwear is being true to yourself and creating your own look. Swag. (laughs)


Right now, everybody is reliving their childhood. I want to incorporate that look, but I want to do it better. I want to do it my way.


For my women’s collection, I stick to classic pieces and merge them together. I reimagine what a trench will look like in 2023.


Everybody loves the traditional trench coats and overcoats with the biker jacket, half denim jacket. It’s three different elements that are very powerful.

Mary J. Blige in Romeo Hunte

I create something functional that’s conceptually avant-garde with a Street approach. Like taking a durag and making a train. You can take an overall and add a blazer to it and that’s a full suit.


I compare buying clothes to buying a car. You want something that represents who you are. A coat or a jacket tells a story.

Where is fashion at this moment?


Right now, fashion has no rules. You have to create your own rules and your own lane. I brought classic worlds together and created my own language.

Idris Elba in Romeo Hunte

The new uniform, the new dope suit?

Street wear is anything you wear outside. It’s essentially ‘Ready-to-Wear.’ It doesn’t have a look. Baggy clothes could be an avant-garde moment. In the new collection I’ve made these oversized T-shirts that can be styled in numerous ways. I like merging all the worlds together.

Joe Jonas, Chris Paul, Manuel TurizoBiggs

The new style, the new swag, the new fit.

Guys are into tailoring, fit, oversized denim. They’re playing with suits. I like to see how some guys are playing with denim on the red carpet.

Up next

I’ve always had an interest in music where I used to be a DJ while I was in high school. The inspiration came from watching music videos in the 90s era, which I feel is the best era in fashion. I derived a lot of my inspiration from hip-hop, especially Biggie Smalls who was someone that I looked up to in my early years.


I’m working on my new project. It’s “The Hunte Model” – merging fashion, music, and tech. It will be a music video/shoppable runway show. I will co-direct the song and video featuring rapper Armani White, and already said – it will be shoppable.


Music videos are timeless. I merge that concept with fashion. I thought — let’s think outside of the box. Instead of a traditional runway show, why not do a shoppable music video that incorporates other artists and producers.


I’m changing the game; that’s my disruptive way.

Advice for the young designers?

For the next, a Romeo that is on the rise – take inspiration and know that you can do it yourself. Always believe in yourself and in your dream. No matter what.