David and Gray

David and Gray
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We are a team of two young kids from Burlington, Vermont, that make and share content for the public to watch and enjoy! Our goal is to put other people and Vermont on the map! Any music, videos, or other content promoted on this blog are not owned by us unless stated otherwise. If you own the rights to something that is posted and would like it removed we can take it down promptly. To contact us email us at twokidsfromvermont@gmail.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

David: TKFV Introduction - Jordan Boyea (Interview)

Jordan Boyea. Photo taken by Zack Griswald
I'd like to introduce one of the most important people I have ever met in my entire life, Jordan Boyea, to the readers here at TKFV. I've known this guy ever since I started DJing about 4 years ago, and honestly without him I doubt I would be the person I am today. This dude right here has motivated me to continue to do what I do and do it the best I can. It's good to have someone to look up to.

Just last week we sat down together for TKFV's very first interview, and I'm glad it was him. Get ready though because this is only the first! Get to know Jordan Boyea below:

D: Could you tell us a little about yourself?

J: My name’s Jordan Boyea. I’m 29 years old, and I run a small clothing boutique on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont. I’ve been doing this for about 8 years and I’m also a part of a men’s contemporary clothing brand based out of New York City and Vermont called Create Build Destroy. I do public relations, marketing, and production for the brand.

D: What got you into fashion?

J: There wasn’t really one specific thing that got me into fashion. It wasn’t like I went to school for it. In high school I was an art major but I was very mediocre at art. I was more into the ascetics of music and fashion, and I think that’s what got me started. When I was living on the west coast in California I got introduced to a brand that was up and coming at the time. When I moved back east, I brought the brand back with me and figured I could start a store in Burlington where there wasn’t that genre of clothing in the area. So I decided to open up a store here in Vermont and that’s how I got my start.

D: When was Steez founded and what got you involved in creating this company?

J: Steez was founded in 1997. Then it was only my current business partner’s, Fattie B’s, online business, selling T-shirts and artwork. I didn’t move to Vermont until late 2002. When he saw that I was in touch with these clothing brands that were only available in California, we came together and decided that we’d do art and clothing together in one store. At the time it wasn’t really called “street wear,” but that’s what it’s called now. We kept the name Steez because Fattie already had it incorporated before.

Steez Clothing on 104 Church Street Suite 2A, Burlington, Vermont
D: Tell us a little about Create Build Destroy clothing.

J: Create Build Destroy was a brand that my partner, Alex Hollender, and his cousin started as Create Clothing. They started their company when both were in high school, selling their products locally. They came to me a few seasons into its existence, and pitched this idea to me about how they wanted to expand the business, and change the name to Create Build Destroy. I thought the whole idea behind their business plan was cool, and something I could relate to. I really felt that there was a market here for their clothes, as fashion was changing at that point. They brought me onboard around 2007. We started working together and getting their clothes into magazines, blogs, and some of the best street wear stores in the United States and across the globe. It took off from there and we came to a point where we stopped everything and changed directions and went more in the direction that we all really wanted to go in, which was more contemporary high end fashion. That’s been going on for the last year and it’s doing really well. Right now we have a show room in Italy that shows our stuff with brands like Henry Vibskov, Opening Ceremony, Surface to Air, etcetera. We’re also working with a show room in Scandinavia, selling all over Europe, Japan, and now we’re starting our conquest of the U.S.

D: Why was Create Build Destroy chosen as the name?

J: Within the foundation of an idea lie the seed of its destruction. In order for a creative progression of ideas to occur, one must be able to destroy the laws and codes previously built upon, and create something new. That’s the whole meaning behind Create Build Destroy.

D: What are some of your favorite trends in fashion today and some of your least favorite?

J: I’m not really much for the trends as much as what is appealing at the time and what’s going on both in our society, in music and art, and in different places in the world. Some of my favorite fashions came out of the rise of the dance hall, from 1970’s Jamaican culture, to the emergence of Acid Rock, Punk Rock in the late 1960’s and 70’s, the 1980’s in New York City, to California in the mid 1990’s. That’s where I take from, for it allows me to really gain respect for where fashion has come from in the past, which helps me to be successful at doing it in the future.

D: Where do you see fashion in the future?

J: I would like to see it keep evolving and keep with the idea that it’s not about catching on to the next trend that you see on TV or on some celebrity in a paparazzi shot. I want to get past that and do stuff that has a classic feel. Something that when I’m 45 years old or 50 years old I can look back and say I wasn’t looking like a complete idiot, like what was I doing. Like most people do, you know they look at their pictures from the 80’s or when they were younger and say what was I wearing? I think that’s kind of the appeal for any brand that’s trying to emerge right now in the place we are in history.

D: What’s one of your most memorable moments and/or accomplishments within the fashion industry?

J: Everyday is kind of like a blessing to be able to do what I’m doing. Working for myself, working with likeminded people of all different age groups, and really just surviving off of that in some form of success and the idea that from day to day I help run these two businesses that are both very much respected and a lot of people enjoy what we do and that’s one of the most rewarding parts about this. I don’t really have one specific moment or accomplishment, it’s just cool the people I’ve been able to meet and rub elbows with.

Alex Hollender (Create Build Destroy) and Jordan Boyea. This photo was taken by Gordon Von Steiner and was featured in GQ Magazine's "International Men of Style."
D: What advice would you give young people who are interested in going into fashion?

J: For any young person that’s going into fashion just do what you’re passionate about and truly believe is not just something that’s marketable to the masses. Like don’t go in trying to create the next Tommy Hilfiger or anything like that. Just do what you love and do it to the utmost potential that you can and the success will come with it as long as it’s what you truly love doing. I think there are a lot of people that come out and start T-shirt and clothing brands to catch that trend because it’s what’s considered cool. And there are thousands of clothing companies out there that do hoodies, tee shirts, sweatshirts, and put a little saying on the tee shirt or do a little graphic with headphones and it’s real hit or miss. I think you just have to stay true to what you really love.

D: What have you learned that you can pass on?

J: It’s an industry that you really have to know how to remove yourself from because there’s a hint of this “cool guy” ego that exists in this industry and if you can’t step away from it and come into some form of reality and realize that not everyone is a part of that idea you might get trapped. If you’re going to do it, definitely be ready because it’s very much an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of business. If you want something done to help promote your brand you have to do 7 or 8 favors in hopes that you get that favor back. Especially when you’re just getting started.

D: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

J: I hope I’m still doing what I love. I really try to focus on the day to day and pray that I’m doing the right thing. I always want to make sure that I’m a good business man and I want to make sure that I’m not cutting throats or doing people dirty by any means. As long as I stay focused on the direction I have chosen in my life at the age that I am, I hope that it really pans out and keeps me successful in the future.

D: Any last words before we end this discussion?

J: Growing up I used to always hear people saying, “This is how you’re going to live your life and if you don’t do it you won’t be successful.” And I got this feeling in the bottom of my stomach saying, “Not only do I not agree with you, but I’m going to prove you wrong.” Money was never the issue for me; I never cared about being a millionaire. I just wanted to do what I loved and was passionate about and do it how I saw fit. Like I said I was a very mediocre artist, I can’t play music, I can’t DJ, definitely can’t sing, never tried to rap, never tried to be in a band, like that just wasn’t me. But I wanted to be the spokesperson for that culture and show people that mine wasn’t just some antisocial outcast behavior where you say, “I don’t care what you told me, I’m going to do this, I don’t care, and I’m going to be someone who doesn’t contribute to society.” And I think that was one of the greatest parts about opening Steez because I remember thinking that I wanted to have a TV in here, some sofas and a chair, maybe a PlayStation, and just make it a place where kids can come. I have more to say, if you’d like.

D: Please, continue. I know there are many young people who want to hear what you have to say.

J: OK. Like there is the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club, but Fattie B. and I wanted it for “this” culture. For the kids that loved punk rock, skateboarding, hip hop, crazy art, traveling, and just living day to day. We wanted to build something and look how it panned out. All these young kids that are really amazing, intelligent, talented, and driven come to the store, and don’t hold these attitudes saying, “Well this person over here is disrespectful towards me, telling me that what I’m doing is dumb.” They do what they like to do and do it very well. We were happy to attract that so when these kids came here and felt comfortable and felt like Steez was a place they could call their own. We wanted to reach out to this next generation of kids that are going to be setting these precedents in our society and feed off their energy and feed off of what they are doing and seeing how they’re evolving from young kids to adults.
I believe that the generation of kids today are going to make a difference and not settle on being “ordinary” or contributing to the world in the way you’re “supposed” to be doing it, but really push it to the next level. And it’s inspiring for someone like me because I see a lot of people in my generation that just settled. That sat back and said, “Well I’m going to have some kids and I’m going to get married,” and those are all great things, but they tapped out to the world and to their dreams and said, “This is what I really wanted to do, but unfortunately it didn’t work out so I’m just going to give up.” I don’t see that in the generation of kids today. I don’t think they’re going to concede, they’re not going to give up, they’re going to keep pushing until what they’re passionate about is going to come to fruition and look at it and think this is what I created for myself and not only for myself, but for that next generation.
Just like what we were trying to do with Steez. You’re going to inspire and you’re going to drive people to do the same thing and not give up on your dreams. Why do we have to give up on our dreams? I don’t want to be 45 and act like a 45 year old. I want to be 45 and very much in touch with the pulse of our society and these cultures and these ideas that are being formulated everyday. In the reality of it in terms of why did we do Steez and why am I doing Create Build Destroy, I mean it’s definitely not for the money. I survive, but I will always take this with me whether it lasts for another 8 years or shuts down tomorrow and I have to move in another direction. I will always take this with me and the people that I have met, worked with, and consider family, and just keep building. So, finally, what I can say from my experiences and from my outlook on life as an adult is don’t give up on your dream no matter what it is. If you have a passion, perfect that passion and do it to the fullest potential you can and love it at the same time.

D: Thanks for your time!

J: For sure!

Create.Build.Destroy. Facebook Fanpage
Steez Fanpage

This post will also be featured in my school's paper in November (SBHS Rebel Word)


youdee said...

some of the most inspiring stuff i've read all week

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