Amy- Who is Deami?
Jared- Chris was born and raised in Detroit, and I’m from Miami, but went to design school in Detroit- that’s how we met..
Amy- So you guys went to school together, that’s cool.
Chris, Jared [Laughs]
Jared- No, Chris came to my school to look for a Designer.
Chris- Yeah, I had a hunch and decided to go and look for one at the school. I met with a professor, told him about a competition I was looking to do for a Shoe Design, he introduced me to his students and we liked Jared’s (design) the most. Wow, that was back in 2010.
Amy- That’s really dope. It’s inspiring to learn of creative life coming from Detroit given the condition it’s been in for so long. Is that what made you want to do your own shoe line?
Chris- It wasn’t really about making a show about ‘where I’m from’. The whole idea came to me back in 2010. I was 25, in corporate america but I wanted my clothes to show where I was in life at that time and traditional athletic footwear was too casual.
Amy- You wanted something more grown up?
Chris- I wanted something that looked more sophisticated. There were definitely other brands with the aesthetic I was in search for, like Creative Recreations and Cole Hanns but there were no in betweens. There weren’t any [shoes] that were affordable either. Nothing I felt really intertwined real urban fresh and professional. Ultimately, it was like one idea went into another, I wanted to learn about this and see about that and I became more and more enthusiastic about it. Then one day I decided to go out and find a designer.
One of my mantras is “it’s a marathon”, no matter what comes my way it’s a marathon. Some people let their passions die because of the fear of failure and that shouldn’t be the case.
… I realized there wasn’t anything that catered to people like me or people I knew.
Amy- Biggest style Icon?
Chris– Does it have to be a footwear or anyone?
Amy- Whatever comes to mind.
Jared- Tinker Hatfield- the guy that started designing Jordans and is still designing today. He’s pretty much the Steve Jobs of Nike. I definitely would say him.
Chris- I’m not a designer by nature, I’m more of an analytical mind but I’d have to say Blake Mycoskie. An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. When I read his story about when he went to Peru and saw the kids without shoes and had the idea that for every shoe he made he’d send another pair to a child in need. To me that’s truly inspiring. Because of that I realized there wasn’t anything that catered to people like me or people I knew. His story just showed me that if you have the vision you have to implement it.
Amy- Who do you want to envision wearing Deami? Like who would be the ideal person?
Chris- I can give you 3 people that embody Deami: First person bold attitude willing to step out there and doesn’t care what people think… Lenny Kravitz for his unapologetic and eccentric attitude, Justin Timberlake a bit more debonair, and J Cole for his simplicity. I think those three, if you could combine them all, you’d end up the ideal Deami man.
Jared- My family is from Jamaica, I’d say Damien Marley. I enjoy what he represents, how his music is deeply rooted into the culture and influential… I could go on and on about it.