Who or what inspired you to start your line?
Initially, the spirit of entrepreneurship was given to me from my great grandfather. He owned a tire shop called, ‘Charlie’s Tire Service’. My father would eventually take over the business. So experiencing that fostered my attitude to be an entrepreneur. Regarding fashion and branding, I felt that I could contribute to the apparel arena by celebrating and referencing an era, the 70’s, where love and hope was expressed in its music and the lives of the people during that time.
What inspires ideas for your line?
I find inspiration in my purpose, music (oldies in particular), experiences, amongst a lot of other things. I think life offers inspiration in many ways. It’s up to us to recognize when we are extended these moments, so that they can be used for fuel along our journey.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments as a designer?
I enjoy when people “find” themselves in pieces that I created; when they are able to relate to the message that was intended. It’s one of the greatest feelings of fulfillment to me.
What are some of your short term goals as a line?
Since inception, the goal was always to take the brand around the globe. So creatively finding ways to make operations more efficient, while enhancing the visibility of the brand is a short and long term goal of the company.
How would you describe the meaning of your company?
Rock Paper Denim 1970…Your rock is your source of strength, your morals, values, faith, principles and convictions. It’s who you are, what keeps you planted. Paper is your desired result, goal or where you want to be. The result of being true to your rock. Denim, an element of style, is durable, a quality required to accompany you along the way. It’s a grind, so the ability to endure assists you in getting where you are going. 1970 is a tribute to the year that my parents met, when the story began. It is also an effort to honor the culture of the 70’s where love, peace, attitude and style were in abundance. So essentially it’s a brand that is rooted in music and culture, with a universal approach to achieving progress in life.
What is fashion to you?
It is style. Fashion is an opportunity to express your ideals, beliefs and opinions and to assert yourself as the individual that you say you are.
How would you analyze today’s fashion?
I think there are a lot of designers out there expressing their ideas and I think it’s a wonderful thing. Creativity is a remedy for the ills that we face. We all inspire each other.
If you could collaborate with any designer, who would it be and why?
If I could, I would like to collaborate with Ralph Lauren. I admire that his brand is a staple in American culture, and the world at large. He fashioned his brand to be intertwined in the fabric of everyday life. And how people feel about the Ralph Lauren label and the lifestyle of it is commendable, for lack of a better word.
Three places you can see your clothes?
I would like to see my clothes in drawers, closets and suitcases, all over the world.
Fashion tips for men and women:
I think people look best when they are groomed well, practice good hygiene, select the right shoe and wear a smile, with a positive attitude to match.
Quote used to inspire me:
Yu’ken If’u’wantu (You can if you want to)
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I attended Xavier University of Louisiana and obtained my bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After college, I went on to earn my C.P.A license, while working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte. Shortly after, passion persisted and the rock paper denim was born. It’s challenging but fun. We have been afforded the opportunity to walk on a good amount runways and introduce the brand in different cities.
We have worked with other companies, assisting with their brand’s image and garnered the esteem of everyday common people, businesses and celebrities, which also includes some international exposure. Vision and ambition has contributed to the growth and progression of the brand. We look forward with great anticipation as the story unfolds.