Central High School graduate sews seeds of success in Minneapolis men's fashion industry

Image: Collected
When Beck Thompson graduated from Grand Forks Central SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in 2016, producing a type of men’s clothing wasn't necessarily his career plan.

But five years soon after, Thompson is delighted that his inaugural collection will debut at a Minneapolis boutique.

A dozen of Thompson's custom-made pieces of upper-body clothing - including jackets, shirts and a vest - will be featured at MartinPatrick3, a men’s clothing and interior design retail store in the North Loop of Minneapolis, beginning Mon, March 22.

Thompson didn’t have any art classes at Central High, instead using writing and his own fashion choices as ways to express his imagination. On the other hand, in 2017, a time after Thompson graduated, he started a small-scale clothing manufacturer called Talklisten, which highlighted silk-screened T-t shirts. He donated 20% of the gains to a mental wellness research program.

He produced the T-shirts at Ink Inc., a Grand Forks display printing organization owned by his dad, Kelly Thompson, a visual artist.

“That’s where I determined I like to design dresses,” Beck Thompson said. After tiring of experiencing his designs limited to T-t shirts, Thompson transferred to Minneapolis in 2019 and started making other men’s upper-body clothing.

He didn’t have any sewing mentors found in his family, so he learned the trade by seeing YouTube videos. Meanwhile, he honed his design and style skills by taking classes at Minneapolis Network and Technical College.

“I learned learning to make habits, and I started entering fashion displays,” Thompson said. “Initially I really had no thought what I was doing. The more I did it, the extra I would know how things came together.

”I learned steps to make habits, and I started entering fashion displays,” he said. “I make items that didn’t exist, but I wanted it to. I sew everything myself and I make each of the patterns myself.”

Thompson sews his apparel on the 30-year-old Bernina equipment of his past due grandmother, Pearl Altenburg. The sewing machine isn’t anything fancy, but it's dependable.

“It gets the work done,” he said.

At one of the fashion displays in Minneapolis, Thompson’s attire caught the eye of an employee of MartinPatrick3, where he got a job as a product sales associate and an possibility to sell his line of men’s apparel.

“Since I’ve been upon this quest of apparel style, they’ve been trying to get my clothes in there," Thompson said. “There are 12 portions ... a few jackets, a hoodie, a vest, several button shirts - mostly products you would toss on over a T-shirt.”

The boutique venue will be the first place Thompson has marketed his clothing series, and he hopes it will attract interest from customers.

“There are a lot of well-known people who come into that store constantly. It’s likely to be pleasant to have that exposure for the very first time,” he said.

Thompson hopes to keep to advance his job in clothing design by moving to New York, where he has applied to the style Institute of Technology. Sooner or later, he would prefer to design for a attire company.

“I like it because it allows me personally, obviously, expressing myself. I like dealing with my hands. I like creating stuff.”

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