Vaughn de Heart - Story
My journey into fashion was different than most. The spark that ignited the Vaughn de Heart fire was an unlikely coincidence that happened a year after I graduated from college.
In high school, I was made fun of for my bad taste in clothing. I wanted to be known for something other than my poor clothing choices, so I decided to change things. During my senior year of college in Washington state, I designed a t-shirt for the fraternity I was president of called Omicron Pi Sigma (OPS). Before I graduated, dozens of people were wearing my shirts around campus. I loved designing t-shirts and wanted to sell my designs, but the odds seemed stacked against me. Lacking the courage to begin my own brand, I dismissed the idea.
On May 22, 2009, a year after graduation, I visited a mall in southern California, over a thousand miles away from my university. While walking around the mall dressed in the shirt I had designed, I saw a person out of the corner of my eye, wearing what appeared to be that same OPS t-shirt. As I got closer, I realized it was indeed a guy wearing the OPS shirt, but I did not recognize him as a student from the university. I asked him, “Hey, where did you get that shirt?” “I bought it at a thrift store,” he said. Then I asked, “Do you know where it is from?” He replied: “No, I just liked the design, so I bought it.” I told him I was the designer and he said he wears the shirt all the time and that people regularly ask him about the design.
The unlikelihood of this event stunned me, and it was more than enough to give me the courage I needed to begin my dream. I created Vaughn de Heart to show what I always try to embody in sports, school, and life; to be of heart. Even if I don’t win or succeed, at the very least, people will know that I gave my all.
I needed courage in the beginning, something extra to push me towards the edge. What I received instead was a shove. I’ve gone from being the kid in high school who was laughed at for what he wore to the guy that sells his clothing all over the world.
Welcome to courage.
I made this video for the ten year anniversary of the brand. This is a compilation of the first 10 years of Vaughn de Heart.