CEO of Motive Jeans | Musician | All-Purpose Creator
Although you create apparel, talk about your beginning as a pure creative (Music, Production, etc).
I don't really consider myself to be in one lane. I can do art in every form, rather it's making music, designing clothes, or drawing and painting pieces. As a kid, I always used to do art, so this later transitioned into the creation of Motive Jeans.
When I was in college, I was by myself a lot, so I started doing a ton of drawing. This is when I decided that I wanted to work for a clothing line. I started drawing up ideas to give to people in the Detroit-Ohio area, and they weren't budging. I kept getting the run-around when all I really wanted to do was design a t-shirt. If one of these companies allowed me to design one T-shirt, I probably would have never started Motive Jeans with my business partner Jimmy Whispers.
When you started Motive Jeans what were some of you and Bobby Ladan’s (founding designer) goals and dreams for the brand?
With Motive Jeans, we just wanted to merge fashion and music as much as possible amongst our people. With the name, I knew the Jeans part was going to be a part of the brand name (due to my favorite brand, Ralph Lauren Polo Jeans), and then I figured out that everybody has a Motive, so that's how the name came about. With the Monkey Logo, that's not actually our logo. The actual logo is on the Monkey's head-band. There was a guy from L.A. who created the Monkey design that people see, but the Monkey had a full-body, earrings, a blunt in his mouth, and he was holding a gun. So, I told him to cut the body out, take the earrings off, take the blunt out of his mouth, and put a head-band on his head with the Motive Jeans logo. This is how me and Jimmy created the first white T-shirt design for Motive Jeans.
With Bobby Ladan, I was already working with Jimmy, but I needed to link with someone who was making Jeans already. So, after looking around in Detroit, I contacted a rapper named Supakaine and asked him to link me with Bob. I called him, and we linked up at Nocturnal Studios in Southfield, MI. Bob is a real good friend who taught me a lot and he's the go-to person for advice as well.
Rappers such as Supakaine, Perrier Rosewood, Killa Ko and other musically-inclined persons can be seen on social media rocking the Motive Jeans brand. How do you decide on brand ambassadors of Motive Jeans?
We don't have brand ambassadors. We have people around us who genuinely f— with Motive Jeans. Every now and then, we'll reach out to someone to see if they want to work with us, but we typically work with people whom we're familiar with. I do music as well, so I'll be in the studio and I'll give artists T-shirts and apparel to take with them. The same goes for Jimmy.
Detroit is a city that sets the trend for nation and international regions. As the owner of your own company, how do you continuously evolve the Motive Jeans brand?
By working with different people. I'm not one of those people who sticks to just one thing. I'm always up to try out different ideas. But I think the reason why we've been going strong since 2015 is because we don't just sell one piece of apparel. From our Twerk T-shirts and ripped Jeans, to headbands and panties, we have a variety of things to choose from. There's so much to choose from and this is how we’ll continue to stay tapped in.