Meet Edward Ark....
I am pretty sure many of you do not realize how many talented clothing designers we have here in Chicago. In 2012, becoming a clothing designer has possessed a different title than what we remember. The days where a clothing designer was only defined by your sketch book are disappearing. Clothing designing has taken on new meaning. T-shirts & jeans with clever slogans and sayings are what's "trendy" ....and Edward Ark has capitalized off of that trend. After meeting Edward, I must say his story is truly amazing. He started creating his apparel by using reduced priced jeans and t-shirts from clothing stores and attaching his trademark brand to it. He now has his own line of denim jeans for men, unisex T-shirts, jackets and much more. Although Edward Ark Denim Co. has carved out it's own niche, in terms of quality it can easily be compared to other mainstream brands such as Levi, Aeropostale, and Gap. Edward's clothes have been worn by famous rapper Rick Ross, reality star and daughter of Lisa Raye Kai Morae, local Chicago artist CTC and many more. Every article of clothing from the logo, to the t-shirts, to the jeans and even down to the clothing tag is meticulously designed and that is what's selling his customers. With his independent brand being sold in more than 180 stores worldwide, Edward has truly turned his street savvy into business savvy in the world of fashion. He hopes to influence other young men from urban communities and show them that there is not only one way of life. Edward states "I know if they can see I can make it. Like the way Diddy touched me, then I can touch them."
Check out more of my interview and pictures below:
Just Nekia Nichelle: How long have you been designing clothes?
Edward: 8 Years
JNN: Who are your top 3 designers?
Edward: Fashion Geek (from Chicago), Marc Ecko, and Akoo
JNN: What inspires you when you create your designs?
JNN: What about Diddy inspires you?
Edward: When I first saw Diddy do it, I said he is a "rapper" and if he could do it then I know anyone can do it. However, when I got deeper into designing clothes I realized that he had money behind him. I had money behind me too but not the kind of money that Diddy had. The kind where he was actually able to go out and showcase his line at tradeshows and secure accounts with mutlitple clothing stores.
JNN: What are some of the things that you've learned on your journey?
Edward: Relying on people is not good! You know I didn't start securing store accounts until after 5 years of being in business. I was mostly selling my products out of the trunk of my car or in Flee markets.
JNN: What are your plans for 2012?
Edward: In 2012 we have 5 other clothing lines coming out, we are going to do more ladies wear and more fashion fit tees.
I can't wait until I can get my Edward Ark T-Shirt but you can get yours now by visiting http://eajeans.com/