Brandon Earl, Laguna Creek (LCHS) class of 2002, drew inspiration from his father and grandfather, both men who always impressed upon him the value of good education and sharp presentation. In 2008, he was on track to become a lawyer and had spent two years clerking at a firm. However, when the economy crashed, his mentor suggested it might not be the best time to incur law school debt. He decided to instead follow his heart and join the world of international menswear design, but he knew what a competitive world that is. He’d have to find ways to distinguish himself, so he moved to China.
While teaching English and math at a private school in Shanghai, Brandon focused on learning Mandarin. He enrolled in a university and volunteered his time to gain fluency and also to learn the Chinese way of life and way of doing business. When he returned to the states, he applied and accepted admission to the elite Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the only prominent school in the U.S. with a menswear design program.
He graduated, and after five years of working as a tailored clothing designer for Ralph Lauren, he traveled to Milan to prepare for the launch of his own menswear brand, Brandon Earl New York, a luxury men’s consulting firm.
His enterprise has thrived. But despite his extensive travels, Brandon has not forgotten where he came from.
“I love Elk Grove. I love Laguna Creek High School,” said Earl. “Because they imparted so much to me, I wanted to do the same thing. So when I thought about how and where I wanted to give back, I thought of home.” He recently spent two days as a guest lecturer at Laguna Creek High School’s Fashion & Interior Design Pathway program, talking to students about the fashion industry and trends in forecasting. “It was one of the best feelings ever to look at the exact seat I used to sit in 15 years ago,” said Earl.
In addition to his guest lectures, Brandon recently launched a Suit Haberdashery Drive campaign to invite donations of gently used suits and other items so young men can have greater confidence and readiness for job interviews. The goal was to collect 1,000 articles of clothing by the end of October 2017. Earl continues his fundraising online at BrandonEarlNewYork. Follow the brand and the journey of the Haberdashery Drive on Instagram @BrandonEarlNewYork.