Looking back, fashion was never a part of the fabric of my life growing up. I guess when your outfit Monday thru Friday is the school uniform, fashion has little or no meaning in your life. However, I believe in the notion that fashion is more than just articles of clothing put together. Fashion is an art form; an art form of self-expression whether you're expressing something personal, cultural or economic, the clothes we wear reveal more about ourselves than we know.
1996 was the year when my fascination for fashion and t-shirts began. It was the very year, actress Sharon Stone wore a $22.00 Gap tight, long-sleeved, black turtleneck to the Academy Awards causing pandemonium in the fashion industry. At the time, it was slated as the anti-fashion statement of the year. That day was also when I started to pay close attention to fashion and trends.
The years have passed and I have been a witness to many changes in the fashion industry. There is one thing, however, that hasn't changed and it's the stereotypical labels given to a specific style, brand or lifestyle associated with clothing. Although in recent years those stereotypical labels have been cleverly masked by the "High-Low" theory; a theory I have used and one in which I see benefit. However, whether you go the high-low route or a luxury brand, each brand has an identity attached to it. But, high-low fashion accentuates the fact that there is no inclusive brand that gives you a piece of both worlds, an expensive look at a mid-range price.
I have also come to understand that certain styles, brands, and looks have become associated with specific demographics. An example is the the term "urban." "Urban" for many years has had a negative connotation. For years, the term "urban" was associated with baggy pants, oversized hoodies, ethnic (Black) people, the ghetto, living in low-income housing (the projects), rap, the list goes on. I was raised in the Lower East Side of New York City and I grew up in a vibrant and diverse urban environment, one in which I never associated the word "urban" with a class of people or specific look. When I think of "urban" I think of the hustle and bustle of the city; diversity; exploring new neighborhoods; taking advantage of all the activities that are at my finger tips; and working hard to succeed in whatever I choose to do.
After having a successful career in the financial industry as a senior corporate trainer, and with the downturn in the economy, I was forced to switch gears. I decided to pursue my love and passion for fashion. When I founded BlackOutEndeavors LLC, a conceptual development firm focusing on apparel, I knew it had to be a company that developed fashion with a purpose which is why we have Urban FLRT, the company's latest clothing project. It's an urban lifestyle like no other. I strive to redefine the term "urban" and to shatter the notion of high-low fashion. Why can't there be a mid-range brand that offers everything to the fashion conscious individual?
My StoryUrban LivingLiving Well