For our first fashion interview, it seemed fitting to team up with a brand in a similar boat to us. ‘Waves Supply’ is the baby of New York creative Tobi, who has seen himself establish his label in an increasingly saturated market. Being young and trying to make a name for yourself is difficult, but with the more elaborate garm designs and a true DIY spirit he could find his brand a possible career to pursue. We discussed everything from Kanye, to Places + Faces and just being young and hungry in a very competitive world; get to know the designer in our convo below.
To someone who is new to your garms, how would you describe them? What do they mean to you?
Garments or clothes serve as a therapy and escape for me mentally. Creating them or simply looking at them inspire me and give me a sense of pride and purpose.
What’s the favourite item of clothing you’ve produced? What were you inspired by at the time?
I don’t really have a favourite piece that I’ve created. But, the number one thing that inspires all the clothes I produce is my current state of mind and the vibes I feel from the environments around me.
You said in an interview that you’ve started to look into film and photography more. How are you incorporating these ideas and aesthetics into your own work?
I’ve started experimenting with different ways to film visuals for my collections and future ones. My personal photos and photos affiliated with my pieces give off the same unique aesthetic, they all intertwine.
Do you have any upcoming collections? Can you tell us a bit about how they are coming about?
I’m dropping my winter collection in February. With each collection I evolve and elevate my levels of creativity and I’ve done the same with this one in particular.
In your collection from July, you said you “woke up and listened to Kanye’s ‘Ye’” and just started making clothes again. How did that album instigate your creativity? And how important is Kanye to you as an individual?
Kanye as an individual inspires me and I view him as one of my idols. His passion about creativity and his ego is unmatched, I see the same in myself. The sonics of the album just made me want to create, and Kanye rapping about his struggles and overcoming them made me want to overcome my personal struggles I was dealing with at the time.
How has growing up in Staten Island shaped your view on the fashion industry and how you should make your clothes? NYC is the biggest focal point for streetwear in the world, is there a level of pressure to produce products that are as good as some of the brands out there?
Going to school in an environment where people thrived off of hype or hot fashion items made me realise years later that I could do the same with my brand. Growing up in New York directly influenced my style and my ego. My goal and approach with clothes has always been to make concise, appealing pieces without compromising the authenticity of my creativity. I feel no pressure to produce dope products because I believe that I’m on my own path and lane. Staying true to myself allows me to stand out consistently.
When did you start noticing your interest in fashion? Was there a specific brand you got in to?
My interest in fashion sparked in elementary school in New York. I gained my inspiration from fits celebrities would wear to award shows and public outings. There weren’t any brands that I really got into or had interest in, it was all really the motive I had that made me want to start a brand.
Would you say you’ve found a new level of maturity in making your clothes? You started the label up when you were young so how has growing up changed your designs?
Yeah definitely. I’m more organised with my approach towards design and I find myself more experienced and professional. There’s a lot of flaws I had at 15 when I first started this, but I would say most of them are nonexistent. Growing up made me aware of myself and the world around me, ever since then, my clothes have reflected that.
What is your favourite UK brand? How do you think the style in the US differs from where we are based?
My favourite UK brand is Places+Faces. Their manner of designing is crazy, and you can see that in the pieces they create, their creative freedom is evident. The brand is evolving and emerging into a culture of its own, which is what I want to do with my brand too. Based off of my personal experience of traveling to London and also staying in MK dons for some time, I’ve really come to the conclusion that UK fashion is more proper and cleaner so to say. UK fashion has generally been simplistic but lately brands are putting out more abstract designs/graphics. US style evolves every two years, one year a trend is hot and the next it’s dying down with another one coming up. With UK style, it evolves more slowly over time. But I would say US style has an influence over UK fashion, but UK fashion is still unique and distinctive in its nature.
What is next for Waves Supply?
You will have to wait and see.