Gifted from the man behind this brand, who was gracious enough to grant me the following interview.
A.J. I was first introduced to your line during a pre-event for Fashion Week Brooklyn, and was amazed at all of the elements that went into making the audience really feel the theme of “Everything Brooklyn”. How important do you personally feel that choices such as music selection are for the aesthetics of a show?
J.S. Music has always been an inspiration for me. I grew up listening to the old school hip-hop artists such as: Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh; I fell in love with music. The selection of music played at the show was a big part of my life. I was raised in Brooklyn, so each selection of the music represented certain time periods of my upbringing, which has also brought me to the level I am at now.
A.J. What’s your story?
J.S. I was a celebrity web designer for the past 10 years… I’ve had the pleasure of working with artists such as: Kenny Lattimore, J. Holiday, Kwame, Fat Joe and many more. In December 2013, I did a design for an Instagram post for comedian, A.G. White…Everything Brooklyn was born shortly afterward; and this is where I merged both my love for design and my love for Brooklyn. I was always told to expect the unexpected. With that, I can say, I am truly blessed that my dreams of starting a clothing line are coming true.
A.J. What is it that you want to say with your line, and what are some common misconceptions that people have about your vision for Everything Brooklyn? (if any)
J.S. …A lot of clothing lines use images of Biggie Smalls to carry them; I want the vision of what we are doing to be more than that. I’ve lived in many places, but rarely saw clothing that represents: Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx or Uptown/New York. My vision for Everything Brooklyn is to be a movement of global unification for New Yorkers. Many people have moved out of NY but can’t find clothing that represent where they are from or who they are. I want people to feel the movement that I am trying to create, regardless of where they are from. I want people to feel as if they have landed on Planet Brooklyn, even if they have never been there. I also want our customers to feel as if they have ordered a $100 t-shirt, regardless of how much they paid for it…I decided to make our packaging a key factor. The packaging of all of our items are hand wrapped …touched by someone from my staff. We have received nothing but compliments … I believe that customer service and presentation should be the two main factors for companies, especially when it comes to small businesses.
A.J. It’s five years from now, how has the line progressed?
J.S.I see the line expanding from more than t-shirts and hats. We are currently developing a full line of clothing … Within the next year we are hoping to open 2 flagship stores in Brooklyn, NY and Atlanta, GA.
A.J. Who do you create for?
J.S. I see everyone wearing my clothes … grandparents to infants. I create for everyone, and not … for any particular demographic. Currently we have customers from various ages and walks of life buying apparel from the line.