Black content creators drive culture and can change, for good or bad, the trajectory of a brand. Our cultural foundation in intellectual pursuits such as storytelling, art, music, food, and performance fuels our approach to content creation. The authenticity, innovation, and dynamism of our content becomes viral and in its expansion influences industry and other creators.
On Juneteenth, we celebrate Black excellence of the past, present and future, and our freedom to reclaim our stories. Walmart’s collaborations with Black Creators exemplify how brands should be standing up for Black content creators and making sure they are paid equitably. Walmart’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices is just one of the ways it supports content creators and storytellers such as Trey Bryant.
Trey Bryant, an Image Consultant, Lifestyle Expert, Menswear Stylist, Brand Ambassador, and sought-after Speaker, epitomizes the unique and dynamic ways content creators impact and drive culture. His company, Lifestyle of Trey, has created a platform to encourage men to feel confident in their appearance. Bryant has found success in speaking to the mutually symbiotic relationship between outward appearance and one’s inner confidence and sense of self.
Interviewed by multi-platform storyteller, Cori Murray, Bryant discusses content creation and his path to success. Not only does Bryant’s success story make this conversation wonderfully insightful, but Cori Murray’s own success as a digital and media visionary adds to the appeal and richness of their talk. As the former Deputy Editor at ESSENCE, Murray led the brand’s digital and print platforms that serve 31 million Black women. As a cultural critic, she has appeared on numerous national media platforms.
This conversation, between Murray and Bryant, comes at a time where we are focused on reclaiming our history and owning our future. Juneteenth is the celebration at the cornerstone of this movement in time as we seek to share our proud stories - many filled with humor and certainly authenticity.
The Road to Content Creation
“I always had a vision,” Trey says as he describes content creation as a vehicle for his driving passion to help men to feel confident, both personally and professionally. He strives to help Black men through his mission of improving behavior, communication, and appearance in the workplace, as well as in dating, relationships, and everyday life.
It all started for Bryant in High School, where he began acting. From there, he went on to hosting shows in college, at Johnson C Smith at 18 years old. He then began to model, where he learned to walk and style his clothes. “It propelled me to being able to be a successful content creator because you’re putting together looks before you turn on the camera and you’re doing the transitions,” Bryant says looking back at his early days.
Transitioning to content creation, it was so hard to find people who were Black to make content, Bryant recalls—especially for men, who are visual, “we need something to identify with.” In school, Bryant says, guys talked about dating or what to wear—you figured out stuff on the fly. Later, Bryant explored YouTube for spaces that offered content akin to what his friends sought out in conversations. He didn’t find Black spaces, “I thought there has to be someone we identify with, whether you’re in Africa, US or Paris.”
That was Bryant’s passion, to create something Black men could identify with.
Bryant recalls that his inspiration came from movies. In particular, the movie Hitch, where Will Smith’s character sets men up, teaching them to dress, how to speak, and setting men up for success to find their wife and in the end to feel more confident.
As he began to build his brand, Bryant felt isolated. As he grew, he looked to his friends in Dallas, Texas where there is a close Black fashion community. “There is a movement where guys get together called Black Menswear Flash Mobs. They get together and everybody is dressed in suits and network and meet each other. That was the start for me to build that community with other guys who were into fashion and lifestyle.”
For Bryant, it served as a space to foster community with others who were into suits and menswear. With the influence of that community, Bryant began to build his platform. Other creators and fashion influencers weren’t the only supporters of Bryant on his journey, his family also play an important role in his content creation.
It's a Family Affair
It can be difficult to enjoy the moment. For content creators’ the desire to get a million views makes it so they are always thinking about how to promote content. “Sometimes that leads to burnout.” Bryant describes the ways there can be overconsumption, working on your own content, and then looking at other content can lead to overstimulation.
“You may want to take a break, but let’s say you want to take a break and not post for a week, but you still have brand partnerships,” that you have to show up for and at the end of the day says Bryant, “you are taking your creative energy and putting it on screen.” It takes a lot to create content, Bryant says, which is why a team is so important.
To thrive with all that is required of content creation, Bryant relies on his team, namely his wife who is a creative consultant on all his looks. He also named his sister as a big help—his first photographer and creative influence. Before posting, he sends his photos to his mom, sister, and wife to consult. It’s a family business.
And as a frequent collaborator with Walmart, Bryant is part of a community of influencers who are thriving on their journey of storytelling through content creation with a unique vision, the support of their village, and Walmart.