How did you start New Skool? How long have you been in business?
I started New Skool after working in the fashion industry as a graphic designer for almost 10 years. When we had our first child I was laid off from my corporate design gig (thank you!). I then started freelancing and building New Skool and it has been 6 long years, but we have been pounding the pavement since and our future seems very promising.
What inspires the New Skool style? We think it is so unique!
Thank you! I grew up in 80's, in Hip Hop's Golden Era. I still paint graffiti murals and teach a graffiti art history and art class at a gallery in downtown San Francisco. I let that and of course my two children influence what I do with
Where do you sell New Skool?
We have a lot of good friends that own boutiques! A lot of our business is still local in the Bay Area but we have a few wholesale accounts across the country and internationally. Our goal is to sell to small neighborhood boutiques and gift shops to keep our brand from being too main stream. We want success but still want to be unique.
What is the story with the headphone design? That is so iconic and synonymous with your brand.
Right on, the headphone graphic is from our very first line! I designed a line with headphones, a microphone and speakers...it was dope. It was my wife's idea to put the headphones "around" the neck. Genius! Thank you honey!
Haven't a lot of people copied your design? How do you feel when that happens? Flattery or Lawsuit?
Hahaha. Well in the fashion industry nothing is sacred! Having a background in fashion prepped me for the vicious cycle of copying from companies that feed off of truly creative artists and designers. Being an artist first allows me to somewhat separate that part of the business, but don't get it twisted. If I see you are biting our style and you are at the same convention or whatever as us...I will talk to you. Like KRS ONE BDP said..."I bet creativity is hard to get!"
I saw you speak at the viewing of Handmade Nation. You gave the audience a lot of good advice people would not normally share. What advice do you have for young designers starting out?
Don't quit your day job. Number one. If you are trying to build a business based upon passion ie: art, design, music, sports, whatever...know it will take a few years and you may have to have a day job to support your passion as it develops into a self sufficient business. I talk with a lot of young designers and artists now and it is the reward from owning a business they might not teach you in business school. Not that I went.