Meet Levi Lawrence III Founder of Imperfextion, How Being an LGBT Ally Propelled His Company


What can we say about Levi Lawrence III? Well, he’s an inspiring up-and-coming jewelry and fashion designer who definitely has a keen eye for fashion. Levi is the father and husband to a beautiful wife & daughter. He is intellectual, and so dapper and debonair, but most importantly he is an ally to the LGBT community.


I had the pleasure of sitting down with Levi to discuss inclusiveness for the LGBT community in the fashion world. This 28-year-old army brat born in Frankfort,

Germany was raised by a single mom and later was raised in several places such as Texas, California, Mississippi and Chicago. He attended Angela State University in Saint Angelo, TX and served in the Air Force active duty.

Levilawerence

Levi’s Introduction to Fashion

“I started looking at my baby pictures. My nana was a huge fashion person. She always put me in suits and all kinds of stuff back in the day. I really didn't start getting into fashion myself until high school. I started to dress different and buy different things, [and] I wanted to pierce my ears. My father is a good man, he's just narrow minded on his views on life, and he wouldn't let me pierce my ears. I thought it would be a great idea to create my own magnetic earrings. I would go to Claire's and Icings, and I would find the magnet backings and cut the back off them. I made a friend at the kiosk that would clip off the back and sand them down. That kind of turned into a business, I started selling magnetic earrings.”

“I started making bracelets in 2016. I wanted to create something unisex that anyone and everyone would feel comfortable wearing. I started doing clothes through my original company Shny3. The majority of our sales were men, but I wanted something everybody would enjoy.”

The motto for Imperfextion is to shine a light on the importance of learning and loving a person's individual characteristics through their highly valued Imperfextion bracelets which are used as a symbol of pride and strength in identity awareness.

What was your inspiration behind Imperfextion?

"My wife she taught me to really be comfortable with who I am. I'm different than my father's side of the family. I had to learn his way of life, my grandparent’s way of life and it just wasn't worth it. The majority of my friends were homosexual. They showed me a different way on life, different views, and different religions. Me being clouded on judgement that is how we came up with Imperfextion. I realized that society bogs down on so many people, whether it's the color of your skin, how you look , what you believe in, [or] people you love, there's so many judgmental things that we face. I was like if that makes me imperfext to society (then boom), and that's how we came up with Imperfextion. So our biggest thing is for the bad asses of the world that does not let society impact who they are. The bracelets itself, I wanted to find something that everybody could wear, whether your tall, short, man, or woman.



"Different colors or different stones are our seasonal pieces from the beginning. For fashion the process we go through is to see what colors that Pantone come out with or for fashion, we use what GQ and Essence is doing. We see what they’re using, and we go in and find a stone that everyone is wearing and try to make sure we find something that will pop and stand out on your wrist.”


One of my favorite pieces from Levi's Collection would have to be the spring 2019 matte sea sediment Jasper. I think this piece is absolutely gorgeous. I'm more of a minimalist when it comes to my style, and I believe that makeup should be simple and not too over-the-top. If you looking to celebrate your natural beauty, this definitely internalizes natural beauty. The gemstones, it's just like a breath of fresh air.

How has marketing to the LGBT community impacted your business?

“This community has been one of the most supportive. Let's be real, the LGBT community runs the fashion world from top to bottom. There's nothing that goes on in fashion, especially like high end designers is not going to recognize. Looking at people that were sharing, I was like this community is really rocking this brand. I gotta start showing more love just to show I appreciate it. Being at the pride events and receiving so much love and seeing people with the bracelets on, I cried a couple times being there.

What have you learned about the LGBT community as a business owner after realizing we support your brand?

"I learned that if you really support and care about the community there's a right way to approach people. So many people like trans women for instance, like Kyler, they would call Kyler "he" or “him”, that’s not what she wants. You have to respect that. You can't be confused about it, that's how she feels on the inside, and she's working to become who she really is. It's a huge strength to be able to come out. I can't imagine the struggle. I can see, it I wouldn't say the emotional scars, but I can't imagine how tough you have to be externally. It doesn't get more powerful than that. You know there are adults that still don’t accept LGBT communities. No more hiding. You better wake up, LGBT is running the world. If you can't be who you are, then what are you doing?”




How much in sales have you increased marketing to the LGBTQ community?

“A good 50 to 70%. When u guys rock with somebody, especially if it's a brand that supports, yawl are rocking with us. We family, hand in hand together. I went from hundreds to making thousands thanks to the LGBT community. Wherever you get the oxygen, that sunlight, that fruit gives more love and support.”

What advice would you give to people looking to expand their business?

“Unisex is the key. If a person in the business is trying to expand their business the meaning behind your brand [should be] everything connects with everybody.”

Who are your style influences?

“At first it was Dwayne Wade, Kayne West (pre hobo). I took thing from different places to find who I was. I like little bit of formal. I also like a little urban. I'm actually working with a new designer Karen Sander and we’re building by taking casual pieces you would never wear or think of as high fashion".

How much in sales have you increased marketing to the LGBTQ community?

“A good 50 to 70%. When u guys rock with somebody, especially if it's a brand that supports, yawl are rocking with us. We family, hand in hand together. I went from hundreds to making thousands thanks to the LGBT community. Wherever you get the oxygen, that sunlight, that fruit gives more love and support.”

Hawkseye. Visuals

“What is your biggest inspiration?”


My daughter. I wanna make sure that she loves everyone for who they are. I want her to know that anything and everything is possible. Gotta be yourself, show love and respect to others. I want her to see her dad in this world [showing that] respect must be given not that BS other people is trying to show.


Where did you get the concept for your bracelets?

"It really just all came together, and I'm a firm believer of owning everything that you do. And with clothes it's so easy. You come out with a different design shirt. What you don't want is big brands to take everything. Like Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton they do whatever they want and don't give back. For smaller brands you got to make sure it represents and it’s something no-one else is doing. Imperfextion charms you and we decided take away the polish, we soak them in alkaline water, take away the gloss, set them out in the sun and it strips away & gives the actual charm. Some have a piece of yellow gold, white gold, [or] rose gold color. It’s actually like a connection to the Imperfextion brand. It shows you who you really are. The stones itself, I just have an eye for it.”

"I've been working with a company out in Houston, Texas. I've been working with them for the last couple years, and I go through their stones and see which one speaks to me, and I take the stone and research it and find out the meaning and see if it does something for the body. It's so much that goes into each seasonal bracelet and it’s thousands."


For more fabulous accessories checkout Imperfextion fashion on Instagram @imperfext.fashion. Also follow Levi @levilawrenceiii. Be sure to shop his collection at Imperfextion.com!

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