Feature, Uncategorized

Skinny man, fat dreams: A spotlight on Chicago creative Desmoney

Sometimes you meet people who are electric. Who are rare and doing things that are not only cool, but important. South side native Desmond Tutu Owusu (Des for short) is building and if you’re smart, you’re paying attention. Des has been lending his fresh perspectives to photography for two years now with a portfolio including Nike, Complex and recently, a children’s book called Too Fly Not To Fly.  

Des

“I was messing around with the iPhone and I was getting better, getting good and Trash (Trashhand) was telling me “Yo, you should make this a serious hobby”. I came by his crib and he let me borrow his (Canon) Mark III for 3-4 weeks and after he saw the shots he told me to really think about getting a camera. I bought my first camera July 2014, a Canon Rebel T5i”.

Des’ photography centers around human interaction and urban settings. He gravitates towards anything concerning life and works at becoming better at his craft constantly. In the two years I’ve seen Des grow as a photographer what he’s gained the most is a confidence in himself.

“I trust my ideas more” he says, “I’m not afraid to make mistakes right now. I’m comfortable with myself and my ideas”.

Through his lens you see an honest and somewhat softer side of Chicago. This can be seen in his work for Too Fly Not To Fly, an alphabet book created by him and writer/teacher Briana McLean. The book is meant to spark discussions for children and help them critically examine issues affecting their lives. Since the release in early June the book has done extremely well, selling out within a few days.

“The reaction we got from a lot of people was that the book was a breath of fresh air,” says Des “the kids felt like stars. We wanted to give them something to be a part of and feel proud of”.
young gifted and black

Des explores the city with his camera and a purpose; unifying a city that is constantly being torn apart.

“We got so much culture here but it’s so fucking segregated. The segregation within the city affects how Chicagoans treat each other. With my photography I want to show people that we’re the same”.

This idea of unification and love shows up not only in his photography, but in his clothing campaigns, including the “Chicago Girls Do It Better” tee that drops today online and in store. Des has worked with his friends Vic, Joe and Terrell in clothing design for quite some time now, each one with their own projects that are unified by the store Fat Tiger Workshop. Since an image of the shirt was posted on social media earlier this week the demand for it has an been insurmountable.

“Chicago women don’t get no love and I feel like we got some dope ass ladies here. This is something to encourage our women. I love them and want them to be the best”.

13502152_10207127196155177_190119757882701937_n

The “Chicago Girls Do It Better” tee will be available online or at Fat Tiger Workshop (1043 W. Grand) today at 12pm central. Follow Des on Twitter @_desmoney for more info.

Standard
Style

Style: “Made in a Chicago Hood”: DBM

It’s been a good year for Chicago-based designer/creative JoeFreshgoods.
His brand DBM (DopeBoyMagic) has been immensely successful not just locally, but all over the world. Joe and his team put in work and as a result he owns one of the strongest street wear brands out right now. Today his fall/winter collection “October ’96” dropped on dopeboymagic.com with a visually stunning lookbook shot by trashhand. Hypebeast described the collection accurately when they stated it “updates the throwback aesthetics for the modern youth”. I wanted to go back a little and see how it all started. In the two years I’ve known Joe I’ve learned that he’s a great guy with a solid work ethic and a love for strawberry lemonade but I wanted to know what inspired DBM and hopefully get a glimpse of what’s to come.

20131105-151741.jpg

According to Joe, DBM was created in 2008 by himself and his friend Vic Lloyd. The two worked at Leaders in Wicker Park and came up with the name DopeBoyMagic as joke. The name stuck. The inspiration behind DBM is 30 years of urban culture and Chicago lifestyle. The goal was to bring the hood to the mainstream fashion world. The first full collection was launched the summer of 2012. Since then the popularity of the brand has grown and Joe has become synonymous with Chicago street wear.
“People identify themselves with the brand” explains Joe, “people see where it has come from and that works in our favor”.
Speaking to Joe now versus the beginning of the summer you can definitely see how he’s grown and how that will translate into his brand. “Some of the pieces are more mature this season. I’m slowly starting to shy away from DopeBoyMagic and move to DBM. We’re trying to reach a bigger audience”.
I think he’s doing a great job at reaching a wider audience while still making the current supporters happy, which isn’t always an easy task. “It’s a learning process everyday” says Joe, “it’s important to stay a few steps ahead of people”.

20131105-150814.jpg

The “October ’96” DBM collection is really something to be proud of. I’m absolutely in love with the flight jacket and the Tommy: No Job hoodie is genius. The entire collection can be seen at dopeboymagic.com and if you live in Chicago you’ll have the opportunity to snag your gear in person soon. Joe has been working on opening his own store and its slated to be ready for Black Friday. All I can tell you is it will be in the Logan Square area and it will be awesome. DBM is definitely a hood success story and I’m so excited to see this brand flourish and leave its mark.

20131105-151835.jpg

Standard
Feature

Feature: Sean Mac x Casket Collection

I had never heard of “cult fashion lux street wear” until I became familiar with Sean Mac and his Casket Collection. The Casket Collection is a brand focused on nothing but the aesthetics; that being the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. I spoke to Sean briefly about his vision for the Casket Collection and what inspired him to take the leap from music to fashion.

Growing up Sean Mac was an inquisitive only child. He was creative and wanted to know about everything; especially fashion.
“At 13 I would take my pants to be tailored” says Sean. Fit and the way clothes feel have always been important to him. The 90’s were a great era for fashion and played an important role in molding Sean’s sense of style. Now, in his early 30’s he feels this is the right time to try his hand at designing.

“I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to be fresh” says Sean,”the line is clean and simple, it’s for all walks of life.”

20130703-204921.jpg

The Casket Summer 13 Collection features street wear staples as well as some pieces inspired by athletics. His grandfather coached sports when he was a kid and Sean thinks “athletics are inspiring when mixed with fashion.” The Summer 13 Collection showcases Sean’s favorite color, black.

“I’m a go-getter and a street nigga” Sean explains, “I wanted to keep the line positive and clean. Black is a powerful/beautiful color. It’s timeless.”

“Black Fog” The Casket Summer 13 Collection runway show is tomorrow from 7pm-10pm. The event is sponsored by Hennessy and you must RSVP to attend.

“People are still trying to understand/see through Casket which is why I called it Black Fog” says Sean. With an appropriate title and a dope collection I’m excited to see the runway show tomorrow evening. I will be walking around snapping photos, say hi!

@Casket33AD
@TheKidSeanMac

20130703-210015.jpg

Standard