Tell us about the space. How long have you been here?
I got this office almost ten years into doing 10.Deep. Actually, nine exactly. Before, I was just working out of my house. I got a spot in Dumbo (Brooklyn) because at that time it felt like the SoHo I grew up in. I liked that feeling. It was all artists really – lots of creative people living by the seat of their pants. There wasn’t a lot going on, kind of desolate, lots of graffiti all over the place… it was dirty. I just liked that, it was the New York I grew up in. It’s just the energy that I fed off of and wanted to be around.
Do you still feel the same way about the neighborhood?
….. No, its changing a lot. Now it feels like SoHo 15 years ago. It’s cleaning up. I mean it’s interesting, but most of the artists are gone. This building used to be all artists living here illegally, now it’s tech companies and architecture firms. There are still a lot of creatives here I guess, it’s just more business minded.
Tell us about your work process. Do you feed of of the office space?
I do a lot of stuff at home. I find that as 10.Deep has gotten bigger, I unfortunately can’t be as creative. Sometimes it’s hard to get 5 minutes to myself. These days, when I really get rocking, it’s usually after 8 o’clock when everybody is gone. From 8:00-12:00 PM I’ll kill it. Or I wake up in the morning before work and I’m usually on my computer around 7:45 AM and I’ll work for an hour and I’ll get an idea there. Then I can finish it up in the office. I need space to get into my own creative zone.
Tell us about your design inspiration and process.
I think that when I’m designing at my best I’m not inspired by anything out in the world. It’s usually an internal inspiration. And when I’m at my worst – I don’t know what to do and need to go out and be inspired and look at other stuff.
I think most of the time when I’m designing, I’m looking to recreate an idea. Let’s say ‘90s Nautica – we should do stuff that feels like that – but the way I remember ‘90s Nautica or Polo is nothing like it actually was. It’s like my fantasy of what that stuff was like, and that’s what I end up designing. I think what I end up making is what I think it should have looked like.
It’s said that creatives have messy desks…
Ya. My desk it usually a mess, because I have tunnel vision. I only see whatever it is I’m thinking about or working on, and really everything else disappears, and gets cast aside. Every once in a while I’m able to take a step back and say “holy shit” my desk is a mess. This is embarrassing, I need to clean up.
Who do you design for? Has this changed over the years?
Im trying to speak to the type of people I grew up around which was mixed – racially, economically, whatever. Over time, I’m designing for different people because I’m always trying to design for myself. You know, like my younger self. 20 years old – what would I be wearing? What would I be interested in? But I also design with the people around me in mind. I think of the people around me that have some of the style that is parallel to what the brand does. What would I put that person in? I think about everyone that works here. I think I’m mostly designing for 20-something year old me right now.
We know 10.Deep is a big supporter of new music. What role does music play in your design process?
Music has always provided the gasoline for my design I’d say. It’s the same way people listen to music to get pumped up to do whatever they need to do. Usually it’s a motivator, but sometimes it serves as an inspiration — in the past, not so much now. Usually if I’m listening to music it’s supporting whatever mood that I’m looking to be in, and whatever mood I’m looking to be in something I’ll reflect when I design.
What are you all listening too around the office right now?
We were “trapped out” for a good year and a half. All Atlanta stuff. I think we’ve come out of that hole. I’m re-broadening what I’m listening to. I do a lot of stumbling around on Soundcloud, checking out new young producers and rappers – I don’t really know how to describe the music. G h o u l s did a mix for us that I’ve been playing non-stop. There are a lot of new kids I’ve been listening to a lot – ANDRU, some new stuff Ice Edwards has coming out, Sango, Drip 133, Lord Byron, Robb Bank$, Ratking… That and a lot of random, old classic stuff: 60-70’s blues, and late 90’s electronic stuff, early eighties grime, it’s been pretty random.
What’s next? We’ve heard rumors of a shop.
Yeah it looks like this is going to be the year for a store, whether I like it or not. Most of my upcoming goals are about creating a space that reflects and supports the brand. This means completing this showroom, redesigning the office space, and putting the store together. They’ve been things I’ve ignored because I was fully focussed on the apparel, but now it’s time.