Entrepreneurship is a trait most people in our generation share. Whether it be starting your own music label to starting your own clothing brand, everyone wants something to call their own. When these startups begin, there’s a crab in the barrel mentality. It’s like we’re fighting crumbs when we can be sharing the entire pie. Juan Duran, one of my closest friends and a recent graduate of CSI, sat down with me and echoed those same sentiments as well as how his life after college is going.
How do you feel about looking for work after graduation?
I want to be in streetwear but we need experience in business to help jumpstart the progression. I’m using my next move for the business experience but I still have my connections from Reed Space and Stadium Goods to rely on when I want to jump back into that realm. But I also think people get caught up in the idea that you’ll get a job right away. That’s not the case, you can have a degree but that doesn’t mean anything. Experience is key.
How do you feel about streetwear?
I think there’s a blurred line about what streetwear is. You need to know the core aspects of what streetwear is. There’s mainstream (Kith, tour merch, etc) and then there’s the little guys, the guys that still print tees in their houses. From one perspective, you can live off of this. Back then it was a side hustle, people just wanted to make cool clothes for the squad. But now people can live off of this, it creates jobs. We have a lot of culture vultures/corporate heads in this now that just do it for the money. It depends on how you look at it. But the one thing is that we have the attention of the world but the right people aren’t getting credit for it. People praise certain celebs for starting a trend that wasn’t a trend. It’s new to some people, but doesn’t make it new. People from uptown in the Bronx have been dressing like this for years. People don’t do their research.
Do you think there’s a problem with how streetwear is reported?
That’s one factor but it’s not just that. It depends on who you’re speaking to. There’s people who create the style and people who mimic. Back in the day the way you dressed depicted where you were from. If you were from the upper class, you dressed in high end type of brands and if you were in streetwear you were from the hood. Now we have those lines being blurred where a girl from the hood can be dressed in high end and a guy from the upper class in streetwear.
City Kids, wassup with that?
Now that I’m done with school I can focus on it more. It’s always been my passion. Using everything I learned in school I’m gonna use it for the brand. Our next collection is gonna be about growth. We have a box logo for each collection, this one is gonna be composed of just shapes. When it comes out it’s gonna be dope. We also plan to use our network to grow and help them grow. I want to highlight people who are on the grind to. I think of it like school in a sense. Everyone I plan to work with I consider a part of my graduating class. We’re the new wave so we have to push each other.
How did it start?
Basically, I was a kid in high school that was heavy into the culture. I would spend lunch money on clothes. I would sneak into these events at Reed Space. I would be heavily focused on it. I had all these ideas so in high school I decided to do it myself. Why be a part of someone else’s brand when I can start it myself. I was brainstorming names with my sister as we came up with City Kids because it represents who we are. It’s two words, but connected with the I. It represents the city growing but still staying connected. And we started with our first tee being the city tee and it grew from there. We get support from all over the country and it’s a blessing. We appreciate all the love.
Anything else you wanna say?
You’re never too young to start investing in your future.
Check out City Kids here!
(All photos taken by me.)
Back in the day, a lot of Black people went to church dressed in their “Sunday’s Best.” It was the only time where we had the chance to show out in our best outfits. As the years progressed, we began wearing our best clothes, not only in church, but in other environments, as we encountered a heightened level of social, upward mobility. The idea of what was considered high fashion was beginning to transform – the streetwear preference for suits was soon replaced by a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
#SundaysBest is a photo/interview series where I highlight people who are fly, but also have a unique voice in today’s society. Our generation consists of great people who are the next wave of visionaries, influencers and thinkers, but rarely find an outlet to express their views. This is where they’ll have a chance to do exactly that.
First one drops this Sunday!