Jimelle Levon's career as designer was inspired by the struggles he faced growing up. As a child, the Columbus, Ohio native once lived in a homeless shelter with his mother. He turned to his love of fashion in his teenage years, designing dresses in hopes of never having to return to a shelter again.
The 18-year-old Clark Atlanta University student went viral earlier this year after making a dress for his high school prom date, channeling Coming to America as his inspiration for the design.
Steve Harvey posted about the story on his Facebook page. Then, he invited Levon to appear on his show.
Levon appeared in a segment titled "Viral Stories" on the episode that aired on The Steve Harvey Show on Nov. 7. The segment was filmed in September.
During the show, Levon revealed he's already started to receive requests for dresses for the 2017 prom season and showed off three original designs.
He talked about appearing on the show in a phone interview after the episode aired.
Levon said speaking to Harvey and appearing on television wasn't the most stressful part of the experience. According to him, he found out on a Friday that he'd be flying to Chicago to tape the episode the following Monday and he wanted to create new dresses for the segment.
"I finished the blue one 15 to 20 minutes before I went on," Levon said.
Now, the designer is back in Atlanta, working to juggle the demands of running a clothing line (Koldkut) and being a college freshman.
“I’m not going to pass up any of these moments, but it’s kind of hard trying to balance that and knowing what I have to do in class," he said.
Levon is majoring in fashion design and hoping to improve upon the sewing skills he taught himself as a teenager.
See more of Levon's designs at Koldkut.com.