We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
I recently read “Ego is The Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. I think that everyone should read this book! It inevitably has a chapter that will strike your core and help you take an introspective look at reality. Life is filled with ups and downs that you have no control over, but what you do have control over is how you react. Blame is a quick fix to a bruised ego, but that only harbours resentment, and pushes the issue deeper inside. Being honest with yourself, taking control over your actions and reactions and understanding how you can handle a situation better is an incredible skill to have. And remember – the world is not out to get you…. you are not that important !
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Like my father said, “if you’re going to do it, do it right”. Do not cut corners and if it seems too good to be true it most likely is! Take time and care to build your brand. The back end of the business is just as important as the more glamorous finished product, so make sure you have capacity to grow, and you are in control of and fully understand every aspect of your business. No one will care about your company as much as you do.
A product’s worth is defined by the level of craftsmanship, visual appeal and the quality of materials used. To obtain ultimate worth, a product must achieve levels of excellence in each of these pillars. Clearly define and live by your brand’s core DNA. Create your own timeless defining details – always maintain brand integrity and continue to strive for perfection. If you stay true to these principles your designs will separate themselves from the rest and your brand will thrive as you build your legacy.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my business came from being an independent luxury goods company in an industry dominated by the powerful top few. My products fall into the same ‘luxury’ category as those of the large fashion houses, but as a boutique brand it’s impossible to compete with their endless budgets, so I’ve carved out a direct-to-consumer niche that the large labels are unable to cater to. Most of my resources are dedicated to my clients, who appreciate the design, quality, and the one-on-one attention I can give them. The mainstream ecosystem has been built, intentionally, to reward scale, but I believe luxury is an intimate industry built upon genuine, exclusive, hand-crafted products that take time and care to create and personalise – all attributes I’ve worked hard to deliver to my consumers.
Build an A+ team. The people surrounding you can make or break your business. Find hard workers, who are willing to take on any challenge no matter how small or large it may be. Look for employees who are constantly pushing you to grow to be your best self and who are not just ‘yes’ people.
Luxury is losing its meaning. Today, mainstream, mass-produced and in-expensive brands use the term ‘luxury’ as a marketing tool to promote their machine-made, average quality products. I view luxury items as extremely rare, timeless, perfectly crafted designs, a concept I strive to bring back to life.
My designs are handcrafted at a multi-generationally owned factory in Le Seici, Italy. The intricate production process takes between 2 and 3 days to construct each handcrafted piece depending upon design details and the materials used. Satins and crushed velvets are manually backed to provide extra stability, leathers and skins are cut by hand to ensure ultimate precision and Swarovski crystals are heat-stamped on to obtain maximum durability. From the beautifully hand-stitched accents to the meticulously hand-painted edges to the striking hardware customized for each design, the highly trained indigenous artisans utilize their honed skills to bring my visions to life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For traditional Omakase Sushi: Ginza Onodera in West Hollywood – possibly the best traditional sushi in the US outside of Tokyo!
For good Italian head to Angelini Osteria in Melrose – Delicious and traditional Italian.
Craig’s in West Hollywood offers great people watching and a fun atmosphere
Head to the Hotel Bel Air for brunch – A beautiful, romantic escape within LA. and a restaurant by Wolfgang Puck.
Cafe Habana in Malibu provides a relaxed vibe, great local Mexican food, but also offer LA ‘clean food’ options 😉
For a casual lunch you can’t beat La Scala Beverly Hills – order the iconic chopped salad – a MUST for everyone who visits LA
Frozen Yogurt: The Bigg Chill or Penguins in West LA are right across the street from each other, two delicious Fro-Yo spots with fresh flavours daily.
Wally’s (Santa Monica or Beverly Hills) is a great place to go for a glass of wine or a cocktail paired with an elegant snack -their menu carries everything from caviar to rare cheeses to truffled brioches. They also have a huge wine retail selection along with delicious lunch and dinner menus.
For a little retail therapy check out the following boutiques:
Capital – Brentwood Country Mart
Elyse Walker – Palisades
For some culture head to the Museums:
The Getty Villa
The Peterson Auto-museum
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my father, the iconic American designer Perry Ellis, who passed away when I was 18 months old. He was a true perfectionist and believed if you are going to do something you have to do it right, or you shouldn’t do it at all – a concept that is innate in me and has been very instrumental in building my company. My Tyler Ellis logo is in my father’s penmanship, taken from an envelope he addressed to me on my first birthday. It is incredibly special to me, as it means my father is a part of everything I create.
My father Perry Ellis holding me as a baby
The envelope with my father’s penmanship
My signature Lee pouchet in icy blue crushed velvet
The Perry clutch in icy blue crushed velvet
Perry clutches in Emperor’s Jewel and Royal Gold mosaic tile
My Stella Handbag Petite in Iridescent leather
My LJ handbag, a new collaboration with artist Matt Rogers
A small LJ handbag hand-painted by artist Matt Rogers