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.”