LaDarius Campbell is a local fashion influencer and designer of a menswear collection, Stylus x LaDarius Campbell. Photo by Yuvie Styles

LaDarius Campbell is a local fashion influencer and designer of a menswear collection, Stylus x LaDarius Campbell. Photo by Yuvie Styles

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The worst outfit LaDarius Campbell has ever worn was to the eighth-grade prom. It was a slightly oversized white suit with a powder pink vest and matching tie. He had his hair pressed and wore a pink hat with a feather in it. He had on what he calls “gator shoes” with shades a little too big for his narrow face.

“I’m just the small guy with these gators and my legs propped up on this GMC Suburban that is making me look even smaller,” he says. “And it’s seared in my memory.”

Perhaps it’s because his college friends found it and they liked bringing it up during his time at the University of Texas, where he was majoring in African and African diaspora studies.

His taste in fashion evolved from the preppy Ralph Lauren and Sperry’s to a post-college formal suit and tie, mixing and matching prints and patterns to creating looks based on how he’s feeling that day.

“That’s when it became a bit more personal for me is when I started to dress for expression more than just like, ‘OK, I want to put on a suit and a formal look today,’” he says.

His love of fashion came from childhood scarcity.

“I was just trying to figure out how to put together looks that look different with a little bit of clothing that I had,” he says. “So with that, I fell in love with the versatile nature of fashion.”

Campbell grew up in Oak Cliff but temporarily lived in East Dallas and attended Bryan Adams High School. When he moved back to Oak Cliff during his sophomore year, he decided to stay at Bryan Adams to finish his junior and senior years. He’d wake up between 5 to 6 a.m. to take a two-hour bus ride to school, then hop on another bus to Tom Thumb near Northwest Highway to go to work and then hop on one final bus to get home.

After college, he spent a maymester in Cape Town, South Africa before becoming a supply chain management broker in Dallas.

“I loved it because it was highly competitive and it helped me develop some very sharp sales skills,” he says.

Nearly a decade into a corporate career, Campbell realized he needed a passion project in 2021. While at a Bible study, he was talking to a fellow member about his life changes. He had gone from being a bachelor living Downtown to a husband and father with a house in a quiet neighborhood within a year.

“I was trying to figure all this stuff out,” Campbell says. “But in that process, I felt like I needed something for just me.”

He reflected on his life. The one thing he’s always loved was putting outfits together, even if it was a pink and white suit ensemble. He decided to commit to creating 100 Instagram posts about fashion every Saturday, consecutively.

“It quickly built a lot of traction from doing it casually to brands reaching out to me to give me free stuff. And then went from free stuff to making a couple of 100 bucks here and there, from there to a couple 1,000 bucks here and there,” he says.

But then the endorsement deals, from the likes of Atlantic Records, McDonald’s and MVMT, started outpacing his six-figure salary.

“I had to make a decision because I’m now a father, I’m a husband and I only have a certain amount of time per day. I was spread pretty thin with the responsibilities of the demand of my passion project. And of course, trying to still be a good steward and be a good employee at my current job,” he says. “So I was in that tension point for quite some time.”

In November 2022, Campbell quit his job to work full time as a content creator.

“I wish I bet on myself earlier,” he says. “I think I took a happy-to-be-here mindset when I initially went into content creation, and I think I did a lot of selling myself short as a result of that.”

There are videos on how to style an outfit from Walmart to how to style a pair of $625 Prada slides. Or how to wear a suit casually in day-to-day living. Some of his posts feature his two daughters and his wife (whom he met at bible study). Others feature fellow content creators, showcasing different styles and sizes.

Recently, Campbell launched his 80-plus piece menswear collection with JCPenny, Stylus x LaDarius Campbell, featuring casual fabrics in more formal cuts. Think suit, but made out of knit materials. Think versatile, capsule collection, but because you choose to limit your wardrobe, not because that’s all you had.

“It’s really crazy to just see that come full circle. This thing that I did because I kind of had to is now this thing that is creating abundance for not only me, not only my family, but just like on a global level,” he says.

Campbell doesn’t always put together an outfit for everyday — he says his wife will say he in fact does. But even if he’s wearing sweats, he’s putting on a watch, jewelry and coordinating a look.

“It’s bringing together as many elements of style as you can into an outfit that looks effortless,” Campbell says. “That is the perfect outfit.”