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Behind the Brand


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Romello Smaltz was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, where he resided with his mother and two brothers. Growing up, Romello loved to play sports like basketball. When he was fifteen years old his mother moved the family to Pennsylvania in search of a better environment in which her children could thrive. During Romello’s senior year attending Pleasant Valley High School, he took an interest in fashion design which became so acute that ended up creating his own clothing line called TTBG (Time to Be Great). This is how it all began.

What inspired you to become a designer?

It didn’t happen until I was eighteen when I thought about clothes, but not as an entrepreneur. I first came up with the idea of my clothing line late in my senior year in high school. I designed a slogan for my basketball team to develop confidence in people. I saw how affected it was and I made shirts out of it and it kinda made a life of its own.

What is your personal style ?

My personal style, I’m still figuring. My style is whatever comes to mind.

What is your favorite part of being a

 fashion designer?

What is a favorite part of being a fashion designer? My favorite part of being a designer is the line of recognition to be recognized as that guy. Also, the process of it, would it look good on somebody or not, the creative part of it, the destination, the journey of it.


What does your brand stand for? It can mean a lot of things, but it means TTBG. It’s not just for athletics and academics, time to be a great doctor, father, brother or sister. It’s when people need you most and you’re there. I also look at it as a cultural change because in this generation people don’t have the greatest self-esteem. So when I get on social media, I try to post inspirational quotes to help people feel confident throughout the day.

What has been one of your biggest challenges and how did you  overcome it?

Finding material for clothing because you have to undertake extensive research. I have to care about what people think about my clothing which is the hardest part. Also adapting to the different types of sizes and colors people may like or not like. My clothes are for everyone men, women and children.

What would you say to someone that wants to become a designer?

It’s a difficult process and a learning curve especially when you are young. I showcased my clothing line at the NCC fashion show last year, and I was the youngest one everyone was about 40 and 50 years old. You have to allow yourself to be a beginner, you’re not going to be a leader right away it takes time. You’re going to struggle, but you have to be confident in your own creation. An artist has to believe their art is so great it has to be seen by the world.

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