Interview with Clothing Brand / Black Collection | Edition VIII
When did you realize you wanted to become a designer and what was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
I think the first time that I realized that I wanted to become a designer and entrepreneur was age 14. I begin working to my brother’s urban clothing store at the age 12. I worked at SOLO Sports. At that time it was on the lines of a Madness, HOBO, DDTP, etc. I started as the clean up guy, and really had no intentions of designing. The day of realization came when I realized that the clothing was bigger that urban fashion, and DC was just a small market in the fashion industry. I learned there a lot at that job, but told myself “as soon as I am able to create a brand that appeals to the masses, I’m doing it”
How would you define your city’s fashion?
Very unique, but yet we have some XEROX activity going on as well. We are stylish here, but we wait for validation from others, or TV at times. I think we need to revert back to the days of self-validation. It’s changing definitely, but we just need to be ourselves, and remember we influenced a lot of things in various industries!
When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
You know to be honest, I did! I believed in my company from day one! I just knew that I was going to have to work extra hard to prove a lot of people wrong who suggested that I take the safe route, and create the typical urban DC brand. I knew that I was going to have to surround myself with great people, make the right connections, follow my ultimate vision for this company, and bring 200% daily towards this company everyday. I never doubted BLACK Collection!
How is the internet changing your craft?
I don’t think it’s changing my craft. I believe the internet is assisting, and increasing brand awareness. Consumers, and potential consumers outside of the direct area that we operate from wouldn’t know anything about BLACK Collection if it wasn’t for our website, social sites, and the internet. The internet is a powerful tool!
Your concepts are very unique and original is there a pressure to always maintain that consistency with your new designs?
Absolutely not! No pressure at all. We understand our mission, and vision. My business partner and our Product Developer Dylan Chase creates each product with BLACK Collection’s core competencies, and sharp point in mind. We strive to continue to create personality driven designs, with simplicity. We stay true to who we are as a brand, and what we believe in. We don’t follow trends. Simplicity wins!
Do you consider yourself an artist?
Absolutely! I just take a different approach on the definition of artist. Everybody is creative, everybody has style, and everybody is unique in there own right! I believe where people get it confused is when they forget the business aspect of being an artist. They can’t merge the two! It’s a deeply rooted combination of the two, and once we all wake up, and realize it we will all be GREAT!
Who are some people you want to be interacting with this year?
Ummmmmmmm! I only surround myself with people I feel are geniuses in their own right! People who are actually living the dream, and being “INDIVIDUALS”. I would like to work with the owners of Hellz Bellz, and Nooka. I love their brands! I would like to continue to work with my homie Tabi Bonney, and 1st Impressions the great photography/camera team who was responsible for our first commercial. Take it to the next level with them! Oh and I want to work with my homie Imani Waddy, brainchild of Gas’d. Actually we do have something in the pipeline for the near future so stay tuned for that.
Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
I just want to continue to grow my brand. We finally have a great time of talented “INDIVIDUALS”. I just want to give each of them an opportunity to show it! Long term, I want to have a few boutiques open, move into more luxury products, and become an internationally recognized brand. There are quite a few things in the pipeline, but I like to keep the mystery going!