Hi Drake -- Why and how did you start Smith & Brandon, who influences you and your brand?
Smith&Brandon was birthed when I hit a dark stage in my life. By, going through this period of my lifetime, this time helped craft the bright idea of what I needed to do with my life. I can’t lie; it took a lot of self-evaluation to figure out where I was headed with my life. The brand Smith & Brandon was created in the summer of 2009, when Drake Smith had a vision to create something that he could offer to the world, while inspiring the kids in his area of living.
“Everyone has a dream, right?” He just wanted to show that it was possible to follow your dreams and live through those dreams. Before the brand came up as an idea for that “Something”, Drake found himself walking into different department stores mesmerized with different articles of clothing always stating, “I would have done it like this.” This statement helped craft the high end street wear brand known today as, Smith & Brandon.
As far as the brand influences goes, the brand is a sponge that soaks up greatness from each and every angle. Smith&Brandon gets its influences from the great for-fathers that helped pave the way for me to even think about starting a brand. The originators; Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Brooks Brothers, and Karl Kani all helped influence the brand, from a brand building perspective, all the way from the do’s and don’ts.
Tell our readers what empowers you/your brand; where did the brand name come from?
This is a good question! First, the most high gives us the power to keep this little thing of ours going on. Because, we truly understand that we are not doing this on the strength of ourselves. Second, our empowerment comes from our customers. The reasoning behind this is because, they keep us motivated to keep producing these high quality garments.
You can search all around the word, and still not find a better feeling than seeing someone in your garments. That high is unexplainable. The last thing that empowers us is the fact that we have an undeniable level of passion for creating. By, us actually loving what we produce, giving up is out of the equation. In the process of putting together the components to build a successful brand, the name is the most important factor. We went through at least two different names before the light shined on Smith & Brandon.
We wanted to make sure whatever name that we wanted to choose would have a feel that we wanted to represent. Instead of us putting words together that mean what we wanted to represent, we went with the feeling of the brand. When you say Smith&Brandon, it plays the sounds of street sophistication, right? The name just reeks with rich smells of leather bound books.
Explain why your apparel products surpass the quality of your competitors.
No disrespect. But, we are in comp with the Ralph Lauren’s, the Brooks Brothers, the Jeremy Scott's of the bunch. So, we surpass the comp that we are supposed to have. We at Smith & Brandon actually take the time out and study the small details when it comes to crafting our high end street wear garments. We are not here to put designs on cheap blanks, and call it a “Brand”. No. we actually craft our garments; from choosing the finest of fabrics, knowing the measurements to have our fit right, the weight of that particular fabric, and taking the time out to care what we produce. Our products are set to sell as exclusive collectors’ items. By this, it gives the customer a sense of exclusiveness. You don’t have to worry about seeing too many people wearing your S&B wears. It’s ok.
Where can readers purchase the collection (online/physical stores) and what cities are you currently?
Smith & Brandon is exclusively sold through our online community. We want Smith & Brandon to be exclusive and rare for people to cherish. We are only in two boutiques right now; Rock City Kicks and Fly Times Boutique. But, don’t get us wrong when the time arrives for us to push into more boutiques and department stores, we will appreciate that opportunity. But, a person could see Smith & Brandon on the backs of different people, from different walks of life throughout the 50 states.
What are your plans to expand the brand for 2012?
I'm glad you asked us this! the plans for expansion comes to our minds daily. The first installment of the new expansion will include our own online magazine; Smith & Brandon Presents: Style Forever. Style Forever, will be more of a life style mag, to showcase our brands living and the classic that we are into as a whole. The mag will also give others a chance to showcase their talents and mindsets. It’s more of a, (“hey, come look into our minds.”) type magazine. We won’t give too much insight on this new venture, just stick around with us for updates!