EXCLUSIVE: Darkie By People Interview

You can't keep a good Darkie down...so wear it!

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Your brand name is very interesting, what made you come up with such a unique brand name?

Well the brand is owned by two black creatives that are Joburg born and raised, Lovers and Richie Styles. The brand name came up in the streets because that’s how we as black people address each other as “Darkies” because of the color of our skin.  The brands aim is to tell the stories of black people through our apparel.  Steve Biko once said: “Being black is not a matter of pigmentation, being black is a reflection of mental attitude” and those words drive our brand to tell our stories as the youth.

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Briefly tell us about the origins of the brand? Where did the Darkie movement kickstart?

I Lovers established the brand in 2015 and I had two business partners at the time. I had a craving to make my own clothing because I wanted to express my own style through my own fashion brand. Skateboarding and the culture that revolves around that heavily inspire the brand. Supreme is a heavy influencer in the essence of the brand because it has branched out from skateboarding culture to being one of the biggest brands globally. We are also on the quest to first impact skateboarding culture then eventually branch out to other cultures that shape youth culture.

 

This being your fourth year in business, how was your first drop? What items did you release?

We first dropped caps that sold like hot space muffins when I was still back in high school. Every cool kid or anyone who thought was cool had the cap. It started a movement because it was so well received.

 

Every business has its own challenges, what challenges has the brand faced since being established in 2015?

I had two business partners at the time and by the end of 2015 they decided to part ways with the brand. I felt like I took a major L (Loss) but you know how it goes, you cant keep a good Darkie down. I had to go back to the drawing board and rethink the direction that I wanted the brand to take.

 

I like that saying, “you cant keep a good Darkie down”. How did you bounce back after your L?

It was pretty simple, with the two partners dipping I had 100% creative control over the brand and that means I could do whatever I wanted, however I wanted. I thought of a concept called “She brings pain” that was inspired by what I was going through at the time. We released our second drop and because the brand was only exposed to such a niche market, the brand was basically popping at college (Shout out to Vega school) and the streets of my kasi. We dropped hoodies of the “She brings pain” concept in three different colors, black, white and red. I could say that was our first capsule, which was very well received.

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Collaborations are a huge deal in making an idea come to life, because teamwork makes the dream work. Have you been involved in any collaboration projects?

In the last quarter of 2017, a street cool kat by the name of Richie Styles who I met back in the day joined the Darkie brand and started collaborating with me. He brought in such a powerful creative and brand management force that he is now part owner of the brand. With us collaborating we thought we could open up our brand more collaborations because that gives us an opportunity to tap into other markets and industries like Supreme has done so perfectly within the years. One of the collabos we plan on doing is creating our own street team and call it the “Darkie Social Club” where we collaborate with influencers and making them our brand ambassadors that will influence the streets to cop the brand. Our aim with that is to impact the streets one capsule at a time.

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Speaking of upcoming capsules, what do you have in the pipeline?

Mos def we’ll be dropping soon, a capsule called “A bad feeling” will be released on the 14th of Feb. The concept is depicting a bad feeling in the times of old and the current modern times in three different executions. Three different shirts, with three different designs that tell their own stories. This   capsule will depict a “bad feeling” in a way that we view our competitors.

 

Bless bro’s. How can one cop your apparel and handle you on social media?

Lovers Instagram: @theoriginalbastard_

Richie Styles Instagram: @keepyourearsandeyesopen

Darkie instagram: @darkiebypeople

The peeps can DM us on these various platforms to place their orders.

 

Article By Sir Ashley More

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