Issue #127 – Digital Cover

Published on April 4th, 2021 | by Guest Author


Timeekah Murphy: The Face Behind Luxury Streetwear Brand, Alani Taylor

If you were following the Grammys over a week ago, you may have come across pictures and videos of DaBaby hosting his own mini Grammy Red Carpet with his daughter, Princess. Children were not allowed to attend the show this year due to COVID-19 measures, but didn’t stop DaBaby and his daughter from staging a photoshoot of their own. Princess wore an adorable Cinderella-style yellow gown embellished with sparkles. The dress was custom-designed by Alani Taylor’s Timeekah Murphy, who was able to create the dress within a few hours on the day of. The story behind the creation of this dress is unique, but the story of the designer behind the dress may be more so.

Timeekah Murphy is the owner of Alani Taylor, a luxury streetwear brand that launched in 2016. You may have already seen some of her designs since her work has already been featured on A-listers. She was also recently awarded a $25K grant by Fashion Nova and Meg Thee Stallion for their “Women on Top” campaign. From designing the white lace and rope gown for Beyoncé in Black is King, to designing the handmade red rope dress for Cardi B. worn at the 2019 MTV VMAs, Murphy has an impressive and bustling portfolio. 

Her fashion story begins in 2010, when she taught herself how to sew while serving in the military. Fashion was not something that she grew up with, but was rather something that “fell in her lap.” Even as a novice to the field, Murphy knew that she wanted to be a “going against the grain type of designer.” To her, fashion is freedom and not bound by rules. Through her designs, Murphy has gone beyond genders, labels, and trends.  She instead designs based on the confidence she wants to bring out in others, both men and women. Stylewise, she loves mixing colors and patterns, especially ones that most people would not put together in an outfit, to create androgynous, statement looks.  

After the birth of her daughter, Alani Taylor Murphy, in 2016, she was inspired to launch her high fashion streetwear label. Through this brand, the designer hopes to be able to give her daughter the life that she never had growing up. When it comes to designing, Murphy says that she is inspired by the world, and what she “goes through in life.” One of her best sellers includes tailored drop-crotch kilt pants that have a loose fit and allow the wearer to have the freedom to move around. These pants were influenced by the Asian army and are an ode to Murphy’s military background and uniform she wore while serving. 

In 2019, Murphy collaborated with the owner of Deviant La Vie, Brittany Duet, on a project called, “The Zenith Experience,” for LA Fashion Week. “Zenith is the most-high, and experience is coming to something that will leave a mark in your mind,” says Murphy, who hopes to create powerful feelings and experiences whenever someone wears an Alani Taylor garment. Not only did the collection leave a mark on LA fashion week, but it also caught the attention of Beyoncé who was interested in the whole collection for her next project. Murphy recalls that the iconic singer’s assistant had contacted her, and told her that Beyoncé was specifically interested in the white lace and rope number she had designed. After her project had completed filming, Murphy had to wait a whole year to find out that the project was in fact Black is King. The designer recalls, “Although I had been a part of designing for Beyoncé in the past, when Black is King came out, that image will forever be in my head of her in the all-white outfit that I made because it was such a powerful view that they did – how they shot that and how she was dead in front of the screen. She’s literally in Alani Taylor and I could never forget it. That changed my life.”

Now, her most recent project to go viral is DaBaby’s daughter’s dress that she designed within a few hours. The day before the awards show, DaBaby had posted on his Instagram that he was searching for a designer to create a dress for his daughter. Murphy sent him a DM and after checking out her work, DaBaby was impressed. However, while messaging the rapper back and forth, Murphy was actually in New York planning a photoshoot in Atlanta for the next day. She instead changed her plans to fly out to LA. Murphy recalls, “I got on the plane. I had nothing with me, not even a toothbrush. He FaceTimed me and went Downtown and picked out the fabrics.”  When Murphy landed, she arrived at DaBaby’s place at 9 AM and had only a three-hour window to complete the dress, all while using an old sewing machine and Princess as her mannequin. A little-known secret about the pictures that everyone saw, what Princess was wearing wasn’t even the final product. 

Through this unpredictable experience, Murphy also got to connect with DaBaby, who was amazed by her ambition and drive, and interested in a collaboration for a streetwear collection, with the release date to be determined. Her most recent project will involve her competing on a reality TV show on HBO called The Hype, in which streetwear designers will compete against each other in different challenges, similar to Project Runway. Offset is set to be one of the judges. Right after filming wraps up for the competition,  Murphy plans to bring a more vibrant fashion scene to Atlanta, Georgia by opening up an Alani Taylor style house. The style house will further her goal to create experiences through her clothing, as she hopes that people will be able to walk in feeling one way, and walk out feeling another. 

Timeekah Murphy’s goal is to elevate Alani Taylor to a globally recognized brand. She hopes to reach the European streetwear fashion scene, something that she can only describe as “on a completely different level.” Her work ethic is incredible, and there is no doubt that she will achieve that with her being comfortable with the uncomfortable approach to fashion. Some wise words from her that I can leave with you are, “Strive for greatness. We’re humans and we’re the most powerful thing in this world. I’m using my powers to do what I love to do.”

Keep up with her accomplishments through her Instagram and her website.

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