An interview with Ty Antoine DeSouza of Suddenly Fem

photo by Amanda Roberts

photo by Amanda Roberts

Becoming

interview by Emily Kovach

When did you first become interested in clothing, fashion and design?

TD: My mother is quite the fashionista. She was keen on outfitting my sister and me with new fashions each school season. She taught us a lot about style and finish... I look back now and those are some of the foundations of how I style.

How did you get your start in fashion design?

TD: I was self-taught. I hit the streets of NYC in the ’90s knowing nothing. I tend to be more technical in nature, and I was drawn to the production process.

Suddenly Fem started as a family venture. My mother was a hairstylist, and was often hired to do cross-dressing transformations and makeovers, but could never find any clothing to fit her clientele. So, with her design sense and my technical ability, we created the first production line of clothing for the cross-dressing and trans communities 15 years ago.

Our first design was our little black dress made to fit the biological male form, designed with high neck and long sleeves, of course, to hide any arm hair or chest hair. 

We have improved on this design with better fabrics and an almost seamless design now. It has always been one of our best sellers!   

What has the response been?

TD: We have been around for over 20 years and launched a fall and spring line each season... It has become a full-fledged fashion line catering to transgendered and cross-dressing shoppers.  

Available through crossdresser.com and through occasional pop-up shops.