Meet Davidson Petit-Frère, the Haitian fashion designer who skipped college and now sews for Jay Z, Kevin Hart

Michael Eli Dokosi May 10, 2020 at 08:00am

May 10, 2020 at 08:00 am | Success Story

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

May 10, 2020 at 08:00 am | Success Story

Jay-Z rocking a baby blue, double-breasted 3-piece Frère suit by Davidson Petit-Frère via @LunionSuite

It was a risky choice to make – forgoing huge amount of cash spent on a four-year college life to pursue a career in real estate. However, Haitian Davidson Petit-Frère has no problem how his life is taking shape in America now.

The 28-year-old fashion designer and co-founder of Musika Frère has A-list clients including Jay Z, Stephen Curry and Kevin Hart. He also styled Omari Hardwick as Ghost in the Power series.

Having ditched the college option, then 18-year-old Petit-Frère began his new life by choosing to sell luxury homes and things were pretty good given he was making six figures for the three years he operated. His only concern was bearing a baby face, which made it difficult for him to be taken seriously by clients, prompting him to ditch the polos, khakis and square-toed shoes for suits. However, his 6’4 reach meant he couldn’t just shop anywhere; so he took matters into his own hands, got a sketchpad, created styles to fit his broad shoulders and slender waist frame and found tailors to bring his designs to life.

A social media savvy, he began showcasing his portfolio of colorful outfits on Instagram and quickly garnered following in the region of 270,000. Turning his full attention to fashion, Petit-Frère reached out to his tailor for an apprenticeship, and after six months launched his first brand P.Frère.

Requests soon starting coming in for his custom suits from celebrities working in the entertainment industry, but he had bigger plans. He approached his tailors with the idea of partnering for a brand, but they were not keen for partnership.

He then reached out to his business partner Aleks Musika in Miami, who was ready to invest in the men’s fashion line Musika Frère. The brand started with bespoke suits and then branched into a ready-to-wear collection, fragrance and accessories. Petit-Frère also launched a men’s shoe company, Lavati.

He has been featured in The New York Times and Essence as well as earning a mention in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2018. His designs have been seen on runways at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and on the backs of celebrities.

Petit-Frère has an extensive list of celebrity clientele inspired by men’s suiting from the ’20s and ’30s, re-imagined with materials like navy seersucker and open-weave wool blends.

The cofounder of Musika Frère admitted that he continues to read a lot about fashion, learning the business and the industry – a lot of autobiographies and documentaries, adding “my big idol is Ozwald Boateng, he was the first black tailor on Savile Row [in England],” who started at 23, and still going strong.

Musika Frère brand is now under a new business entity named “Frère” led by the Haitian designer.

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