'When I was growing up I was a regular height and could shop anywhere until I got to the start of the 10th grade going to the 11th grade. I went from being 5ft 5.5in to 6ft 5in when I returned for my 11th grade year.' says Boswell.
This growth spurt created problems, especially for a self proclaimed 'ambassador of style'. Boswell could not find clothes to fit his tall athletic frame as the clothes he found were either too short or too boxy.
As Boswell struggled with finding clothes that fit, his love for Basketball diminished. 'After I graduated from high school, I still had ball aspirations and I was still playing Basketball. But, there comes a point in every athlete's career where you say, 'Do I want to take it to the next level; that is the pros?' For me, it was crystal clear I wasn't going to because I didn't have the love for it anymore' he says.
Nevertheless, he created his first pair of pants out of necessity and without any fashion design experience or financial resources. 'That was the first thing I ever made and they were for me because I couldn't find clothes to wear' he says.
In 1998, this unlikely designer officially launched his lifestyle driven line identified by the initials of his name, The wb-collection. Over the years, the line has evolved and is very refined. Also, instead of clothing for only tall men, it now targets men with height ranging from 5ft 5in to 6ft 11in tall; as Boswell believes his customers, regardless of height, should be able to shop side by side in the boutiques that carry his line.
For the man that wears his clothing, he says you'll, for example, 'notice little things like the zipper in the placket section, collar stand with the hook and eye on it or the slits on the side of the shirt which enables you to wear it in or out.'
As to what the future holds for this unlikely designer, he says, 'ultimately I want a brand like Ralph Lauren. He sells you a lifestyle. He sells you Kentucky, Connecticut, The Hamptons. That's what I'll have the brand, Boswell, be.'
Currently and nationally, he prepares to launch a watch line under his label and is also in the process of obtaining "preferred status" as a dresser for the National Basketball Association [NBA] players; since the NBA now mandates that NBA players wear suits prior to competitions. He also prepares to launch his flagship store in L.A.'s Beverly Hills/Brentwood. On a global level, he is working on expansion and cultivating an international presence.
The wb-collection can be found online at www.wb-collection.com. In L.A. or surrounding areas, visit the following fine boutiques: Lisa Klein, Fred Segal Street, Wolf, H. Lorenzo and Satine. New Yorkers, visit 'Pieces' located at 671 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn, 718-857-7211 or contact the designer directly for custom one-of-a kind pieces.
Photos by Bill Uechi, fobgraphics.com