At age 12 Kentucky native Patrick Holmes took an interest in fashion as he flipped through the pages of fashion magazines. Then one day his mother brought home a sewing machine and while the other kids were playing kickball Patrick was up in his room taking apart his favorite jeans to use as a pattern.
After hours of trail and error Patrick taught himself to sew and one day dreamed of living the life of a New York Fashion Designer.
By age 16 Patrick became a self-employed seamstress making alterations, repairs and during the summer months he made and sold simple sundresses and short sets. His short sets became so popular that by age 18 a neighbor invited him to share her pop-up booth at the Kentucky Derby.
By derby day Patrick had made a little over 40 short sets and within one hour they sold out! In the next few years his talents blossomed with neighborhood fashion shows, costume designs for the annual parade, and by age 25 he was hired as sewing machine operator for a Levi’s jeans manufacture.
But it wasn’t until he reached his 40’s that he decided to venture out into the world of fashion. Although the country’s economy was heading for a collapse due to 911, Patrick moved to Atlanta in 2002 to attend college but found himself homeless and living in a shelter after learning his tuition didn’t cover student housing.
He found work at the mall that paid less than $7 and hours, so for extra cash he collected old discarded clothing to make patch-work applejack hats by hand which he put on consignment in an Atlanta specialty boutique.
In just a few months Patrick was able to save $1800 dollars which he intended to use for launching his clothing line. The following year Patrick’s entire world shattered with the news of his mothers passing. Devastated by the news of her death Patrick dropped out of college, quit his job, and rushed home to Kentucky to make funeral arrangement.
Then he learned that his mother had no burial insurance, so Patrick had to use one thousand dollars of his saving. After the funeral Patrick returned to Atlanta, checked into a weekly live in hotel, purchased a used sewing machine and fabrics. For the next few weeks he sewed all day everyday while drowning himself in alcohol and grieving and sewing was the only thing that brought him comfort.
Patrick had collected his last paycheck from the mall and exhausted his savings, then he got a call that changed his entire life.
The lady on the phone was looking for designers to showcase their designs in her popular Atlanta lounge. She requested that each designer be able to show at least 10 pieces.
In his intoxicated grief Patrick had not realized he had sewn almost 100 garments which had been tossed into a pile on the hotel room floor.
When Patrick explained to the lady how many garments he had the lady decided that Patrick would be the only designer showcasing that weekend. When Patrick asked the lady how she heard about him she replied, “I bought one of your hats from a boutique and the owner gave me your number.”
That weekend the lounge was packed to standing room only when the D.J.’s voice hushed the chattering crown as he announced, “ladies and gentleman, introducing ‘Just Patrick’! Patrick’s collection of dresses, skirts and dramatic tops was so well received that he got the attention of several boutique owners.
A few months after the show Patrick’s pieces were being sold in over 5 boutiques earning him 2003 Atlanta Designer of the year. He was also listed as “best selling” designer in an article that appeared in WWD Atlanta, and Lucky Magazine noted ‘Just Patreq’ as “up and coming designer to watch for.”
Then it happened! The failing economy took its toll on small businesses until boutiques could no longer carry independent designers.
So, in 2005 with a suitcase full of sketches, a backpack of clothes and barely five hundred dollars, Patrick headed to New York City where he studied fashion design at The Fashion Institute of Technology for a short time then later left F.I.T. to start his clothing line.
Patrick says that although he has chosen the toughest route on a road less traveled, it’s worth it to be his own boss. So in 2012 he took a much needed 2 year hiatus.
In 2014 the label was born, which is part French and translates to “By Patrick”, a name he designed after a google search revealed that ‘Patrick Holmes’ was used by thousands worldwide.
Since 2009 the designer has made several appearances during New York Fashion Week, and when asked why his pieces have not been worn by celebrities or why he hasn’t appeared on any reality competition shows Patrick replied, “I prefer to follow in the footsteps of the greatest designers in history. Gianni Versace, Valentino, Giorgio Armani, they sacrificed years of hard work and creating clothes that people remember because they were beautiful and not because of who wore it.”
Above are images of his presentation at our last Fashion Sizzle NYFW show. We are proud to announce that he will be be debuting his menswear collection for his brand Par Patreq at Fashion Sizzle NYFW on July 7, 2017,along with showcasing his women’s collection at Fashion Sizzle NYFW in September during New York Fashion Week.
Check out his brand at Par Patreq