Tobi, a young designer with a brand that is the center of the hype & creates dope clothing that everyone can relate to. From New Jersey, he’s gathered a concise team of friends that make everything possible & with the quick-thinking mentality he earned from his stay in New York, waves is promised to be at the forefront of his creativity & progress. Check out the interview below.
Where were you born & raised?
Tobi: I was born in Staten Island, New York and I was raised there until I was 2 years old. Then, I moved to New Jersey which is where I currently live. Even though I lived in New Jersey, I still went to school in Staten Island until 7th grade.
How did that environment play a role in your creativity?
Tobi: The environment of New York played a huge, essential role in my creativity. The area I lived in taught me how to think on my feet, and figure my way out of many difficult situations. Going to school in a weird environment made me adapt to changes quickly and perfectly.
What’s more important money, power, or respect?
Tobi: In my opinion, money is more important than power and respect. Personally, I don’t let people’s opinions on my character influence who I am or what I do. With the money I make, I’ll earn your respect. Power, is more important than respect, but power without money is meaningless. With money comes power. Power gains respect.
Who do you think is the biggest influence in your life?
Tobi: To me, Kanye west is the biggest influence in my life because I can relate to him in many ways. When I was younger, I would spend all of my money on designer clothes as he did as a kid. Also, in terms of designing clothes I believe that our creative processes are similar. Kanye influences the way I talk and act. Both of us say and do things that are controversial and we both mute opinions when it comes to our character. My confidence level and self love can be comparable to Kanye’s. I believe that I am the best and that I can achieve anything I want, if I put my mind to it. I love myself. I love who I was, I love who I am, and I love who I’m going to be.
What exactly is waves?
Tobi: Waves is a clothing line I started in October last year. The meaning of waves is to be the center of the hype and to create dope things that everyone can relate to. waves also means, becoming the wave and making waves in your city. The design aspect of waves are waves in the ocean. The inspiration of waves came from Staten Island. When I attended school there, the waves hairstyle was very popular among black men in the country.
How long has the project been in play?
Tobi: The project has been active and in play for 10 months now.
What do you hope to gain from the field?
Tobi: I hope to gain what you mentioned earlier, money, power, and respect. I want to gain money from the pieces I sell. I also, want to gain power from creating art. Finally, I want to obtain respect for all the hard work I put in, to make this brand a success.
How do you feel about streetwear at this point, too saturated? Or a lack of individuality?
Tobi: To me, there’s a lack of creativity and uniqueness. Streetwear basically consists of skinny ripped jeans, distressed clothing, and oversized clothes at its best in my opinion. I feel like there should be more innovation and different types of styles for both men and women.
What sets you apart from the other brands?
Tobi: What sets us apart from other clothing brands is that anyone can relate or wear our clothing. Waves Clothing doesn’t have or look for a specific audience when it comes to our consumers.You can wear our clothing line, young or old, popular or nerdy, athletic or not.
Who works with you on the brand?
Tobi: The waves team is split into two divisions, there is the Waves Movement which is managed by my closest friends who helped me start this clothing when I originally thought of the idea. My actual team consists of 4 people. The co-founder of Waves Clothing Demola (@dcole18) who helps me run this brand. My close friend Andre, who is the head of marketing and sales(@dree.bandz). Juan(@jpg0520) my good friend, who is the in charge of promotion and manufacturing. Finally, Taylor, (@ednasevarg) who helps me sell waves clothing in Franklin, New Jersey and various towns in New Jersey.
When did you realize you wanted to get into fashion & design?
Tobi: I’ve always wanted to get involved in fashion and design since 6th grade, but I never thought I could do it and I never took it seriously enough to make moves and actions. It seemed difficult then, but at the beginning of sophomore year, in the middle of a history class, the thought came to my head and I discussed it with my friends and we each started coming up with ideas.
What fashion designers do you idolize & why?
Tobi: Fashion designers that I idolize are Kanye West, Ralph Lauren, Virgil Abloh, Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, and Rick Owens. I idolize them because they’ve each created unique and dope sets of clothing collections throughout their fashion careers. Each of them came out with there clothing lines at times when the fashion world needed something new and innovative.
How do you come up with the concept of a new collection?
Tobi: At first I think about the message I want to convey to the consumers. It also depends on the situation I am currently in. Collections depict a part of me that nobody ever sees physically or emotionally.
How do you feel about other brands in comparison to yours?
Tobi: In terms of brands that are local, I feel that my clothing line is definitely no doubt, the best. No disrespect, to any of the clothing lines out there, but I believe the my clothing line is simply the best locally. I think that there is definitely room for improvement in some aspects of my brand. Overall though, I believe that my clothing brand possesses some attributes that makes it distinct in its nature.