It’s Only Up from Here
A Conversation with Troy Livingston
By Kemi Karim
Portraits by Kemi "TRUTHIS" Karim
Troy “Dean” Livingston was born and raised in QUEENS, N.Y. With over one-hundred tattoos covering 80% of his body, Livingston carries experiences and people that cultivate his love for art in various forms.
As a teen, Livingston frequently spent time with his family in LONG ISLAND, N.Y. Early on, he realized the disparities between his home life and his relatives. They were wealthy and he exuded confidence and style, exposing his family to an incomparable sense of fashion many New Yorkers possess.
Livingston takes the word multifaceted to the next level. As a fashion designer, creative director, and filmmaker, he creates alluring designs and visual content reflective of his environment and imagination.
TIS: What inspires the work you create?
I’m inspired by different films. I pay close attention to specific scenes, costumes and wardrobe selection. Another huge component in my creative process would be my mood and the powerful woman in my life.
In 2015, Livingston launched DVO BY DEAN (Discriminated Visions Overlooked by Dean), a unisex streetwear brand based in his hometown. His goal is to make pieces that highlight pivotal fashion moments from the past while introducing original designs. DVO BY DEAN is a collection of comfortable clothing that perfectly frames the body.
On December 14, 2020, Livingston released his first short series DVOHITSQUAD. The crime series is inspired by popular films like The Professional, John Wick and American Psycho. DVOHITSQUAD tells the lives of assassins led by DVO, a character played by Livingston. Episode one The Pilot introduces the killer group and DVO’s intolerance for breaking the rules. When mob underboss Noel Marco disrespects the code, he’s met with the ruthlessness of the hit-squad. While this may be Livingston’s first short film series, he’s making a profound entrance into the film industry.
TIS: How do you go within and self-reflect?
When I dig deeper, I try to meditate. I’ve learned that writing down what I feel is most effective. I tend to hide my emotions in my work, but my work helps me find sanity and reminds me of my purpose.
Trailer for DVOHITSQUAD'S "The Pilot" by Lou_Dynamite