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History is Not Repeating Itself Anymore? "A Conversation"

"I want the world to know that the key to a perfect look is confidence,” Tykeem “Big Baanks” Hall explained to me. Tykeem spent over $500,000 on clothes, bags, and jewelry in the past ten years. The legendary Fashion House Founder loves to look good. He recently picked up a pair of pants in Yonkers, New York. Women, men, and members of the TGNCNB community wear whatever they want. In the 1990s, many young Black men wore braids in their hair, and young Black women wore hoop earrings. Jheri curls and leather were the fashion statement in the 1980s. In the 1970s, afros were the style of the day. Women in the 1960s and 1950s often wore sunglasses and cat eyeglasses. The 1940s saw Black men in uniforms because many were in the service and fought in WWII. Clothes impact culture- and that’s where Tykeem comes in.

Tykeem “Big Baanks” Hall, 26, continues a legacy passed down by his ancestors. Tykeem was born in White Plains, New York, to a Jamaican father from Mount Vernon. His mother is African American. She was also born in White Plains. Tykeem and his mother were both raised in Greenburgh, New York. As a child, Tykeem never took fashion seriously. Summers meant being with his cousins at his maternal grandmother’s house. “She would have a lot of magazines,” he said. As a young boy, Tykeem found interest in these magazines. He would gaze at different fashions from page to page, admiring what he saw. His other cousins watched TV, and he would read magazines.

“My mom used to buy my clothes,” he said. At 16-years-old, if Tykeem Hall wanted different clothes, Tykeem had to purchase them himself. And that’s what he did. In 2013, Tykeem landed his first job at Kmart on Tarrytown Road in White Plains. He never shopped for clothes at Kmart. He used his paycheck and shopped elsewhere. “I only shopped at Kmart for hygienic things,” he said.

Ann Lowe was the first Black person to become a noted fashion designer. She’s perhaps best known for designing former first lady of the United States of America Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress in the 1950s. Tykeem follows in her footsteps today because he started his own fashion house. Tykeem “Big Baanks” Hall took the natural step in his high-end fashion journey and created his own fashion house called Baanks Closet, styled BaanksCloset LLC. The LLC became incorporated on March 8th, 2021. Hall plans on designing his products and sharing his gift of fashion with the world. Samples for his products came on January 28th, 2022. His items come from overseas. He’s hesitant to share his brand with the world, though. He wants everything to be as close to perfect as possible. “Clothes are like costumes,” he said. “You can put them on and decide who you want to be.” Over $500,000 of designer pieces exist in Hall’s room. The nickname “Baanks” came from a friend of his. When people think of a bank, often, they think of money. $500,000+ on clothes is no easy feat.

Tykeem holds close to six dozen pairs of footwear in his home. His room consists of brands ranging from Gucci and Moschino to Versace and Fendi to Burberry and Zaddy to Off-White and True Religion. It’s only a matter of time until Hall opens up BaanksCloset to the world. One of his dreams is to shop in Paris, France. He currently has eyes on a 2016 Re-Edition Dionysus GG Blooms bag. If you’d like to keep up with him as he continues his journey, check out his merchandise on Instagram

Dennis Richmond, Jr., is an author and journalist focused on the Black, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ Community. His stories have appeared in Yonkers Rising for more than six years, and also in the NY Post. Richmond lives in Yonkers.

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