His passion for fashion started at a fourth-grade school desk in Lorain, sketching sneaker designs inspired by Michael Jordan’s kicks. This is a detail Jevon Terance, self-taught designer and now internationally acclaimed owner of the Jevon Terance Fashion Line, always paid attention to when watching games with his family.
He never stopped drawing. Through high school his sketches evolved into 3-dimenstional renderings and then models. He considered pursuing industrial design, attended art school for a year at Lorain County Community College and did a brief stint at the former Virginia Marti.
But, mostly, Terance experimented with style, growing his technique. At 21, he received a sewing machine for Christmas. This gift quite literally opened a world of opportunity. “I became my own fashion college,” he says, eventually launching a brand in 2007 and opening a boutique in 2012 through Lorain’s holiday pop-up shop program.
Except Terance wasn’t planning on just popping up short-term.
“The program really helped me have a brick-and-mortar presence because, before that, I was doing college shows, club shows and fashion shows throughout Ohio,” Terance says.
He worked out a bit of a barter lease agreement with the landlord. Terance was improving the space, paying utilities and attracting patrons to a block that needed some love and fresh blood. Within a few years, his notoriety and brand momentum had grown, and he relocated to his current space next to The Palace Theatre.
Terance’s mantra: “Dress like you are in New York.”
“What would you wear if you were walking around the city?” he asks, pointing to signature pieces including coats — especially trench coats — dresses and pants. “I always take chances with fabrics,” he says. Fringe and reflective material graced his designs “before people were really using it.” Terance scours the country’s leading garment districts with a mindset of beating the mainstream. “I want to push new concepts out there,” he says.
Notably, in 2018 he introduced a trench fabricated from newsprint material that he says, “is a walking billboard,” and earned accolades in New York City. He has showcased his brand at Fashion Weeks and is affiliated with The Confessional Showroom NYC, a go-to source editors, stylists and influencers rely on for new, fashion-forward designers.
Every year, Terance organizes a fashion show in Lorain. He reintroduced the event after a pandemic hiatus in summer 2023 at The Oasis Marinas at Port Lorain. “I love Lorain, and we’re living in a renaissance of businesses coming to Broadway,” says Terance, who serves on the Main Street Lorain board and is equally passionate about the community as he is fashion. He travels often, but his rooted in his hometown and prioritizes time in the boutique, where he is intentionally approachable. Guests are often surprised to find him in the shop sewing. But there’s no place else he’d rather be other than with his family.
“I’m excited that we are serving the community, building relationships, moving into other states and, design-wise, we keep being creative,” Terance says.
Terance has dressed names like singers of SWV (Sisters with Voices), NBA point guard and Olympic gold medalist Chris Paul and two-time women’s world champion WWE wrestler Natalya Neidhart. He has also worked with Director Steven Caple Jr. of Transformers on set as a costume designer. Terance’s designs have been featured in a variety of publications, including Glamour and Elléments Magazine.
Initially and for the bulk of his time in business, Terance sewed everything he designed. Now, as he expands the brand, collaborations with small garment manufacturers are allowing him to extend his inventory and footprint.
“We are constantly styling original pieces,” Terance says. “And with a 16-year brand, we have the aesthetic and build off of that.”