Ty Hunter is best known for being the mastermind behind some of Beyonce’s most memorable fashion moments. Having worked with the superstar since her Destiny’s Child days.
And now the Texas native is stepping out into his own limelight – literally – with the launch of his smartphone lighting case, Ty-Lite, so you will never take a bad selfie again.
Ty is a fashion stylist, designer of his own line, “With Passion,” entrepreneur and all around good soul.
BellaLAMag.com spoke to Ty to find out why tinseltown is going crazy for Ty-Lite with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Rowland, Bravo Andy, Kelly Ripa, “The Today Show” hosts, all upping their selfie game with this fun accessory.
How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I’ve always had an eye for fashion and even in high school I was the one my friends and cousins would ask to help get their look together for school or parties. I met Miss Tina when I was working at a Houston boutique – I was doing window dressing and displays – and she saw something in me that I hadn’t even fully tapped into yet. The years of working with her and the ladies of Destiny’s Child helped grow my confidence and my exposure and friendships with designers and stylists really honed my own skills.
What has been some of your favorite looks you’ve done?
My favorite look is the orange Lanvin dress Beyonce wore at the VMAs in 2011 when she announced her pregnancy with Blue. We’d been dressing to conceal her baby bump and wanted to make sure the red carpet reveal would be memorable and make her feel her most beautiful. The color just popped and when she rubbed her belly everyone went wild. Miss Tina and I were off to the side just crying with joy because the moment was so wonderful.
You have quite the client list – who have you worked with?
The names you would most recognize are the ladies of Destiny’s Child, both individually and as a group.
Where does your love of fashion come from?
I’ve always loved fashion. Even in high school, I was the one my friends and cousins would ask to help get their look together for school or parties. I met Miss Tina when I was working at a Houston boutique – I was doing window dressing and displays – and she saw something in me that I hadn’t even fully tapped into yet. We built up a friendship and a few years later on a random day off I reached out to her, she invited me to meet her and the rest is history. Just a few weeks later, I was working with her to style Destiny’s Child for the Grammy Awards. I always thank Miss Tina for recognizing my talent and my hunger for this business. I’m grateful to her and so thankful for her in my life.
How would you describe your fashion line, “With Passion?”
‘With Passion’ is a collaboration with ServedFresh™ that promotes a spirit of empowerment and enlightenment through the symbolism of four exclamation points. For years on social media, I always used four exclamation points to express excitement or emphasize a point. It’s the symbol used throughout the collection and, by wearing it, you tell the world about your own passions – the things that make you smile, what gives you confidence and what makes you feel good about yourself. When people wear the collection, they create their own style moment.
How did Ty Lite come about?
My Passion Projects LLC business partners and I had the idea when we were in Miami and trying to find the perfect selfie light for ourselves. Even though there are filters, flash and other smartphone accessories that light up, I wanted a protective case with different light settings and dimming. Since there wasn’t one on the market that meet my needs, we decided to create it.
What’s different about it than other similar products out there?
The Ty-Lite is the only protective smartphone case on the market with three different light settings – Cool, Warm and Brilliant – and dimming.
What reaction have you been getting about Ty-Lite from the celebrity world and your fans?
The feedback has been very positive. I am truly grateful for the support. We never pay people to post about the Ty-Lite so every day when I check my feeds it feels like Christmas seeing all the images and hashtags. It’s all love.
Tell us about your work with President Obama?
I love working with the My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative. It gives male entrepreneurs of color from the worlds of music, fashion, technology, etc., a platform to share their experiences with Millennials as they contemplate their own career paths. By sharing our stories we hope to educate and inspire young men to follow their interests and prepare themselves to compete in the business world. It was such an honor to be selected as one of the featured entrepreneurs. More information about the program is available at http://bizmyway.com. Definitely check it out!
What makes your life Bella/beautiful?
Life is beautiful because I am grateful everyday to be here and appreciate my blessings. I stay grounded in gratitude and encourage my loved ones and social media “family” to do the same.
Having a sad day, how do you cheer yourself up?
We all go through rough times and don’t always feel our best but I practice gratitude and take time everyday to appreciate my blessings. Believe me, it makes a difference between feeling sad and feeling empowered. I will say this: when I log onto social media seeing people from around the world post their Ty-Lite selfies and send encouraging messages to me and one another is a definite mood booster. It’s like Christmas; each kind post or message of support is a gift that I truly value.
Best advice given?
Be yourself and believe in yourself. Be your own best example and others will follow.
A photo posted by Ty-Lite by Passion+Projects (@tyliteofficial) on
Who is your best friend?
I am blessed to have two: Kenneth Knight Jr. and Raquel Smith
What inspires you?
Another day of LIFE
Who are the 3 most interesting people you have met so far and why?
President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Lisa Nichols. All personify greatness and inspire me in different ways.
Quote that you live by?
God Don’t Like Ugly
Bella’s tag line is ‘Beauty Defined By You’ – How do you define beauty?
To me, beauty is self-confidence. When you believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities, you shine from the inside out and everyone notices.
What is your favorite part of the city:
Favorite Restaurant for dinner:
Favorite Shopping Place:
I’m a huge thrifting fan – you never know what you’ll find, there’s always something unique and the items have interesting stories. When in L.A., I have a couple of stores I like to browse for ideas and cool items to incorporate into one of my outfits or a red carpet look.