Though Tyler is far from the fashion capitals of the world like New York or Paris, you don’t have to look hard to find evidence of thriving fashion creatives making their mark in the city. Name brands, flashy jewelry, triple-digit price tags and vintage and thrift finds hold prominence in Tyler, despite a long-standing love for casual apparel (Racquet and Jog tee paired with leggings, anyone?).
With social media’s inspiration at the fingertips, anyone can be a fashion influencer, regardless of their style’s popularity or budget. Trends are widespread and offer a variety of looks, even where there is no precedent. Rather than being a means of simply getting dressed, Tyler’s fashion has evolved to include more expressive and even extravagant styles.
To get a scope of Tyler’s fashion scene over time, we spoke with four Tyler residents engaged in the sartorial world. Despite differing opinions on the state of fashion in Tyler, all four agreed: Tyler has room for improvement.
Shelby Mallard, 24, is a fashion influencer living in Tyler. Mallard has trail-blazed Tyler’s fashion scene through her brand, Cowgirl Barbie.
Mallard began marketing Cowgirl Barbie in 2020 by opening an online retail business under the name. Though the business is out of commission, the Cowgirl Barbie aesthetic has become Mallard’s personal look.
Mallard spent a year in Dallas after college before moving back to Tyler. When comparing style in both cities, she noted Tyler’s lack of sartorial expression. In a region where t-shirts and gym shorts are standard errand-running fare, Mallard said living in a larger city gave her more fashion freedom.
“I definitely felt more comfortable wearing what I wanted in Dallas,” she said. “You don’t see people wearing fur coats to grocery shop here.”
Mallard feels the aesthetics, resources and environment of bigger cities allow fashion