FASHION OVER FOOTBALL: Muskegon’s star athlete creates unique clothing line
Dereko Riley was a star football player at both Reeths-Puffer HS and the University of Davenport. When post-sports life began, so did his passion for clothing design.
MUSKEGON, Michigan – If you had a choice in life between two very different careers, would it be soccer or fashion?
A man from Muskegon recently arrived at this exact crossroads in his life and had no problem becoming a half-star at measuring hems, developing a unique clothing line that was growing in popularity and quickly becoming ‘in vogue’ in nationwide.
In 2014, Dereko Riley scored his last touchdown wearing a Reeths-Puffer High School soccer jersey. He would graduate the following spring and enroll at Davenport University, where he continued to play the game he loved.
âFootball was all I knew,â said Riley, 24. “While I was playing [at Davenport], I started to think about life after football and my true passion. “
Riley says he’s always been interested in the world of fashion and maybe he designed his own clothing line.
âI decided to be true to myself and do what I loved,â said Riley. “I took a leap of faith.”
Riley spent a few years designing all kinds of clothing – from five and six pocket joggers to layered leggings to hoodies.
In 2019, from her home in Muskegon, Riley launched the Yelir333 clothing line, consisting of all of her designs.
âThe title was created from the numerology of angelic numbers,â Riley added. “The triple three means ‘the power of the spirit and the energy that follows’, and the triple four means ‘to find love and peace within oneself.'”
There is an important meaning behind the name “Yelir”.
âYelir is my last name spelled backwards, RILEY,â he said.
Riley is also not afraid of taking on design challenges. In June, he took part in a competition where it was necessary to create a garment without fabric.
âI decided to make a room made entirely from real flowers,â said Riley.
Riley says he will never forget his football days, but running in the fashion world is his passion and he has no plans to give it up.
âSometimes I go out and see people wearing my designs,â Riley said. “For me it’s a cooler feeling than scoring a touchdown.”
If you want to learn more about Dereko Riley and Yelir333, check out his website, Facebook page, and Instagram.
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