Updated: Jan 4
Pursuing streetwear is not just an entrepreneurial journey for me. It's an artistic one. At the end of the day, I identify myself as an artist. One of the most challenging aspects of this journey has been finding my very own artist signature that sets me apart from all other streetwear brands. After a year of searching, I feel like I've finally found it.
Credit to the discovery dates back to when I was six-years-old. All of my thoughts and actions consisted of drawing cartoons. In class, I would doodle on every assignment handed to me, and given that I was very young, cartoons were also considered a popular topic in school. I remember taking a class trip to the library down the hall one day, and somebody mentioned how much the animators from Spongebob (my favorite cartoon at the time) get paid, whenever a new episode airs. After hearing the amount, I couldn't believe that artists got paid for literally having fun. The idea of spending all my time drawing, getting to watch that drawing on TV, and then making money from that, sounded like pure bliss. From that day forward, I decided to become an animator.
I carried that passion with me all through elementary, middle, and high school, until my freshman year at USC. My love for cartoons and animation remained, however, I felt a desire to explore and take my talents elsewhere. I started off with a strong focus on music video editing and then began to work towards screenwriting, producing, and directing more seriously my senior year. Throughout my time at USC, I came to the realization that at my core, what I truly loved was entertaining people and making them feel happy through my stories.
Screenwriting ended up having the most significant impact on me creatively and on my brand. The biggest takeaway from my "Intro to Screenwriting" class was that the majority of your story should be told through the character's facial expressions and body language. Not their words. The last thing you want to do is mouth-feed your story to your audience. Having that lesson in thought, I started thinking about the characters I had created with my brand. My flame guy Kai, and the 1025 bear.
One night, around June or July, I was admiring a split-colored t-shirt from Hypland. I was experimenting a lot with Kai and felt drawn to the idea of having my next clothing drop include him. At the time, I was fresh out of college undergoing a great transitional period. I was beginning to embrace change, uncertainty, and faith. I looked at the Hypland t-shirt a bit longer and suddenly envisioned Kai's hand on the other side of the split t-shirt as a different color. At that moment, I could feel my mind compiling what I learned in my screenwriting class and my emotions regarding the changes in my life. My mind felt like the big bang, where my creative vision expanded exponentially. All of these ideas came flooding to me, regarding how I could have my characters interact with the garment.
Through my eyes, the garment was no longer just a canvas. The garment became a part of the design's storytelling. Next thing I knew I had my next biggest design, which I ended up titling, "Into The Unknown." From there, I starting to experiment a lot with Kai and split t-shirts, hoodies, puffer coats, bags, you name it. To take it a step further, I even began to play with the direction of the split. Horizontal, vertical, and diagonal splits, based on Kai's actions.
All I have left to say is that I am incredibly excited to strengthen this signature overtime for future 1025 drops.