Model, rapper and clothing designer Carter (Cartier) Sims began appearing in American Eagle Outfitters stores after he was selected as a "Live Your Life" profile subject last year. The Roeper graduate and Syracuse junior was speechless when he traveled to New York City and saw his face high on a billboard in Times Square.
Born in Detroit, Sims attended Roeper from a young age and began playing the cello at the age of four. "I did these little musical performances for my small Roeper community and that's kind of where I got comfortable with a mic in front of my face," he said.
"What was cool about going to Roeper is I was able to have this opportunity with freedom and they trusted me with responsibility. It really gave me a chance to see different kinds of people I would never even know. I was taking a 15-year-long anthropology class and could just learn from other people's cultures."
Sims was drawn to Syracuse University in New York because of its location and the opportunity to make music. His freshman year, he connected with roommate Guy Harrison and the duo began making music with Matt Miggz.
Though he was a music video veteran, Sims had never modeled or taken any interest in fashion until last summer when he traveled to London. He began creating Eva Mendes-inspired clothing by screen printing the actress's headshot on t-shirts with witty slogans, such as, "I can wait for Eva" and "Eva lasting love."
Being selected as an American Eagle Outfitters "Live Your Life" model and profile subject came as a shock. "That was honestly an out of the blue, crazy thing. I didn't think it was going to be an all-call for an ad campaign," Sims said.
"They were looking for individuals that have passion, that are comfortable in what they wear, and have a personal style. They picked me and seven other people. They found us from all time zones and all of a sudden we became a family. In the first 10 minutes, it was camp with the coolest kids you've ever met," Sims said.
He is now featured in all American Eagle stores and has a billboard in Times Square. "When I went to New York City for the first time and I saw myself a couple stories high in Times Square, I just couldn't believe it. I was just speechless," he said. "My big sister took a picture pointing up to it."
Sims said his parents could not be more proud of his success. "I can't even believe they can find the time to be proud. They took a week off to go see it in Times Square."
When he is home for holidays and summer vacations, Sims enjoys spending time at home with his family in Bloomfield Hills. "The best thing I like about Bloomfield Hills is the fact that that's where my parents are. It's that safe haven under my parents."...continued on page 2