In the previous article, we got to see a bit more behind the Man of M.O.D.E. Andre Thornton not only designs clothes for women, but also for men. Recognizing that he couldn't find clothes that suited his taste, but also fit him well for a man of his size. Before we go into detail about other lines that Mr. Thornton might have in the future, we left off with him speaking about the struggles within the fashion industry.
Has it been a struggle thus far?Andre Thornton CEO/President Street M.O.D.E 22www.StreetMODE22.com
YES it has. Fashion is, in my opinion, by far the most secretive and private industry next to the hair industry to break into. I actually became so frustrated at a point not knowing what to do that I actually paid for a seminar in NYC through a company called Global Purchasing just to get some insight on what to do next. I had already done the obvious, trademark, registered with the state to get a tax I.D. website, social network, even having a few articles of clothing professionally done (samples) and after that I was stuck. So you do what comes natural and that was searching the internet for information and I came across a class called "How to start a clothing line 101." So, I obviously checked the company out as well as the named instructor and everything came back 100 so I paid the required fees and drove from NC to NYC and got some VERY useful information as well as what may have been obvious to others but not so obvious to me. Mercedes Gonzales was the instructors name and she was absolutely wonderful and brutally honest about everything and that is priceless to me. After that I came home and began to break down the information that she gave me apply it. It has been constant upward movement since. What was also a hurdle for me was being new to Raleigh, NC and not knowing anyone. [I had to] find out who were the players here, if any, and connect with them showing them what I have and making things happen that way. I figured the best way to do that was to seek out the models in the area and boy was that a mistake. Being a man in this business just reaching out to models was very difficult because so many others have attempted to do the same only in hopes to dating, being intimate with them, or some other unsavory thing that those ladies wanted no part of. So, I had to find others that would introduce me, somewhat vouching for me, and then be accepted into the circle and that's what I did. Not to mention, being in NC NOT having access to the best fabrics and materials, so you have to travel back and forth to NYC so that also increases your cost... (OMG)
Street M.O.D.E 22 Clothing
We all know that fashion can change daily, how do you plan on keeping up with those changes?
Keeping up with the changes in fashion is a huge part of the business and another hurdle to overcome based on [my] location in Raleigh NC. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful place to live and raise a family and actually has a LOT to offer the fashion world. But, it leaves MUCH to be desired as far as keeping up with constant changes in fashion. There are a few secrets in fashion that most outsiders don't necessarily know exist and one major secret is a great deal of what gets to be popular in high fashion is dictated by what happens on the STREETS. Now that doesn't obviously mean every hood has a say, but as a whole the streets dictate what the flow of fashion will be. For me as a designer, the best indication of that is where I'm from, NJ, and just 20 minutes away is NYC so I make frequent trips back and forth to just get that VIBE that only back home can give me. I can see what are the newest trends, fabrics, colors, styles, are in order to stay ahead of the curb. You also have to be willing to take risks and step out of your comfort zone in order to grow. Not allowing yourself to become stagnant and predictable in what you do. Lastly, just knowing the secret of fashion. What is that you ask? It's a business. There is a pattern in fashion that goes like this. First, the color companies provide there new season of colors that will be popular or trending that year or season, then the fabric companies take that information and start creating the fabrics, then the designers get that information and start designing. Haven't you ever asked yourself why EVERY designer has the same color pallet at the same time? Food for thought!
Currently there are two lines Street M.O.D.E and Street M.O.D.E 22. Tell us a little bit about both.
Well as I stated earlier the lines are as different from one another as identical twins. What does that mean? Well depending on how well you know and study identical twins and really look at them you can clearly tell the difference between them. Street M.O.D.E is an acronym that stands for Struggle to maintain or die easily. The word Struggle is derived from the word street and mode is the Maintain or die easily. Now there are many different modes that you can be in at any time during your day or life. For example you can be in work MODE, play MODE, music MODE, and family MODE, a sexual MODE, or a STREET MODE. Now, depending on how you interpret any of those, what you're wearing is a part of that MODE. That side of the line consists of but not limited to Denim, Velour, Polo shirts, Hoodies, Fleece, etc.
The Twenty2 side of the line is an extension of the first but it's a softer more mature well refined side of fashion. The slogan for that side of the line is "All good things come in 2's." That side of the line will consist of but not limited to Denim, (Woman only) dresses, gowns, slacks, skirts, rompers, suits, etc...
There you have it Street M.O.D.E 22
Are you constantly looking for new ideas when it comes to fashion shows and reaching out to your market?
Correct, but not just via fashion shows only. Focus groups, social networking, face to face interaction, anyway we can to find out what our customers are thinking and wanting. Now, let's be clear when I say no designer can satisfy every need. You have to stay true to yourself in what you do while trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone if that makes sense. All the while with the understanding that this is a business.Street M.O.D.E 22
Will there be any additional lines? You know I am still pushing for that plus size over 12 line right?
Yes there will be additional lines coming as well as a plus size line for the ladies as well as men. That is a very large market that to be honest designers are actually coming around to and Street M.O.D.E 22 will be there just as soon as we can PROMISE!
What advice do you have for those starting out or those with an interest in starting their own line?
My first piece of advice is to remember that the business of fashion is more about business than it is fashion. Second, learn your craft from the ground up. Take an interest in all facets of fashion. The good ones borrow from one another but the GREAT ones steal. Take risks, as well as criticism and compliments and treat them all the same if you can. Don't cry too long over mistakes, network your behind off. Do not be afraid of rejection and be harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be. There is something that only creative people will understand and that is if you ever create anything that turns out perfect in every way don't allow yourself to talk yourself out of what you've done. Work with people that are willing to be honest with you no matter what and lastly... Protect your vision as if it were your own child and by that be careful who you allow around your child. Every smiling face isn't friendly!Street M.O.D.E 22
Where can we purchase the clothing?
For right now you can purchase my clothing online at www.streetmode22.com and or you can contact me on Face Book at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Street-MODE-22-Clothing/83306617904 and see more up to date designs. Place an order and let's do business.
Any final words you wish to give to the readers?
My final words are: The struggle is meant to be overcome for those who want to overcome it. Lastly remember: Street Mode 22 is a fashionable reminder that the spirit of change and revolution never dies.
It just dresses better!
CEO/President Street M.O.D.E 22