FOREVER FRGVN

Forgiven Boutique LLC.

Hector Orama went from selling sneakers out of his trunk to celebrities around Chicago to finding his faith building a brand. Frgvn is more than a clothing line, it is faith.

 

On a cold 12-degree day in Chicago I take the train as far north as I’ve ever been. Coming from Seattle I had never taken the brown line this far. Looking at the coffee shop that Hector chose, I would need to take the brown line train to Irving Park and an Uber. Not excited about my trip I make the journey anyways.  Percolator is the coffee shop of his choice.

 

As you walk in, you get the vibe as if your grandmas’ basement were now turned into a coffee shop. With art work for sale on the walls by local artists and a yellow and gold floral chair that sticks out like a sore thumb from the green walls.

 

As I walk to the coffee counter and order my usual, vanilla latte with soy milk, a Spanish remix of Hotel California plays over the speakers.

 

Five minutes into my coffee, Hector walks in sporting a boneyard hoodie. Boneyard is the most popular resell consignment shop in Chicago, showing that he in fact is intertwined in the Chicago sneaker scene. Layered on top of the hoodie is a vintage coat from the 90s. He wears a hat from his new collection. A black retro style baseball camp with a huge “F”.

 

After a bit of small talk, Hector gets into his story of how FRGVN came to life. The name FRGVN comes from a Christian song he heard on the radio. “The word just stood out, I looked it up and no one had it, so I went with it.”

 

Faith is how Hector got the name for his brand, one the best-selling in Chicago, and where he found a new outlook on life.

 

But before we got into how he started making clothes Hector gave an insight on how he got into street fashion and the street culture. “I got in the game by reselling Jordan’s out of my trunk. I started off small, but in the end, I was selling to artists around Chicago like Chief Keef, known for his role in starting ‘drill music’, Young Chop a producer for Keef, and longtime artist Twistsa”.

 

“After selling shoes I wanted to do more and create something. That’s how I came up with the idea of starting my own clothing line”. When asked about how his faith and him finding his faith played a role in creating, he simply answers “me finding my faith was the building block for everything in my life.”

 

“It’s simply more than just clothes to me”. After trying his hand at cooking and being a line cook Hector applied for college only to fail out and end up back where he started, “that’s when I really found god” he says.

 

When asked about his role in this year’s Complex Con his face lights up. “I would love to do it I would love to be on a big stage such as Complex Con”. Complex is set to host its annual event this year for the first time outside of its original Long Beach, CA location and move things to Chicago for the first time ever.  Complex Con is an expertly curated convention and festival bringing the world of Complex to life. The groundbreaking festival and exhibition brings together pop culture, music, art, food, style, sports, innovation, activism, and education.

 

 

 

As for the future of Hector and FRGVN, it all aligns with his faith and creating a long lasting brand. “5 years from now I just want to continue to create and hopefully open up a brick and mortar and connect with the people, that is the most important thing right now.”

 

Forgiven Boutique LLC.

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The Brooklyn Bridge

I ended my long summer in New York a place where I always wanted to go but never knew if I’d actually get there. But when I had the opportunity I jumped on it. I spent my days in Soho in trendy restaurants and cool coffee shops went down to Brooklynn and walked the bridge and really that is where it all starts. Walking across the bridge brought back so many memories and I truly got to reflect on the journey that has gotten me here, of course, I still have so many more bridges to cross but crossing A bridge is always better than being stuck on one bridge or in one place in life.  At times I do feel stuck like times where I don’t feel like facing the world or I get closed off to things that I love. I look at it as a bridge and it may take you 2 minutes or 2 days to cross one bridge but as long as you are self-aware and fight your battles then no one bridge is ever too big.

Fear Of God 6th Collection Review

 

Fear of God designer, Jerry Lorenzo, returns with his 6th collection; this time Lorenzo is joined by some heavy hitters. The likes of Nike and a lookbook composed of Models such as Jared Leto from the band, 30 seconds to mars, Maggie Maurer, Xavier Buestel and Aiden Andrews. The lookbook also features promising photographer Pierre Toussaint. 

The collection stays true to its roots sporting oversized and layered streetwear designs. Although this showcase shines brightly this cumulation feels different. It feels like Lorenzo is making a statement with this selection like he’s announcing he’s here to stay and also be a leader and global icon when it comes to streetwear fashion.

The use of natural tones and patterns give the Fear of God 6th collection a rustic vibe. The item that represents the collection as a whole is the 1,495-canvas work jacket. The jacket is made up of heavy canvas in a rustic tan color but yet gives off western vibes. The jacket reminds you of an old fighter pilot jacket from WW2 but, yet Lorenzo makes it blend into today’s world of fashion. The jacket gives you the feeling of searching through your grandparent’s closest and finding the coolest things that may be so outdated but somehow when you wear them they fit right into today’s fashion scene.

 

 

The 6th collection sees its first collaboration with Nike. The Fear of God X Nike Skylon 2 is the first look into what Lorenzo has planned with Nike. The shoe is set to release sometime in October and sports a $395 price tag.

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In conclusion, the 6th Fear of God collection is strong with some amazing pieces but yet feels lackluster and too trendy in my opinion.

 

Modern Notoriety Through The Lens

Little is left to be understood within the sneaker culture, but outside laid a dark cloud over the sneaker community for point of view. Seeing eighty kids lined up outside of a sneaker store on a Saturday morning may come as a shock or seeing kids spends upwards of two thousand dollars for a pair of shoes it can lead to a little confusion.  In the sneaker community, this is fueled by a passion for not only shoes but the street culture in general. Take a deeper look at sneaker culture and there’s more to it than sneakers; it includes music, art, fashion, photography, all rolled into one. That is street fashion culture or as many refer to them as sneakerheads. 


On Sunday, May 6, 2018, Modern Notoriety teamed up with Adidas Originals to present “Through the Lens” it brought together photographers, fashion, and sneakerheads together to capture the city of Chicago through the lens of how they see fashion and photography. Modern Notoriety provided disposable cameras with Adidas branding and models posed throughout different locations of the city sporting a brand-new Adidas line set to launch this fall. There is no judgment on photography skills or fashion skills. Everyone came together to inspire one another, to connect and to make friends with other people who share the same passions, many trying to get the best shot from the same angel and gain experience. During the event Owner and Founder of Modern Notoriety, Oscar Castillo, could be heard saying on the microphone, “Shoot your shot”. As a reminder to the people in attendance if they had a camera in their hand to take as many pictures as they possibly can.

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This experience was unique in its own right because the only promotion that was done for this event was via Instagram showing the real power that Modern Notoriety has with its followers. At times there were upwards of seventy photographers walking the streets of the West Loop neighborhood of Fulton Market. When the event was all said and done the people that attended got together and had a dance off; you could feel the happiness and the joy that everyone had just been around people with the same energy and passion as them. Shortly after the event and networking were over there was the opportunity to go on Instagram and see all the photos that people posted, even though a lot of people were shooting the same picture everyone came out with different photos and made each photo their own. It really shows the power of a single picture and all the different takeaways from one photo.

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This event was followed by another “Through the Lens” event on Sunday, May 20th and it brought the street culture community together and displayed select pictures from the previous Adidas Originals event. With free tacos to old arcade games, it was truly a celebration of everyone’s hard work. It gave the chance to have thousands of people getting to view different individual’s work based off the idea of allowing a group of people the opportunity to take pictures at one event from a myriad of perspectives. In the end, it seemed everyone left feeling inspired and a hunger to shoot their shot.
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The Journey of Life

Wow, life is crazy. Just two weeks ago I was at the South Seattle gym playing basketball on a Friday night with my banana boat crew (they know who they are), enjoying living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (if you ask me), to leaving the life that I had built in Seattle a week later to start a new journey in Chicago. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have been talking about living in Chicago for about six years. Even before Seattle was a thought, but that’s where the story begins it’s not about Seattle or Chicago but the journey of life.

So many people want to move to other places, experience life in another city or country even, but they are scared. Fear can hold you back from doing a lot of things in life; fear will end your life much sooner than death ever will. I used to live in fear, that’s until I decided to take life into my own hands and decided to live the life that I want to live. It’s not about what other people are doing or what other people have because at the end of the day we all want different things; we all have want own experiences. I know money plays a large role in the things that we want to do but I never let money or the thought of anyone else’s opinion affect the way that I live my life and the places that I go in life. I’m also thankful to have such loving and supportive parents that will do anything for me to be happy and live the life that I want to live. I know that God places us in situations that we belong in even if we can’t see it in that moment we all just have to trust in the process. The journey of life is painful yet beautiful. It has the ability to make you feel defeated and then the next second feel like you can’t lose. My journey has taken me to some amazing places and I have met such amazing people while living in Seattle, friends that I know I will be friends with forever, as well as getting some life lessons that I could never get while living back in the Midwest. Yes, it was difficult being away from my family and friends. Some nights I lay awake in my bed sad and wondering if I made the right decision but I think it taught me to appreciate life and appreciate my family a lot more.

Now being back home presents a different set of challenges but I know that I just have to trust in my process. Part of the journey is learning through mistakes we have made but we have to own that as part of journey. We have to live the life that we want to live because at the end of the day we only have one and it goes by quickly. We spend all our childhood wanting to be adults and all of our adulthood wanting to be young again. You have to remember that while you are trying to create your own path you need to really take the time to reflect and appreciate your loved ones and close friends because they are far and few between in life. Fall in love with your grind rather than success. Remember we aren’t bigger than any job or anyone and that we all have the ability change the world and impact people’s lives big or small. Love you and own your journey.

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The CA Clothing Group Interview

Give us an introduction about yourself 

CA Clothing Group (Carpenter-Asem), established in April 2017, is a partnership between close friends Jordan Carpenter and Simon Asem. Striving for success has helped to strengthen the bond of not only our partnership, but friendship as well. Recognizing our keen sense of creativity and design, we have embarked on a journey of reshaping how you see clothing.

What’s your bio? How did you get started? 

Jordan proposed the idea of starting something new and innovative after a while of studying fashion movements and trends. After several months of research and planning, we finally made the decision to launch our brand. Not only were we inspired by establish individuals in the clothing business, but we also aim to inspire our own generation. We believe that our generation is full of talented individuals that are hesitant to take the leap of faith into making their dreams a reality. We simply want to encourage other individuals to do what they want, and not hold back.

Why did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?

We chose the fashion industry because we wanted to redefine how people viewed clothing. The goal of our brand is to change the mindset of conforming to social norms. Every day, we see brands limiting their products to certain standards. People are informally told they either have to look a certain way or have a specific social status in order to properly represent a brand. Our intention is to break that barrier and introduce a brand that accepts everyone for who they truly are.  We want people to know that it may be our brand, but it’s their style that represents us.

What according to you is a favorite part of being a fashion designer?

It’s definitely difficult to identify a favorite part of what we do. What we cherish the most is the opportunity of sparking new ideas and being creative. Getting the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people makes it all worthwhile. Being fashion designers gives us an artistic platform of expressing ourselves to the world. To us, having the ability to create a new piece is like taking a dream and turning it into a reality.

Where do you see your brand going in the next 2-5 years?

We are always trying to create new and innovative styles for our brand. Currently, there are new designs being drafted everyday by our team. In the near future, customers will start to see our brand beginning to redefine how society views the typical t-shirt. We won’t give out all of our secrets on what’s happening behind closed doors but anticipate a clothing revolution from CA Clothing Group. The future 2-5 years hold a ton of opportunity for our brand. We plan on forming collaborations with a multitude of different individuals in order to gain a larger audience for our brand. With the help of social media, we hope to globally expand CA Clothing Group. Our brand should not just be limited to one culture.

Who/what inspires you to design?

Our inspiration came from a multitude of successful influencers in the fashion industry. The main one being Jerry Lorenzo. Mr. Lorenzo’s passion and dedication for his love of fashion is our driving force. Inspiration from our brand also comes from the dedication of wanting to inspire others. We want people around us to know that it isn’t impossible to pursue their dream. Our drive to succeed should motivate others to start thinking differently to what society says is and isn’t achievable.

Give some advice to all the up and coming fashion designers

Your first idea won’t always be the best. Believe it or not, not everyone will want you to succeed. It is important to have confidence and faith in yourself. Entering the fashion business doesn’t have to break the bank. Do your research and start small, but dream big. Definitely don’t be afraid to take opportunities when they’re presented.

What’s your message to the youth? 

The biggest advice we can offer others is not to hesitate. Stop telling yourself that someday you will get around to doing it. The day needs to be today! Everyone needs to understand the truth about failure. Failing at something is your only true chance to grow as an individual. We want people to understand that if they don’t try, then they’ll never know the outcome. You can’t sit back and listen to society tell you it won’t work, if you haven’t given it a shot yourself. Humble yourself and believe in what you have to offer.

How do you want to impact the world?

Our impact on the world is to someday leave a legacy of self-expression. Hopefully, we create a long-lasting impression for generations to come.

Any shoutouts?

We would like to give a specific shout out to our CA Clothing Group family. It is our fans and customers that make everything possible. If it wasn’t for them, none of this would be possible. Thank you for the support you provide and believing in the dream.

You can follow the CA Clothing Group at:

Instagram– caclothinggroup

http://www.caclothinggroup.com

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February 2018 Sneaker Releases

Wow, after what felt like a yearlong January it seems like February is finally here! With February come kicks, kicks, kicks! A lot of heat coming from Jordan Brand. Just like the rest of the world, I am excited for the Jordan 3 black cement to finally get the Nike Air on the back-heel tab. I remember taking an L back in 2011, but my brother and friend, Alex, were lucky and able to cop a pair. Let’s hope I have better luck some now 7 years later, but we shall see; with that being said I wanted to share some of the shoes I am most excited about this February. Hopefully you guys are as excited as I am about this month and this year in the sneaker world.