12 Jul 2020
“I do, and I don’t. As the owner of the company, I am actually never not working but I always make sure that I make the most of my downtime."
“Not right now, I am always on my toes waiting to take the next leap. Doing nothing makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel as if I’m doing something wrong as I am convinced that being stagnant means no progress. I’m always hard on myself to do better or to do more. I blame it on my ego. I have yet to find an answer to that.”
“I would love to be the new G-Star. Not aesthetically, but the size and international name they’ve built is unprecedented in the Netherlands. I aspire to reach similar status."
“Growing up I was told that only hard work gets you far in life. Nothing else. My family and I moved from Somalia to a small village in the Netherlands and I had to adapt rather quickly. With how the education system is set up here, I knew that I didn’t want anyone else to determine my future for me like the majority of the kids that I grew up with. I needed to prove to myself and my family that the move was worth it.”
“Growing up I have worked part-time in various fashion retail stores. I vividly remember the day I realized that I had all the tools to create my own brand. Keep in mind, this is pre-internet and the only resources you had were the ones you heard via friends or saw with your own eyes. I was obsessed with everything and anything to do with fashion.”
“Yes, my actual studies had nothing to do with fashion. In fact, I graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a master degree in Communication Science. During my studies I was working part-time at a shop called 1store in Amsterdam, where I came in contact with the VP of Menswear at Tommy Hilfiger. I had a good connection with him so upon graduating I applied for a job at the Marketing department. He advised that design would be a better fit than marketing knowing a bit of my background. I ended up working there for almost 3 years. ”
“When I started the company the market was already saturated with commercial denim brands with heavy vintage influence. I wanted to bring to the market something more modern and different. Within the last decade the market had shifted from being denim focused to a mix and match of different fabrics. We also realized that to gain a bigger audience you need recognizable graphics. It so happens to be that graphics work better in non-denim products.”
“Streetwear is such a generalized term now. I am under the influence that it means something else than what I stand for as it is so vague.”
“Yeah, but nowadays that doesn’t necessarily make it streetwear, does it?. It all depends on how you execute it.”
“Hard! I’m very difficult to work with. When I have an idea ( even in the middle of the night), I often want it executed immediately. I often forget that not everyone’s brain is on work mode, even in their sleep. I am fortunate to have a dedicated team and business partner who still enjoys working with me (hahah let's hope this is still true).”
“I make sure my internal battery is charged (mind and body) at all times making sure that I don’t lose sight of the end goal and whatever it takes to get there.”
“It is a good collaboration if both parties are able to utilize their strengths to create a cohesive product. It is fun to see unexpected combinations come together.”
“I was in talks with someone from Het Parool, a local Dutch newspaper, about having a monthly column discussing relevant topics. That didn’t happen, so we decided to do it on our own platform instead.”
“Surprisingly awesome! It sparked interesting conversations between the consumer and myself and it even allowed us to built a personal relationship with our audience.”
“PEOPLE aka CITIZENS. With everything that is going on in the world, people from all different ages and backgrounds are coming together for equality and fighting for a better future.”