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Fashion designer Octavius Terry describes his suits as ‘alternative red carpet’

After he and his now-ex-husband wore custom suits for their wedding at the 2014 Grammys, his work became highly requested.
Fashion designer Octavius Terry describes his suits as 'alternative red carpet'
Photo courtesy of @elvispiedra  for Elvis Piedra Studio

Octavius Terry is a Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Famer and fashion designer who is renowned for his suit designs under the brand Octavius Marsion. As an Olympic track and field athlete, singer-songwriter and businessman, he specializes in what he calls alternative red carpet style that can be worn for any event.

His former clothing company, GROOM, led him to work with people like Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Nick Cannon, Chris Brown, Ray J, The Game and more. Terry opened up about the different styles he likes to incorporate in his designs.

When did you know your brand had reached the next level?

So, now the company has taken my name, Octavius Marsion, and it’s just an umbrella for everything. GROOM came out of another fun fact of mine; I was married on the Grammys by Queen Latifah in 2014. Those suits that I made for my now-ex-husband — but also a good friend of mine Jamal Sims, a pretty famous choreographer and director — were the suits that started my company. Having the opportunity to get married on the Grammys, I made our tuxedos bespoke and they were motorcycle tuxedos. At that point, every celebrity was walking up to us like, “Where did you get these suits from?” I was like, “I made them.” I think I was standing behind Smokey Robinson, getting ready to go out and he was like, “Man, these suits are great. Where did you get these suits?” After hearing all of those things, someone said, “Do you have a suit company?” and I said, “well, yes I do.” I was designing under the name Octavius Marsion earlier, [and] GROOM is an acronym that stands for “gentleman ready to wear originals by Octavius Marsion.”

What are the different fabrics or styles you gravitate toward?

I consider my brand to be alternative red carpet. So, I get my clientele from the people who want to do somewhat traditional things, but they want to have some of [those] unorthodox things. One of the biggest things in our collection was this overall tuxedo that was unisex, and everybody goes crazy over, but nobody knows that there are overalls under this tuxedo that transition into something you can wear Nikes with or something like that. So, I call it alternative red carpet, because it’s always something that has a spin to it. Most recently, I’ve been quoted as being “prints charming” because of my eye for graphics. I usually make suiting out of nontraditional fabrics that are not known necessarily for fabrics. I [like] to make heirloom quality garments.

What do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?

It’s pretty simple. I’ve stayed by this mantra and most people who know me [know] I used to include it in my tagline, but be bold, be authentic, and be inspiring.

Mr. Terry will be on a panel at the Ga Tech Black Renaissance, this Saturday, Feb 4 at 1pm. There is no admission charge, and the weekend of events are open to the public. RSVP Here.

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