When 21-year-old Peyton Taylor Simms couldn’t find the T-shirts she wanted, she did what any self-respecting fashionista would do — created her own.
Now the LSU junior is running her own company, Perfectly Taylored, which got national exposure when Simms was featured in Marie Claire’s February issue as one of the fashionable women of Louisiana, and grabbed the opportunity to wear one of her own designer Ts for the photo shoot.
“It is definitely something that I use when talking about the press PTC (Perfectly Taylored Collection) has received,” Simms said.
Simms said the publicity helped highlight her blog, perfectlytayloredblog.com, where she promotes her brand to other fashion and beauty bloggers.
Her blog is just one part of the business that keeps this budding entrepreneur on the move. When she’s not in class, the Baton Rouge native spends her days analyzing color trends, picking fabrics and holding trunk shows for her line of easy-to-wear T-shirts.
What makes these shirts different are the witty pronouncements Simms dreams up to emblazon across the front.
“I’m on a champagne diet” and “Early mornings, messy hair, Vogue, and coffee” are some of her most popular shirts.
“I start with one word and then kind of play off that word,” Simms said. “It’s typically just inspired by things that I love. Hopefully, the things that I love, people will love, too.”
She’s sold more than 400 shirts so far, she said, counting LSU’s sorority members as her supportive customers.
Caroline Grand, president of LSU’s Kappa Delta sorority, said she’s bought nine Ts from Simms’ collection.
The shirts, she said, “are very comfortable and versatile. You can wear them with leggings and tennis shoes or boots and jeans. She’s always coming up with something new.”
Simms’ designs, which can be bought on her website, perfectlytayloredcollection.com, or at Edit boutique on Perkins Road, range in price from $28 to $35. Thirteen different shirts currently are available online, most costing $32.
Simms said she has always been interested in fashion — shopping with her mother was their way of bonding — and came into her own in LSU’s Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising program.
But starting her own business has not been a breezy walk on the runway.
Simms partnered with her father, Luke, who also started his first business at 21, to create the company. Simms said from the beginning, her father treated her like a serious business partner.
“I had to do a lot of research on building a business plan, market shares, what markets were saturated, which ones were still open, how women shopped, all those kinds of things,” Simms said.
There were many sleepless nights attempting to sort out the company, but Simms said she found it a satisfying learning experience building the business from the bottom up.
Simms officially launched Perfectly Taylored late last year, and, in addition to the Marie Claire exposure, her designs were modeled at the Baton Rouge Fashion Week’s finale on Feb. 28. Simms has studied fashion in Europe and plans to intern with Marie Claire’s fashion and beauty editors in New York this summer, trying to learn every part of the fashion industry before she graduates.Her next move, she said, is to expand her line into loungewear, and she wants to find ways to reach women beyond her college peers.
“I personally want to really walk before I run, so start out slow and see what people like,” Simms said. “I really want it to be a lifestyle brand.”