Yeah I guess they should. You know what happened with us we were never big on publicity. We would just do it and go onto the next project. The industry knew about us. But the world didn’t know about us.
Before we really knew about branding and creating a niche around your brand. We never positioned ourselves as Black designers. So for me 5001 Flavors was an intersection of fashion, art, music and entertainment. It wasn’t just in the fashion arena. We were providing a service for the artists and personalities we worked with to elevate their brand, their image, their aesthetics. Although we had a cool design intelligence it was really a service we provided to our customers and clients to give them the look that didn’t exist. So it wasn’t logo driven, it wasn’t the same thing all the time. We gave them a look that matched their clients brand. We would build their brands and as they grow we grow with them. It really is about becoming a part of pop culture. People don’t know it’s us until they see some of our images. That’s why some of our clothes are in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame or the Grammy Museum. Like when we did Nipsey Hussle or Notorious B.I,G. Because those clothes become a part of pop culture and those iconic images that you see that’s when it becomes legacy making and history making. When your clothes instantly identifiable. Who doesn’t remember Nipsey Hussle in that blue outfit. We made that.
You have Harlem Haberdashery your retail outpost now going on its 8th year. How has it managed to thrive even during Covid -19 pandemic?
The world has changed and so has the business. So we just pivot we brought down the style of the fashion to make it more obtainable for the clientele. No one is going around spending a whole bunch of money like they used to. Because they realize they don’t need all of this stuff. So we went with a lot of leisure wear, a lot of sweats, hoodies, a more comfortable fit, jean jackets and tee shirts. Just toned it down a bit because that’s the time we’re living in. We did masks and gowns for the first responders. We just pivot. If there are no award shows, no one is spending a bunch of money. Just tone the fashion down. You got to know what your consumer wants and what’s going on in the world. Being connected to the people and to the times. It’s hard for other designers because they have so much money invested in beaded fabrics and no one is wearing that. So it sits on the shelf, it makes no money. Coming from the custom world. We know to stop that. No one’s wearing snake skin jackets right now, let’s bring it back down to the earth.
Ambassador Digital Magazine loves that 5001 Flavors, Harlem Haberdashery, HH Bespoke Spirits, your new premium liquor brand is a family business. Why is it important to involve your family?
We are building a legacy. We are trying to leave something for the next generation. A lot of people don’t get to do that. But we feel thats our niche that’s our key to build the next generation to teach the the youth behind us so they’ll have something to work with. That’s what our main goal is.
So for me it was about when we started the business their was a lot for us to learn, for me to learn. And I felt that the next generation of my family, of the community, that we don’t need to keep starting over for our kids. Give them a pedestal to stand on whether it’s network or it’s wealth or business that you can break down. So for me it was important to create a transferable legacy of wealth and business. I remember when I was in High School trying to get an internship and couldn’t get one. And all my other schoolmates at my private school their family got it for them or they had it instantly. So I realized that in order for us to achieve or to pull our family or the next generation up we had to create platforms that are easy for kids to stand on. So instead of not leaving anything we can leave you can your hard work, or leave you a network, or leave you the wealth, the land, the business or you can leave a legacy. So for me it became important from early on for even before even having kids to leave something that your kids can be proud of.