Cee-Says Underground Market Clothing Co. Is definitely one luxury street brand you need to be on the look out for!
Underground Market Company is a luxury street wear brand that stirred up a big buzz after the lines debut at DC’s Fashion Week. The master mind behind it all, Kenneth, calls his line “An inspiration and reflection of my personal journey”. Kenneth expresses his reason of creating the line due to problems he faced when trying to shop as a male. “As a male I find myself going to malls looking for really hot items at a decent price but I really couldn’t find anything and in comparison I feel like women can go in places like papaya with 150 dollars and come out with half a wardrobe, men don’t necessary have those key options.”
We got an opportunity to dig deep and see Underground Market Co for more than just a t-shirt line but a body of work. Check out the interview highlights below:
On the style Underground Market Clothing Co embodies
“I would say very emotional very aggressive, one of the things I enjoy hearing is “ I love the print but its hard to wear” I love hearing it because it means it takes a certain type of person(a ballsy person) to know how to pair it up. I wanted to be able to cater to people or persons who like to style things so that when they go into a room what they have on moves the room.”
Kenneth has a section of his line that he titled Religio, the original Greek word for religion a ritual way of doing something
On a lot of religion pieces being in his line
“One I’m a Christian but I feel like as Christians sometimes we are misguided souls when it comes to art. I pay homage to my faith its not necessary the direction I’m taking my company.”
On controversy due to the religion pieces
“The controversy that I bumped into was being an artist and some of the pieces I choose to reflect on like the “Crown of Thorns”. I bumped into a situation where someone told me it’s was blasphemy. Sometimes as a public figure you’re forced to react when you hear something like that. My intent was not to mock Christ my intent was to make people acknowledge it.”
On showing Underground Market Clothing Co at DC’s Fashion Week
“It was my first time experience for me as a designer. I believe going into your home environment, I’m originally from DC so I wanted to attack our areas biggest event which is DC fashion week. I wanted to see if I had something that stood out within the genre that I do. Aside from being in luxury street brand/urban brand I wanted to see if I really had something that was worthy of a fashion show. To be accepted and labeled as different meant a lot”
On Underground Market Clothing Co being in Urban Outfitter stores across the U.S
“We recently got in contact with some of the buyers form urban outfitters and they are interested in some of the screen print section.We are in the processes of trying to close that up and so far so good.I like to keep the more artistic ones exclusive for boutiques and internal. You need your essentials,your basic everyday ready to wear t-shirts and urban outfitters was very interested it some of our pieces.”
I told Kenneth what my two favorite pieces are and asked what was the story behind those pieces. I also ask him what is his favorite piece.
My FAVORITE PIECE: “Kill Or Be Killed”
I don’t know what I love more about this piece the design or the real meaning behind it. Kenneth explains this shirt as a reflection of when he was going through hard times, he lost his job and was homeless at a point of time but still kept his head up and kept going.”Kill Or Be Killed a lot of times when people see they associate it with violence and for me it was kill the situation before it kills you”. He uses a photograph depictions of Mulian to represent a situation where someone became known for overcoming a situation, killing the situation before it killed them.
My Second FAVORITE PIECE: “Spanish Harlem”
Kenneth describe this vibrant piece as a dedication to his grandmother that always sung the song “There is a rose in Spanish Harlem”. “recently she started dealing with some health issues. Some people usually do dedication pieces after someone is already gone but I wanted to do one while she was still alive”. How sweet was that!
Kenneth’s Favorite Piece: “Birth Of Venus”
Kenneth shared with us a very touching story that he never shared with anyone on why this is his favorite piece. he explains how losing love ones in his life motivated him to create something that would live longer then he will. “Last year I lost a daughter my favorite piece is very personal even tho what you see is a naked women and shes partially covered. Its How do you draw that emotion and turn it into something positive.The whole “Birth of Venus” persona meaning the birth of something great. I wast given that opportunity to have a daughter so within birthing my own company I built something that if I was to die today it will be recognized and my future kids will be able to have.”
On what legacy he wants Underground Market Clothing Co to leave
“For the younger generation- it was dope, for the artistic side- a beautiful experience and still beautiful to hold on to and from the spiritual side to inspire people and have them believe that IT CAN BE DONE.”
Don’t for a second think that Kenneth is only capable of designing t-shirts
“I’m not limited to t-shirts as a designer its start up for me I’m fully capable of designing dresses ballroom gowns”
Upcoming projects include Lincoln university fashion show, art event to showcase underground artist, and home decor. Underground Market Clothing Co is on the move and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
“I want to be able to show what people feel and say it silently. When you able to draw people in and not have to say anything that’s awesome, you’ve reached the goal of an artist. Allow your work to speak for you.”