Von Dutch Originals was one of the most popular clothing brands of the early 2000s, with many A-list celebrities being spotted wearing their apparel. But the story behind the company’s origins is just as fascinating as its meteoric rise and fall. Hulu’s ‘The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For’ chronicles just that. However, during the company’s heydays, designer Tracey Mills used his connections within the celebrity world to get them to wear Von Dutch’s clothes. So, let’s find out where Tracey might be today, shall we?
Who is Tracey Mills?
Tracey Mills was born in Los Angeles, California. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, after his parents separated when he was just 1-year-old. Tracey lived there until age 10, before moving back to Los Angeles to live with his father. In an interview with HOT 97, Tracey said that at the time, he only thought he was visiting for the summer but didn’t know that his mother was going to abandon him.
Once in Los Angeles, Tracey’s hardships continued. He was subjected to a lot of physical and mental abuse at home. Tracey said, “I was beaten like I was an enemy instead of nurtured with love and compassion. I would be beaten with extension cords and told I would be shit but dead or in jail. I truly didn’t love myself. I tried to commit suicide. Growing up abused, you didn’t love yourself; you didn’t like who you were. So, the only thing that gave me confidence was dressing fresh.”
Despite the odds stacked against Tracey, he was determined to make it big. When he was about 23-years-old, Tracey was hired as the head of celebrity marketing by Christian Audigier, who was working on Von Dutch. Tracey said of the experience, “Von Dutch was an outlet for me to utilize my relationships because I was blessed enough to have all these celebrity friends who somehow gravitated towards me. Christian gave me an opportunity to come into the fashion world with those relationships to help him [with Von Dutch].”
With Tracey’s connections, the brand was seen worn by multiple celebrities like Jay-Z and Halle Berry. He talked about how the world before social media took these changes in, adding, “Back then, a celebrity was unattainable. There was no social media. When you did get to see them in something, it was a craze to get it.” In 2005, Tracey was the Vice President of marketing at Ed Hardy, another clothing line of Christian’s. Through these stints, Tracey learned about the inner workings of the fashion industry, honing his skills as a designer.
Where is Tracey Mills Now?
After about five years with Ed Hardy, Tracey decided to move on. Having worked with Kanye West before, the designer reunited with him for Kanye’s Adidas Yeezy clothing line. Tracey has also collaborated with Rihanna through his consulting company, Beyond Mars. He still lives in Los Angeles, and over the years, has released his own clothing lines, named VENUSxMARS and Visitor on Earth. Tracey maintained that basketball was always his passion growing up.
Read More: Where is Eli Jane Now?