Hey everyone! From time to time I will come into contact with some pretty amazing people here in St. Louis and Derron is no different. A St. Louis native his experiences growing up have played a role in his love for fashion and design. He describes his vision as “eccentric and sordid” and makes apparel that exerts an individual’s inner character and commands attention. Garments that are bold, wearable and luxurious are what you will find in his line. Not only are his designs amazing but Derron himself exudes humbleness which I think is a striking quality to have when you’re as talented as he is. I love how he isn’t afraid to go after his dreams and yet supports everyone who is doing the same thing he is. The fact that he also raises awareness for certain issues during his shows is what definitely places him nicely in the category of SnF!
Check out the interview I did with him below!
When did you first discover your passion to be a fashion designer?
I discovered I wanted to design Early in high school. I was a beast with denim, I would destroy, bleach, die, spray paint, stud and patchwork my jeans. I've always been an individual and I wanted to appear that way. I come from a line of seamstresses and tailors. My mom worked for a suiting company doing alterations and freelance work as well. I would always go to work with her and learn as much as I could. I eventually was forced to move with my dad who was less supportive of my desire to design clothes. Later toward my senior year I secretly bought a sewing machine and began researching, sewing was a skill I was desperate to hone.
What is your biggest inspiration?
My fears are my biggest inspirations. I like to find the beauty in the ugly. I design around feelings and fabrics. Things such as death, failure, slavery, equality, and poverty all take part in my final designs. As those fears seem very broad, something about each of them are specific to me and what I pull from those fears evoke beauty.
Becoming a “known” fashion designer can be tough so how have you been able to get people to know about House ov Beeombi? What has been your biggest obastacle?
Mastering branding is the key to exposure. A brand must be solid and consistent, it must also be luring. I've yet to completely master branding, but I'm doing exceptionally well. I stick to my own aesthetics and stay true to the ideals that got me started. I stayed consistent in doing events, maintained professionalism dealing with the public, remained humble and reciprocated the love and support that my city has given me. The hard part about the fashion industry was breaking into it. I came in a game that was already in session. St. Louis had many prominent designers, it was difficult coming into it because I wasn't popular and I was very different. Often times, new things are rejected because they take time getting used to. In addition I didn't have a team of people to boost my brand or assist me in marketing so doing the main work and the leg work was a bit challenging.
Who are some of your favorite designers? Have you worked with any of them?
Locally my favorite designers would have to be Joni Mari Ross and Afton. I love Joni's level of creativity and I learned that she was self-taught which impressed me even more. I also love Afton, designer of Young Addy. She is a beast with knit fabrics, in addition to her crazy color pallet, its so dope and demanding. I must also include Shawn Williams, he was very dope to me. I've never publicly mentioned this, but he inspired me to follow my own dreams. I was always fearful of what people would think of me, in a way, he paved my road by following his own dream, which in turn, forced me to follow my own. On a grand scale I would have to say my number one designer is Alexander McQueen. I see myself in his work so often. The sense of freedom yet the bold Executions speak to me in a very different way. A lot like him, I'm an artist first and designer next.
How would you define your personal style? Is that reflected in the designs you make?
My personal style is either extreme or bland. I don't like attention, so oftentimes; I'm dressed in all black. When I am dressed, I love for my clothes to speak for me. Oddly I dress up for an average day and I dress down for actual fashion shows. Even though people know who I am, I’m much more comfortable in plain clothes. I'm finding that it actually entices people to want to speak with me, partially because they are in awe that I'm a designer.
I love going to fashion shows, they are always so exciting to watch. What has been your favorite fashion show that House ov Beeombi has hosted or been in? What is the most difficult part of putting on a fashion show?
As a designer, I don't take part in anything but design. I have a stylist to take care of everything else and an event coordinator to produce the shows. My favorite show was last December in St. Louis "Antiquity". My entire collection was advent garde and I closed the show. It was special to me because it was inspired by my grandmother who could not live long enough to see my work, with the gift she passed down to me. Out of every show that I've done, I never felt more accomplished until this one. In addition, the spectators were overly impressed and I received so many compliments that it was overwhelming.
As we all know fashion is always changing, how do you stay up to date with it?
Fashion changes daily... As do I. I'm a firm believer in growth, everyday I'm alive, I'm learning and with learning comes change. I stay in tune with fashion by doing what I do every day, exerting my growth. Because I don't appeal to a mass audience, I don't cater to the mass, I cater to my demographic. My demographic is eccentric and exotic, they desire to be seen among the masses, so in turn I do what I feel, which generally goes against the norm.
I find that it is incredibly important to support your local community, how have you helped the city you live in?
I've given back to the community in the best of my abilities. Every show I do is without compensation, the majority of the shows we do are to either raise awareness, or going toward some sort of fund or foundation. Also, I pick important topics to inspire my apparel. Through this execution, I'm not only entertaining my audience, but I'm educating them as well. Lastly I hold myself to a high standard because I'm in the public eye making positive moves. Along the way, without choice, I will be a role model for another individual, with that comes mentoring. I exert positive thoughts and actions so that I'm leading that community of people in a positive direction.
If you could have one dream that could come true for House ov Beeombi what would that be?
If I have one dream come true for House Ov Beeombi it would be that my name is compared amongst the greats such as Coco Channel, Emilio Pucci, Alexander McQueen and etc. In the fashion industry, African Americans have yet to hold a spot comparable to these huge names; I would love to break that barrier.
Do you have any advice that you can give to other fashion designers who are looking to start their own line?
First, I advise up and coming designers trying to establish their own line to love what they do, our job as designers is not an easy one. Second, I would advise them to be themselves. I found that every great designer simply followed their hearts. Third I would advice patients and diligence. Good things never come quick and perseverance pays off. Lastly enjoy the beauty of it. We as designers create and innovate the way the world gets dressed everyday, that's a pretty powerful position.
While House Ov Beeombi doesn’t have a website as of yet his team is currently working persistently to finish it. As for other ways to contact him you can visit his Facebook age House Ov Beeombi and orders can be placed via email at email@example.com.
So do you think Darren has what it takes to be SnF? I think the answer to that question is Y-E-S! Lol
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview I did with him! Check out his amazing designs below!