Words by Brian Padilla Photos by Steve Irby
Recently we were able to sit down with Rocksmith’s stylist and personal shopper DB over at the Williamsburg office. We discussed upcoming collaborations and how a near death experience changed his life for the better. God Bless The Fresh!
SoJones: I know you used to live in Ohio, what made you come to New York City?
DB: Well I moved out here about 3 years ago. I do in house styling, personal shopping, and stuff like that. I was working with Machine Gun Kelly on tour and I met a rep from Rocksmith out in Ohio. I created a relationship with them by putting different artist in Rocksmith clothes and it transitioned into them offering me a job in New York. I feel that where I was at in Ohio I hit the ceiling. I kind of like maxed out the opportunities. I was working with everyone in my area and all the surrounding cities. I moved here and I been with Rocksmith ever since.
SoJones: Who else were you styling for out there?
DB: I worked with different NFL players like Ted Ginn Jr., Andrew Hawkins, Fred Davis. I worked with Curren$y of course. A lot of people in sports and entertainment because they the ones that got the money, know what I mean?
SoJones: [Laughs] Word. What exactly do you do at Rocksmith now?
DB: I do styling for all of our lookbooks and all in house photos we may have. For example we have Yo Gotti who’s the face of our holiday campaign, I did all the photos for that. Also, Curren$y was the face for our fall campaign and I did everything for that as well, as far as the looks and stuff.
SoJones: Talk to me about the Yo Gotti connection. How did you get that in place and what does he bring to the table?
DB: It was more his presence. Where we’re at as a brand we pride ourselves as being heavy on the streets and Yo Gotti is a strong staple. We work well with him. He’s down to earth, genuine, and he stands for what we stand for. We’re definitely grassroots and that’s kind of his background. He’s grassroots and he put his time in. We reached out to him and his label and they were with it.
SoJones: Same thing with Curren$y?
DB: We been doing stuff with him for awhile, just like showing love, but we never actually did anything until now. We did the exclusive jogging suits that sold out instantly. We also did a collab with him and G Pen. It was a Jet Life X Rocksmith G Pen collab which did amazing as well. We may release another G pen and a t-shirt. Curren$y was another artist who we cultivated a relationship with over the years and it was real organic.
SoJones: What separates Rocksmith from the Alife or any of the other shit that’s in your field?
DB: What separates us off rip is that we are the only 100% hip hop influenced brand. Meaning everything we do from design to marketing is all based off music. All of our designs are tied to music whether it be artwork or inspiration, everything is about hip hop. Like us in a partnership with Wu-Tang for licensing of the brand, it’s all hip hop.
That’s how we pick who we work with too. We run our clothing brand like a label. We want to deal with the artist before they blow. After they blow we let everyone else have fun with them [laughs.]
SoJones: What about Yo Gotti? He’s pretty big now.
DB: That’s different. We have a relationship with him from way back. So the Yo Gottis, Jeezys, and the Wales these are people who we’ve had a long lasting relationship with. It’s kind of like paying homage and reaching out to the OGs.
SoJones: What’s next for Rocksmith?
DB: 2014 will be our official 10 year anniversary so we’re real excited about our spring collection. It’s probably the most different collection that Rocksmith has had. We got a few collabs in the works. I don’t want to say too much but some cool stuff is coming. We’re also going to hit the festival circuit really hard too.
We noticed that the collabs have really given us a strong presence so we just want to keep pushing the collabs for 2014. We have 2 major artists that we’re going to launch collabs with in the spring. We probably going to launch one in December with Rick Ross for his album.
SoJones: Lets talk about your personal brand. Where did this idea come from and what do you have planned?
DB: The t-shirt brand I’m going to start is called God Bless The Fresh. That’s a phrase I quoted back in 2010. I was hospitalized for 17 days and I almost died. I’m an asthmatic and I had full blown pneumonia. My lungs were filled with fluid and shit. Me surviving that was inspiration. I was like, Yo I’m 25 and god saved me. I feel like I’m alive for a reason because we see people die everyday for nothing so i came up with God Bless The Fresh.
It’s kind of like a lifestyle merchandise line. I don’t want to be a designer and have a full collection. I just kind of want to make merch of my life. I’ve been blessed enough to see some cool places and meet a lot of people. I’m not an athlete or an entertainer but I do got a message. I feel like I connect with the real people and I figured I’ll make merch of my life.
February 2014 is when I’m scheduled to drop. I’m also going to have a website at www.GBTF.com. I want to touch peoples heart with it not make them get a tee because I’m the homie. I want them to believe in what I’m doing and my message.
If you are in New York City come to the Yo Gotti meet and greet!