Archive for Fashion Interviews

Sergio + James Interview x ToArtC.com

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , on June 11, 2011 by James Field

1] TELL ME ABOUT THE SHOW THAT YOU GENTS DO AND HOW IT WAS CREATED, WHY, AND WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR IT ?

JF: The Sergio + James web series spawned from a mutual decision to create a live and exciting outlet to discuss and appreciate all things creative. It was also in a sense a marketing tool for our brand.

2] HOW DID YOU TWO MEET? AND WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF ONE ANOTHER?

SW: Oddly enough, we were introduced through womenswear designer Ellie Owen and we’ve been pretty tight ever since.

3] WHAT ARE YOUR LIVES LIKE IN NYC?

SW: New York is the home of the hustle, and there is absolutely no substitute for the hustle. Therefore we do so in order to succeed in specific areas of our lives.

JF: New York City is a very intense place. Everything is big and bold here, and I feel like if you going to make it, you should be the same. Its been great living in New York, its made me way more tough and savvy with life decisions. That’s why it’s the perfect place to launch Sergio + James.

4] WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? OR INDIVIDUALLY?

SW: Success will always be the ultimate goal. If we ever stop aiming for it, then we might as well stop what we’re doing. I, personally see whatever we do becoming a legitimate lifestyle.

JF: Of course I wish nothing but the best for our brand and I know that it will flourish and grow into something larger than life one day with lots of hard work. However I have many personal career goals I wish to achieve as well, top among them will be the launch of my own Fashion Publication, an art gallery, and a prominent Public Relations company.

5] WHAT MOTIVATES YOU GUYS DAY TO DAY?

SW: My peers will always be constant motivation.

JF: My family

6] WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES TO BE GREAT?

SW: When I see how incredible our legends are, I have no choice but to choose the same journey. [Not that I can compare myself to him] When I think about how much Karl Lagerfeld accomplishes in one day, I immediately feel behind and kick my mind into overdrive.

JF: I believe the pure passion and strive to succeed is a strong influence in itself. I also take note to many of my personal icons of inspiration such as Daphne Guinness, Tom Ford and Kelly Cutrone to name a few.

7] WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS IN THE A.M.?

SW: Once I express my gratitude for another day, I normally rethink all the ideas that put me to sleep the night before. Then naturally, the wardrobe always pops up between breakfast and how much time I have left before I’m late.

JF: First I think about how hungry I am, and after that what I will wear for the day. My mind is very blank in the morning; I don’t like to be bothered. I was the one to have a mean look on my face and sunglasses at the table when breakfast was served at my family home.

8] AT WHAT TIME IN LIFE DID YOU GUYS START SAYING ” THIS IS WHAT I WAS MADE TO DO I WILL DO THIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE , AND WHAT WAS IT?

SW: Studying in London under Michael Azu was my point of realization. I was surrounded by fashion students who were only there for simply the title, Azu made me realize that I was actually “playing to win”, and that I actually had what it takes to reach a point of achievement.

JF: Volunteering for my first Fashion Week show for the designer Kati Stern. I was so awe-struck by the wonderment of it all and yet I was more attracted to the business side of it. I wanted my own brand, I wasn’t sure what type, but I knew I wanted to be in the Fashion industry and make big a wave, not just a splash.

9] WHATS IS ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE BY?

SW: “If a human dares to be bigger than the condition to which he or she was born in, than so can you.” – Maya Angelou.

JF: “Fortune favors the bold” – Roman poet, Virgil

10] WHAT INTERVIEW SESSION HAVE YOU HAD ON YOUR COUCH THAT WAS UNFORGETTABLE?

SW: Everyone we’ve had so far has brought brilliant energy to the orange couch, but if I had to choose, it would have to be Glenn J. Dodd. He’s such a conversationalist and made me think. Anyone that possesses such a quality is good in my book.

JF: I would agree that all of our guest possessed such a strong charisma and charm, I loved having all of them.

11] WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR UP AND COMING CREATORS?

SW: Never abandon your dreams on the account of those who don’t believe in you.

JF: Never take NO for an answer and choose who you associate yourself with, because not everyone is out to help you. Trust your gut instincts, learn from your mistakes, and laugh, laugh a lot with close friends. Finally, stay grounded.

Stay tuned for the  Sergio James Spring 2012 Introduction Collection.

 

Special thanks to Chan Rock!

Visit ToArtC.com

Interview With Men’s Fashion Enthusiast James Field Of T.B.N

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by James Field

Blank Label Blog

Interview by Danny Wong
 
When browsing the web for interesting, men’s fashion related blogs, I ran into The Black Nouveau, and since have developed an awesome relationship with it’s Editor, James Field – student, fashionisto, and writer. I found him to be an interesting young guy with an incredible future ahead of him so I thought to feature him while he still had time for our men’s fashion blog before he becomes head editor at GQ and decides he doesn’t have time for Blank Label anymore. Here are a few questions I asked just to get an idea of where his head is at.
-How’d you develop an interest in fashion? What about fashion is so intriguing for you?
 
I believe it all started at a very early age, my grandfather and my grandmother were and still are very snazzy dressers and being around them when I was younger really sparked my interest. My grandfather used to have these really cool pipes that he would hold while wearing three-piece tweed suits and brown wingtip Oxford’s, his style was so English and classic and it showed me how to put fabrics and colors together. My grandmother was also a very classy women and she would wear these beautiful summer dresses and big hats and the best pearls. Watching them and studying there style was a big influence on my own personal style growing up. I believe fashion is a true reflection of individualism and originality, who wants to look like the next person walking down the street? We all want to be unique and special, that’s why we buy what we buy, and I love fashion for that. The ability to be anyone you want to be simply by wearing a piece of clothing.
 
-So you are still a student aspiring to be a Head Fashion Editor and now you are the sole writer for “The Black Nouveau.” What inspired you to start the blog?
 
Yes, my goal is to become the Fashion Editor for my own publication one day, and as for the blog it was quite random in its creation. I just had a lot of ideas as far as writing about fashion goes and I wanted to share them with others. I wrote briefly for an online lifestyle magazine in New York and became interested in writing and publishing, thus the blog was born.
 
-What are your next few steps in life? Thoughts for the 1-3 year game plan?
 
The top priority for me is to finish my schooling, and to graduate with my Bachelors in Marketing. I really enjoy blogging, and so far the responses I have been getting are so positive, I would really like to see where I may end up with it, and hopes that it will become a Magazine are definitely in the back of my mind. But I’m not rushing, I like the way things have gone with it and I expect the future to be very bright.
My hopes are high for this aspiring fashion editor.
 
James, thanks for your time and we hope you’ll still be a supporter of men’s dress shirts online when you’re rubbing noses with celebrities and fashion extraordinaries.
Cheers,
Danny Wong

Thank you so much to Danny Wong of theBlank Label Blog for this interview.
 
James

T.B.N Interviews: Danny Wong

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by James Field

Mens Fashion these days is becoming increasingly revolutionary and groundbreaking, with new silhouettes from designers such as Thom Browne and Phillip Lim, to the re-invention of stodgy english dress shoes, courtesy of Barker Black. Today we interview Danny Wong of Blank-Label.com, a Boston-based online mens clothing company, specializing in customizable and affordably cool mens design-it-yourself dress shirts. We ask Danny about his goals, inspirations and the Blank-Label customer, and how he feels mens fashion is truly changing.

Danny Wong Of Blank-Label.com

Danny Wong Of Blank-Label.com

T.B.N: So Danny, Blank-Label.com is your online men’s clothing shop, what drove you to create it?

Danny: Well, it all began with my love for fashion. I used to be a big street wear person when I first started my interest in fashion and style, and I used to rip holes into and splash paint on my jeans, and create designs for t-shirts. I was a Do It Yourself kinda guy. This year, I came upon Fan Bi, Blank Label’s CEO, who had an interesting opportunity at the company, which was selling custom men’s corporatewear at the time. I thought the concept was intriguing enough that I jumped on-board. Ultimately, the idea of selling custom suits and dress shirts wasn’t sexy enough for the company to continue moving forward. So Fan and I co-founded a new business, which is still known as Blank Label, but this time around we were producing custom men’s dress shirts. We fell in love with the idea of providing a custom product that was about customizing your own style. We created it because Fan and I consider ourselves trendy males, who are tired of paying overpriced “designers” to create shirts that we might not even like, or shirts that we kind of like, but notice there is one unbearable detail about the shirt that just ruins the whole piece! Blank Label solves the problem pain of going into a store and never finding something you like, or finding something you like, with that one detail missing. Another problem we wanted to solve for consumers was finding the RIGHT SIZE. With our online custom dress shirt shop, you can get the size YOU want, because every piece of product is individually made, never mass-produced, and we will ALWAYS have your size.

T.B.N: What do you love most about men’s fashion?

Danny: I love how simply complex it is. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s the best way to describe how amazing men’s fashion is! We don’t have as many crazy styles as women do, but we can amend very small details in our outfits to make them more exciting, more different.

T.B.N: What do you love most about what you do?

Danny: What I love most about what I do is being able to really affect an organization. I carry an anti-corporate sentiment in that I would rather be an entrepreneur and be an under 25 top-ranking officer in an organization over starting entry-level at a corporation and working 7 long years to climb the corporate ladder, before I can actually make a difference. I love having the power to make decisions, to be part of the decision-making process with my team members, and to see the fruits AND the horrors of my decisions. The positive results I create are certainly fulfilling, but I always learn the most from the terrible decisions I make, which provides for a steeper learning curve, allowing me to have exponential growth as a professional and a worker.

T.B.N: What or who motivates you?

Danny: What motivates me is the passion I have for Blank Label. I have adopted the business as my baby, and am giving my all to nurture it and watch it develop. I get out of it what I put into it, and the results are always 10-fold, even if the results do not come in the form of a heavy paycheck. What motivates me every day is being able to do something amazing with amazing people.

T.B.N: What was the hardest part about starting your label?

Danny: The hardest part about starting Blank Label was finding a great team to support the brand. Sure, we can have a great idea and a great business model, but ultimately, it comes down to execution. How can we get it done? Who can get it done for us? Finding the right people was hard, but we are confident we have a strong enough team to carry us through the new journey Blank Label is on.

T.B.N: What’s you favorite decade of men’s fashion?

Danny: I definitely have to say the 1960’s. Hippie fashion was AMAZING and revolutionary. Their style was one way of going against traditional conventions, and that’s what I’m all about: breaking rules, having no remorse, and just being a leader, especially in fashion.

T.B.N: Where is Blank Label based?

Danny: We are based right outside of Boston; our office is currently located in Wellesley, which is only 20 minutes from the city. Originally we spawned from Sydney, Australia and then set-up satellite offices in Boston and Atlanta, but are now only based in Boston.

T.B.N: Who is the Blank Label customer?

Danny: A trendy, fashionable male. He’s the guy that likes to look stylish and be his OWN person. He’s a trend setter, not a follower. He is creative with outfits, and sometimes likes to break conventions. Ultimately, I would identify our consumer as an Urban Outfitters, H&M, Zara, American Apparel shopper. Our consumer fits several profiles. He can be the guy with the cropped pants and boat shoes, the guy with skinny jeans and loafers, or the guy with straight leg ripped jeans and sneakers. He is a guy that cares about the clothes that he buys and certainly does NOT dress in the dark. He has a great appreciation that expensive does not necessarily mean fashionable, but can admire a nice leather messenger bag.

T.B.N: How do you separate your brand from other brands?

Danny: Blank Label is different from other brands because we really connect with our consumer. We’re a small business and are open to talking to our loyal customers. We’ve got a Twitter account and Facebook page if you don’t believe it! We won’t forward you to an offshore call center or create a robot to be able to properly respond to you. Also, we are the consumer that we are selling to. We shop at the same places you do, dress similarly, and style ourselves in ways that show our uniqueness.

T.B.N: What advice would you give future entrepreneurs and business owners?

Danny: Have the risk-tolerance to fight through the bad times to get to the good. But when the bad times come back around, don’t lose your cool and wimp out. Being an entrepreneur certainly doesn’t mean “getting rich quick and easy” or having an awesome business that just continues to see positive growth. Being an entrepreneur means long nights (it’s 4am right now as I am responding to these questions), hard mornings (I will be getting up in a few hours, if I decide to go to bed at all), and having hard brick walls constantly getting in the way. To be an entrepreneur you have to really have passion for what you are doing because if you don’t, then you won’t be successful. That’s one virtue in life and entrepreneurship. You cannot be truly successful at something if you are not truly passionate about it. Note that success is not measured in dollar ($) figures either.

T.B.N: Finally, in 5 years time what does the future look like for Blank-Label.com?

Danny: The future seems positive! 5 years is certainly a long time from now, especially since we are only a 1 year old company. But prospects for the future are confidential at the moment (sorry!), and they are certainly unclear as well. Who knows? Maybe we will get acquired by Limited Brands, which owns stores like Express and Victoria’s Secret. Or perhaps we will acquire the retail giant H&M. Who knows? (Acquiring H&M is a lofty goal, we know!)

Lastly, please feel free to check out Blank Label’s website now to get 20% off your first purchase by signing up before they officially launch on Oct 30th! Then stay tuned for their new website launch on Oct 30th, which will include a customizable dress shirt application which will allow you to design your own dress shirt.

You can find a few of Danny Wong’s fashion musings on Blank Label’s Men’s Fashion Blog and he can be reached via Twitter at @dannywong1190.

Thank you so much for your time Danny.

By: James Field for The Black Nouveau

T.B.N Interviews: Okera Banks

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by James Field

 

The world of fashion is an ever growing bubble of style, glamour and art, and within that bubble are many parts. From photography and modeling to editing and buying, the list goes on, but one part in particular is of great importance to me, styling. Having such an obsession with fashion and style it was only inevitable that The Black Nouveau would interview a dynamic, intelligent and beautiful Celebrity stylist, Ms. Okera Banks.

Celebrity Stylist / Okera Banks

Celebrity Stylist / Okera Banks

 T.B.N: Being a celebrity fashion stylist is without a doubt a glamorous job to have, what do you love most about it?

Okera: What I love most about my job as a celebrity fashion stylist is when my client and I walk away excited and in love with the final look and they get wonderful reviews.  It is like a HUGE A+ for me.

T.B.N: What drove you to become a stylist? What drove me to become a stylist… Hmm, insanity LOL! I’m just playing. Seriously, it’s my passion for fashion, art and life. Fashion is an artistic expression of feeling and what is life without feeling?– especially when you’re feeling and looking really good.

T.B.N: Working with celebrity clients and working on television series probably has its perks, but what are the hardest things about it? 

Okera: I would have to say the most challenging moment for me is staying true to my creative eye and what I know is an amazing look for the particular event, while making sure I give my celebrity client confidence, security and comfort.  When it comes to television, things are a little more challenging because, as a stylist, you still want to stay true to your creativity, provide the celeb client with comfort and confidence, plus you need to make sure the executive producers and the network are happy with the styling of the character for this particular show.

T.B.N: For all of the aspiring fashion stylist’s out there, what advice would you give them on their pursuit of this field of work?

Okera: Work very very hard, don’t become overly anxious to dress anyone, build great relationships with all designers, keep your word in this business because the circle is very small, take care and be very responsible with the clothing you are pulling and returning, don’t steal for yourself or anyone (it is not worth it at all), and remember that even though it’s fashion, it’s still a business and you should conduct yourself as a business person (with flare).

T.B.N: Being a fashion student I get a familiar tingling when Fashion Week rolls around, is that time of the year busy for you? 

Okera: Fashion week is an exciting and important week for fashion.  However, it differs depending on your practice within the business.  If you’re a stylist in the editorial world for a high fashion magazine, then yes it is crazy for you.  If you’re checking out the shows and ordering at the same time, yes it’s crazy.  If you’re shopping for a client and checking your options for award seasons, then as a stylist your plate is moderate. Although, fashion week itself is fast-paced because of the energy and hopping from one show to the next.

T.B.N: What inspires your work? 

Okera: My inspiration comes from quiet a few things: history of costume, history of art, architecture and people. 

T.B.N: Your based in Los Angeles? What are the clients there like there compared to New York clients? 

Okera: I’m  based in Los Angeles and have spent time working in New York and I have to say that there’s not much difference in clientele, because your client could be bi-coastal and live in both states.  What I can say is that, New York sets the tone for what is hot and LA makes it fun and trendy.

T.B.N: What are your dreams and goals for your career? 

Okera: To leave a legacy of my work and my contribution to fashion, in one way or another.

T.B.N: Finally, 5 years from now where do you see yourself?  In five years, I see myself happy with a healthy wonderful family, a published book, clothing line and a hot television show.

The Black Nouveau sincerely thanks,

Celebrity Stylist, Okera Banks &

Joy Donell of 720 PR Beverley Hills, California.

By: James Field / The Black Nouveau

T.B.N Interviews: David Jon Acosta

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by James Field

The passion, drive and tenacity of young talent is truly inspirational. I love to meet young musicians, designer and artist who have a true identity and are working hard to accomplish their dreams. The Black Nouveau interviews David Jon Acosta of GoldSaturn.com on his cool designs, being a Miami native and the goals of this new young talent.

David Jon Acosta / Designer of Gold Saturn

David Jon Acosta / Designer of Gold Saturn

 T.B.N: So David, what inspired you to create Gold Saturn?

 David: Well it was an accident. I was working at a 9-5 and found myself bored all the time. I began doodling on Photoshop and created a few graphics I thought would be sick on a T-shirt. That’s how it all started…

T.B.N: Your Tee designs are so whimsical and fun, what was your favorite creation and why?

David: My favorite creation is… it’s so hard! It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. The “Prescription for Peace” is definitely my claim to fame.

T.B.N: You’re based out of Miami, America’s sexiest city, what is the Gold Saturn customer like?

David: The Gold Saturn customer is the kind of girl or guy that you see across the room and you want to get to know. My T-shirts are definitely conversation starters, and they are not for the wall flower.

T.B.N: What do you love about fashion?

David: I love the art of it. I love graphic designs and I love fashion even more, so I think that Gold Saturn is the perfect mesh of the two worlds that I adore.

T.B.N: Are you originally from Miami?

David: I was born in New Jersey and moved here when I was very young. I love Jersey but its like R&B music, I like it but I don’t want to be around it.

T.B.N: At only 24 years old, you have such a head start on becoming a successful designer, what are some of your goals in the near future?

David: I am not easily satisfied. I want my T-shirt’s on the cover a magazine. I want Gold Saturn to be available at Barneys. And I want an Olsen twin in one of my T-shirts. Until then I’m completely unsatisfied.

T.B.N: Do you see more items such as pants, jackets, dresses etc, evolving from your Gold Saturn label?

David: Yes definitely. I just started doing dresses. I’ve always done headpieces. I would love to branch out and do tote bags, beach towels, rompers, jumpsuits, hoodies, and little pouches to store your marijuana. I know what kids my age need.

T.B.N: Finally, what do you hope to accomplish with your Gold Star brand?

David: Everything.

The Black Nouveau sincerely thanks David Jon Acosta for his time.

By: James Field / The Black Nouveau

Check out David’s latest Collections at www.GoldSaturn.com