10 Questions: Tricee Thomas

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Posted By on February 25, 2021
Tricee Thomas, Founder of The Garment League
  1. When did your interest in fashion begin?

My entire family has always loved fashion, but I was inspired by my grandmother. At the age of 4, I would play dress-up in her wardrobe and jewelry and thought it was the best thing in the world. I just knew it would be my life. Today, I am an active designer and continue to launch a collection each season.

2. Tell us how you came to found The Garment League.

I’ve always had it in my heart to give back. In 2017, I began speaking with Greg Stanton, the former mayor of Phoenix. I would tell him my vision of bringing fashion to downtown Phoenix. He was very supportive and because of my ambition to give back, he was actually the one who suggested going into the nonprofit sector.

3. What is The Garment League’s mission, and why is it important for Arizona?

The Garment League’s focus and mission consist of providing scholarships to fashion- and art-related college majors. We also aid in continued education with fashion residencies, creative workshops, business planning, consulting, imaging and branding, technical specifications, manufacturing, as well as wholesale and retail trade. I feel that Arizona has so much untapped talent and that it serves a melting pot. It’s very important to emphasize what we have right here.

4. How big an economic driver is the fashion industry for our state?

It is not a huge driver, as it is in some of the other fashionable areas. However, we are continuously growing. With the help of TGL and other phenomenal fashion organizations in our state, we will soon be a force to be reckoned with.

5. What do you do on a typical day?

I design apparel, I create and implement fashion — and art-related events and programming as well as mentor emerging fashion talents. I get overjoyed mentoring creatives to be successful in their brand and business.

6. The Garment League offers scholarships to students studying fashion or arts. Is Arizona attracting more young people interested in the arts?

Yes; there is a large amount here that love it! We also have great schools in Arizona that offer amazing fashion programs. I’m excited about the future of the Arizona fashion industry.

7. How has COVID-19 affected your work, and how have you showcased fashion since the start of the pandemic?

Our organization has truly been blessed. We are located in Park Central and are a partner organization to Artlink. Both have been extremely supportive in our events and programming. We are able to utilize the grounds to properly maintain mandated guidelines. Since Park Central was the first mall in Phoenix, we got creative and produced a “window-shopping experience” with live mannequins wearing local designers’ garments in each storefront. It was amazing! We continue to create innovative ways to enjoy fashion and celebrate local designers while being safe.

8. Can you tell our readers about your Industry Summer Camp?

The Industry Summer Camp is a youth fashion camp that covers every aspect of the fashion industry with hands-on training. We are planning to have it this year. Currently, we are offering virtual and onsite workshops.

9. Anything you’d like readers to know about you or The Garment League?

We are a small but mighty organization that cares about, supports and believes in our community.

10. What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I’m usually working! No seriously … I love spending time with my family because, at the end of the day, that’s the true blessing.

To learn more, go to thegarmentleague.org.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.