Octavius & Jamal Terry-Sims .
Octavius, born and raised in Atlanta, GA, is a Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) graduate. He is not only a singer/songwriter/musician boasting 2 independent releases currently still on ITunes, but also a former track and field Olympic hopeful standout, representing the United States as a member of the 95 World Championship Team and the 97 World Championship Team as a 400 meter intermediate hurdler. Although a top 1o world ranked athlete since the mid 90’s,3 time NCAA Track & Field National Champion, and a 2006 Georgia Tech Hall of Fame Inductee, Octavius always knew that his true calling since the age of 5 was Fashion Design and after spending 11 years in corporate America as a Vice President for Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo left to pursue his real dreams. Now residing in Los Angeles, California, he has 2 Fashion Design degrees from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and currently the CEO of his own label OCTAVIUS MARSION in which he has produced designs for Queen Latifah, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Nick Cannon, Tamar Braxton, Ariana Grande, Matt Barnes, and Gloria Barnes just to name a few.
FACEBOOOK: OCTAVIUS TERRY-SIMS, INSTAGRAM: OCTAVIUSTERRY, TWITTER: OCTAVIUS TERRY
Jamal Sims born in Los Angeles, CA is an Artistic Director/Choreographer and began his illustrious career as dancer in Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Times.” He later went on to work on 32 films including The Best Man Holiday, Soul Man, 82nd Academy Awards, Hairspray, Footloose, Step Up 1-5 Franchise to name a few. He has worked artist that include Madonna, Queen Latifah, Miley Cyrus, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Usher, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Toni Braxton, and John Travolta. Jamal is currently working on directing his first film with World Of Wonder, the production company behind shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Million Dollar Listing.
FACEBOOK: JAMAL TERRY-SIMS, INSTAGRAM: JAMIZZI, TWITTER: JAMIZZI
How & when did you start designing your own clothing?
I was a late bloomer in designing my own clothing. It all happened about 5 years ago when I picked up my first sewing machine and touched a needle for the first time form Joanne’s Fabric. I knew it was always my dream but I thought I was too old to dream of being a fashion designer, but I now realize that you really can do anything you put your mind too if you work hard.
Has fashion always been a passion of yours or did this become a passion over time?
Yes it had always been a passion of mine. I was Best Dressed in high school. The funny thing about it is that I had always wanted to be a designer ever since I was a little boy growing up in Atlanta, GA but I was afraid that people would call me gay. Now that I am living in my truth, the doors are opening up so wide for me that now I am just walking through to my destiny.
What do you design & who have you designed for?
My style is considered “Alternative Red Carpet” for the Man or Woman that wants to not only make a statement on the red carpet of events such as the Grammys, Oscars, but to also head to the after party still feeling as comfortable and edgy as when he or she just graced the red carpet.
How can I go about ordering your garments or getting something custom made?
The website will soon be up for the beginning of 2015 this November. For now people can check back on my instagram @octaviusterry for launch and website details.
Any advice for aspiring designers?
I would say work hard to find out what you want your garments to say about you and say to the world. Be open to criticism and ask for advice. Lastly, DREAM BIG, and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t be a designer. I am living proof. And as always BE INSPRIED!!
When did you start dancing?
I’ve been dancing all my life, but professionally since I was 17 with my first job being a dancer in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Times”
Has dancing always been a passion?
Well I would say performing or entertaining has been the true passion. Dancing was the vehicle that led me there.
I follow the dance community, so I have seen your face quite a bit. I've seen you with Miley Cyrus, working with Disney Channel, and Nigel Lythgoe. How & when did you start working with them?
I started working with Miley since she was 15 and worked closely with her until last year. I have worked with Nigel Lythgoe as a reoccurring choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we should be looking out for?
I’m finishing up a documentary that I directed wit World Of Wonder entitled “Buck You” with my producing partner Jordan Finnegan.
Who else have you worked with in the Dance Community?
Madonna, Queen Latifah, Miley Cyrus, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Usher, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Toni Braxton, and John Travolta.
Any advice for aspiring choreographers and dancers?
A job doesn’t make you a dancer, your passion and drive makes you a dancer. They’re a lot of people who have never been hired as dancer, but that doesn’t always mean to give on the dream of becoming a professional dancer.
How did you all first meet?
We met almost 15 years ago in Atlanta through a mutual friend. 5 years later was when we actually exchanged numbers and ran back in to each other by coincidence and knew then that destiny was having a way with us, and so we took heed to the signs.
How long have you all known each other and been together?
We will be celebrating 8 years together next year 2015, but know of each other for over 15 years.
It is very hard for any relationship to last, especially with two black, gay, attractive, successful men. How did you all manage to stay together?
It is all about communication and being each other’s best friend. We also have the support of both of our families that helps keep us on the right path. No relationship is perfect and there is a lot of work involved, but the benefits of being with that one person that always has your back in everything from career, family, and love is priceless.
When did you all decide to get married and why did you decide to do it on national TV?!
We decided last year that we would get married in 2014, but we had not decided on an exact date. With the news of our engagement through social media, we were contacted by a friend from the casting agency that was casting for this historical event that took place on the Grammys. Neither of us knew the magnitude at the time of how inspiring it would be for not only other same sex couples, but also young black same gender loving men and their parents. We can’t tell you how amazing the positive feedback has been and how many families we have began to save through our fearless act of getting married in front of 30 million plus people on the Grammys.
Were you nervous?
Octavius: "I was a little nervous because I too had to come to grips with letting everyone in the world who may not had yet confirmed my sexuality in on the secret that kept since I was a little boy."
Jamal: "I wasn’t nervous. I was actually excited!"
What was the best moment of that night?
When we walked out leading all the couples into the Staples Center and everyone giving a standing ovation, with tears in their eyes, receiving the love and support from everyone including people in the music industry that we had always admired.
Would you do it all over again, if you could?
Yes!!! But this time we would have a secret hidden camera in our tuxedos so everyone could experience the magic of that night!
Any advice for couples that are trying to remain together, strong and successful?
Open conversations and dialogue is key. You should always be able to express to your partner no matter how vulnerable you may feel. Be each other’s best friends. Surround yourself with other couples and people who have your best interest at heart, and that means the both of you. Set relationship goals for years to come and do everything possible to make them happen because this will make both of you grow closer together.
We would like to thank each and everyone who has reached out with kind words and support. We may never get the chance to do so in person, but we appreciate each and every person. Thank you So Crosswire for the interview, and as always, BE INSPIRED!! - OCTAVIUS & JAMAL TERRY-SIMS