I met SB sometime late last year, when some friends and I were at a dive in Pasadena. Here he was passing out stickers that read “ESBE Clothing” to everyone he encountered. We got to talking about his brand, about my brand, and a friendship began. Then while I was working at Soul Assassins and the promo for Paid Dues started to trickle in, I saw Planet Asia wearing an ESBE hoodie. I talked to SB about it, and knew that in some ways, we marketed our endeavors similarly – through music.
When/how did ESBE Clothing get started?
In 2008. With my artistic background, I began designing t-shirts for friends and family, and discovered that I wanted to branch out and do this for the consumer. With the assistance of my co-partners, Jameel Winbush and Isaac Andrade, we envisioned this was an opportunity to put the ESBE name out there while making a profit at the same time.
Are you headquartered in LA?
Yes, we are headquartered here in Los Angeles as well as a small distribution center in Newark, New Jersey.
Do you think LA is a fit city for an upcoming clothing line?
LA is one of the meccas of fashion. It’s a huge city with many cultures and unique styles. ESBE clothing stands behind cultural expression and I believe that my line will be successful here in LA.
What is the lifestyle that ESBE Clothing is trying to project?
E.S.B.E. means Each Step Becomes Elevated. What this mean is that we have goals in life and by taking steps to complete them, we move on to the next which brings us closer to reaching our ultimate goal we set to achieve. We started the ESBE Project to foster positive mindsets to better ourselves and elevate others to reach their goals.
Is 86 Clothing the first store that will carry your line?
Yes, it is the first. We are honored to have an in store launch party tonight to display new designs with General Monks (Planet Asia and TriState). We will also be promoting the limited edition General Monks t-shirt.
What other artists are you working with?
We have worked with Raekwon - The Chef. We got linked up through my co-partner Isaac’s mother, Sister Asia who is Raekwon’s personal assistant. He has been a big supporter of ESBE Clothing. We are also working with Planet Asia - Gold Chain Military. Through networking and being big fans of his music, we were able to link up with them. What attracted me to them was their hustle and grind in the industry which is true to my beliefs, and ultimately leads us to helping brand each other’s name.
Other artists I have been blessed to work with are: RasKass, DJ Woool, Ruste Juxx, Def Down Records, Da Block, Residue Riggins (Pasadena, CA), Green House Project, Dek-Nucleus, Dirty Apes and many more, including athletes.
Do fashion and music co-exist?
I believe that fashion and music go hand in hand. Music speaks to your soul. It is the essence of how you feel and what you believe in. Fashion ties in to music by representing the type of clothing you wear and how you wear them, which speak to what a person is about and what they are trying to illustrate or represent.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I focus my attention on color and certain parts of the streets that reflect a fresh yet unique expression. I also look at the youth, because they’re always changing and evolving.
After the in-store tonight, what’s next for you and ESBE Clothing?
I’m looking to make bigger moves to get my name out there which express the meaning behind the name ESBE.
If you’re around the West Covina area tonight, go check out SB, his team, and General Monks. More info is here. I’ll leave you with this from Pharrell Williams. “Fashion is to music, what time is to space. They coexist and they can’t exist without each other."