adidas sl 72 County teens create designer labels
Coming from a building where khakis and green and white uniforms are the norm, Montez Davis and Dominic Cox added a splash of color beyond their high school doors.
This summer the two 17 year olds launched their own designer clothing lines. Davis launched Pilot Cloth in June 2010, while Cox and cousin Arpell Haggins co founded Space Gear in August 2010 before school began this past fall at Springdale Charles H. Flowers High School.
Davis, of Mitchellville, said he has been an artist all of his life and even experimented with designing his own clothes as a student at Mitchellville Ernest Everett Just Middle School.
Davis said he got serious about designing in June 2010 when he launched Pilot Cloth.
like a street term to be fly, Davis said. took pilot because it like the flyest person, and cloth [is] just like clothing. latest shirt design features the letter outlined in lime green to match the green in his three striped Adidas sneakers. Miniature kites in bright yellow, fuchsia and turquoise colors floated inside the P to keep in line with the theme of flight.
did a lot of color so you can match it up with a lot of shoes, Davis said.
Before partnering with Haggins, a 2010 Flowers graduate, Cox, who is transferring from Flowers to Bowie Tall Oaks Vocational High School, said he always been a computer nerd and got into graphics that way. He and Haggins came up with Space Gear because they wanted to make customers like they were all stars. took about an hour to think of the first design and the name; then it just fell into place, Cox said.
The logo is a light yellow planet with the initials on the left side. One of the shirt designs included the nine red letters in Space Gear distributed among a tic tac toe box.
live in a house full of females so fashion was the first thing I jumped into, said Cox, who lives with his mother and three sisters in Bowie.
Haggins put his ideas for his own clothing line, Arpell Apparel,
on hold to pursue Space Gear because he thought two creative heads were better than one and that the concept was catchy. Haggins saved up his own money for an Internet purchase of a $300 silk screen machine and between $200 and $300 has been spent on production. The two have made a $500 profit since October. Davis did not have an estimate for how much profit he has made but said whatever he makes goes right back into production.
don have too much exposure but we have a lot of fans and people who like us right now, said Haggins who said there are more than 200 people who are friends with the Space Gear page on Facebook.
Both used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about their new fashion and each have sold more than 100 items so far. The two took pictures of their designs and posted them online, and were often stopped by friends this summer who asked where they got their clothing. Davis shirts range from $35 to $40, while Cox and Haggins shirts go for $20 to $40.
Flowers ceramics teacher Tracy Bensing said Davis has created a bit of a movement inside of the school and she sees underclassmen who are trying to develop their own labels.
have a little rash of clothing lines going on, Bensing said. a trendsetter so that a good thing. said he first creates his designs using Adobe Illustrator software. He then puts his designs on transfer paper and uses a heat press machine he got as a birthday gift in December 2009 to place images on crew neck sweaters.
Davis hopes to expand his line to include belts, coats and jackets, while Cox would like to try his hand at jeans and pajama pants.
Cox uses a combination of iron on designs and silk screen printing to make his shirts and sweatshirts, which are available in sizes for both men and women. Silk screening involves rolling ink across a stenciled image with a surface that lets the colors bleed through to the fabric.
Cox learned how to use it by watching instructional videos on YouTube. Davis learned the ropes of his machine through trial and error, he said.
Haggins uses Logo Design Studio Pro software to create images, as well as Microsoft Paint and even his own personal drawings.
that I can do to get it on the clothes, I use that, Haggins said.
Davis said he likes lots of different clothing but no one artist really inspired him to do his line. Cox said he is not influenced by the fashion of other moguls but rather inspired by their successes, such as hip hop artist Pharrell Billionaire Boys Club clothing line.
sweaters go for like $200 or $300, Cox said.
Kendall Siedlecki, a Flowers computer graphics teacher, said Davis design instinct is strong and he is quick to come up with ideas and complete projects. She was impressed with a recent project where Davis was asked to come up with avatars, a computer generated image, based on a picture of a real person face.