Fashion has long been the ying to music’s yang, so it only seems natural that a music artist is the mastermind behind a brand that embodies the perfect balance of the musicality of modern streetwear with avante-garde flair. Appropriately dubbed Don’t Trip, Ace, one half of the hip hop duo FlareScouts, creates custom high quality pieces that encourages a feel good attitude, originality, and style.
Jonathan McKinnon: You're already doing music, what made you choose fashion as another creative outlet?
Ace: I've always been a very big fan of the fashion game. The fashion game has a staple in you know, subliminally everything. I don't want this to sound silly or be taken the wrong way, but if you walk into a room and you're the freshest person in there, then everyone is going to look at you and listen to what you have to say. That's the way it is and always will be.
What is the name of your clothing line?
It's called "Don't Trip."
Why is it called Don't Trip?
Um, because that's what people do these days, they trip over everything (e.g. relationships, work, etc).
When was Don't Trip established?
Well this year (2016) it pretty much became physical, but around 2 years ago I came up with the basic concept of it.
Describe the look of your clothing line.
It's very street style, with a lot of roots based in the thrift and urban culture.
Where do you draw your inspiration from to design your custom pieces?
I draw my inspiration from everything around me - anything and everything that I feel is dope. I try to take that and apply it to what I'm doing.
Take me through the process of taking pieces from the thrift and revamping and creating something current and unique to your brand.
Well, first I look for just crazy tee shirts with cool graphics, writing, etc. I'll then cut it out and apply it to a pair of jeans, a jacket, or a flannel shirt. Lately I've been primarily focused on flannel shirts. I'm building up on fall and winter flannel shirts as the season approaches. I like to also do a little freehand artwork (sketching, painting, etc) to enhance the pieces further after I add the cut out tee shirt graphic. All of my pieces are one of a kind. If I know you personally or get to know you, then I'll definitely apply that knowledge to the piece to make it more personalized.
Are there any key elements that you carry throughout all your designs?
Yeah, the whole street rugged look. Not too oversized, but just right. I like when your clothes fit because you feel different. It's like they become an extension of you and you feel good. That's what I try to apply to my designed pieces so that they become an extension of who you are.
What do you love most about designing?
The creative freedom aspect of it. Like I said all my pieces are one of a kind, so I get to add something special and different every time. That said, it makes it more of a creative project.
How does music inspire your design process the most?
I like to listen to music when I design. It's more of a tool for zoning and relaxing when I combining pieces together, etc.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is however I feel like that morning or day. It's purely based off of my emotion and partly the weather.
Best style advice you have for men.
It doesn't have to be baggy nor tight, just wear what you feel and feel what you wear.
Where do you envision your brand in the next year or two?
One piece will be in everyone's closet hopefully. You'll be able to actively wear it and be unique since it's a one of a kind piece.
Where will people be able to purchase your clothing once it comes out?
They can purchase Don't Trip clothing from Flarescouts.com merchandise page which is coming soon. A little bit after that we have a Men Of Thrift x Don't Trip collaboration and FlareScouts clothing coming out.
An explorer of men's fashion with inquisitive eyes, born and raised in Lakeview, Long Island. My inspiration comes from nature, city streets and the world wide web. Catch me in a local thrift or consignment store near you.
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