Bryden: Hello Jamaal! Thank you for your time doing an interview with us. Could you tell us more about The Dweeb Lifestyle Co. and your inspirations behind it?
Nash: The DWEEB Lifestyle Co. was started as a t-shirt brand when I attended university. I have always been interested in apparel design; however, I lacked formal education in this area so I did not believe it was possible to start a brand until I learned of streetwear brands in 2008. I’m inspired by traditional menswear, but I like to add my own special touches to give my own take on classic silhouettes.
Who is your main target audience?
I am starting another brand to target contemporary and luxury buyers; however, the target of this brand is young men and women age 18 – 30.
When was The Dweeb Lifestyle Co. founded and what were some of the difficulties you’ve faced getting started?
As a new brand, I imagine things are always tough to get started. The first difficulty was lack of knowledge since I had no experience in apparel design or production. Lack of funding, determining which styles to produce, marketing and promoting the brand were some of the difficulties too. Also, protecting your intellectual property (logos, trademarks, etc.) is also difficult.
I am a procurement/acquisitions professional by trade, but I have always had an interest in apparel design. My father owned a boutique when I was young and I’ve been infatuated with the industry since I got to attend my first Magic trade show to help him buy for his store.
What are your plans for the brand in the future?
My future plans include smaller collections until I can open my first retail location. I also plan to incorporate more accessories, including housewares, into my product offering. Also, I would like to begin offering a selected assortment of garments for young women.
What advice would you give to others who want to be in this industry or aspire to be a designer?
My advice to aspiring designers would be following your passion, be original and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take risks. I’ve made lots of mistakes, some of them very costly, but they all have provided invaluable experience.
What do you think of the current fashion industry and the future of fashion in California?
I cannot speak regarding California specifically, because I live in Washington, DC. However, I think the industry as a whole (in the U.S.) is getting better. Lots of smaller brands seem to have more opportunities to compete with well-established brands for consumer attention. It’s also great because recently some small brands and stores are moving away from the strict, seasonal buying cycle that has been in place for decades. This means that you have more liberty to release garments when you want to release them.
Share with us how your experience was like working with BRYDEN and how we can improve our products/services (if any).
Donovan and Kai are amazing to work with. They are excellent communicators and have always kept me in the loop. They also have responded very well to my special requests. They have been amazing business partners and I am truly fortunate to be working with them.