PRO-PORTRAIT: Troy Mattison Hicks and Stephano Diaz making Necklush

Troy Mattison Hicks and Stephano Diaz are the exemplification of the creative professional. They say they are we are “two guys making rad things.”  

They created a fashion accessory called “Necklush” back in 2008 as a scarf-necklace hybrid. The infinity eternity loop scarf is for both women and men, hand printed and handmade-to-order by Troy and Stephano in their Brooklyn, New York studios, “We consider each piece we make a little work of art.”

Troy and Stephano met about 11 years ago. Stephano was an interior designer at Calvin Klein for many years, and Troy is a photographer, and has been an artist represented by the Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery and did the “outsider art circuit.” They say that the combination of Stephano's classy education (he studied art at Pratt) combined with Troy's experimental attitude was just the perfect concoction.

“We had no connections to the fashion industry going into this.  All we had was our idea and our personalities.  So from the beginning we worked hard at being seen using social media, and being super nice to our clients.  This has led to a great referral business.”   

Necklush has been featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Glamour, Timeout NY, Lucky, Metropolis, Women’s Health, Fab.com, Daily Candy and Refinery 29.

Necklush appeals to all sorts of people. They seem to have found that magical mix of brand (handmade and hand printed by two nice guys in Brooklyn with a social good component), style (perfect for the modern, hip, tribal, new-age, fashion forward crowd) and quality.

“Our customers write us all of the time and tell us their Necklush stories... its pretty fabulous!  To know that they are stopped on the street with people inquiring as to what they are wearing, where they got it, etc.—we love it.”

At first, Troy and Stephano thought of Necklush as a product for women, but almost from the beginning it has been snatched up by both men and women. The trigger to the men’s sales? Simply using a male model for a product shoot, “in a flash of inspiration I booked a guy for a shoot and wouldn't you know it?  It opened up our client base to men quicker than you can snap your fingers.”

That male model had an other interesting consequence: women responded to the male presence as well—“We get emails daily saying "does the guy model come with mine?’"  

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