Dream Teams Pt. 1: GUILTY Collection
Two students make their aspirations a reality as fashion designers.
April 19, 2017
Filed under Features
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Two young men from Atlanta and Los Angeles came to New York City with a goal. Not having known each other until they arrived at St. John’s University in 2015, Jibril Mitchell, 19, and James Dearing, 20, came together to create the brand, “Guilty.” Inspired by the fact that black men are always seen to be guilty on sight, the duo chose to name their brand, “Guilty” and reclaim the label.
“‘Guilty’ is more than a clothing brand , it’s a lifestyle,” Mitchell, the chief executive officer, said.
The brand launched in November 2016, but plans were already being drawn up a year before, in October 2015.
“I’ve been into fashion my whole life and I was kinda raised in it…this is my third brand, but this is the only one that’s ever really gone anywhere,” Mitchell said.
Dearing said he has always been interested in the clothing industry, and he always knew that at some point in his life he wanted to get involved in fashion; thus his involvement with the brand and a heavy hand in marketing.
The main source for public relations at the time for the brand, like most, is through the use of Instagram. “Guilty” has been featured on various pages by models and athletes, who Mitchell claimed to be a part of the “Guilty Gang.” Landon Collins, safety for the New York Giants, is close to Mitchell and has been given some gear to rock. “Guilty” is even being featured in Los Angeles by a local artist there, named Warm Brew who has recently been interviewed by publications like XXL. With their clothes being worn in places like London and Tokyo, the possibilities for the duo are endless.
As far as designing goes, there are plenty of ideas already and more to come, according to the duo.
The strategy of their choice is limited releases; when more traffic comes to the brand they will have some dope merchandise to let out. Most of the inspiration for designs comes from street wear and even what they see in their personal friend group.
Due to the various backgrounds their friends come from, Mitchell and Dearing said it makes designing easier because they can appeal to a bigger audience.
Using Instagram to check out the competition, Dearing, the chief financial officer, said, “It makes you get up on your feet and do something different.”
The two plan to have a pop up shop in New York in the next few months accompanied by a trip to Tokyo, Japan this summer.
The future is bright for these two young entrepreneurs and according to Mitchell, “‘Guilty’ season is approaching.”