Passion is the most important ingredients needed to start any business. But when it comes to clothing lines, you can ask Lenard Grier who started The 3rd Estate Clothing with his friend, Carville Hobson. Starting out as mere doodles on papers, Lenard finally found what he’s supposed to do: find a creative outlet, and combine it with self-possessed knowledge. Get to know The 3rd Estate deeper as Lenard gives SoJones.com the 411 on his streetwear brand.
Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
My name is Lenard Grier, I am the Creative Director/Co-owner of The 3rd Estate clothing. The brand was started in late 2009 when I and my best friend, Carville Hobson, decided that it was time for us to have a new creative outlet. It may sound cliche’ but it seems like The 3rd Estate has been a part of our lives since we met in Middle School, so in that since, the brand really started in 1994. I would draw tennis shoes in class hoping that one day Nike would hire me as a designer, yet at the same time fill up my notebooks with rhymes hoping that one day I would be the next Nas or Jay-z. To this day I still have notebooks full of sketches and rhymes yet no lecture notes. Anyway, we both had an interest in hip-hop and began recording together with another close friend. In 2005 the other friend decided that he would like to move LA to pursue a career in the film industry. It was at this point where we lost our creative outlet and for 3 years Carville and I we’re going back and forth about wether we should continue with hip-hop or not. Throughout this whole time I was always into fashion, be it ,high-end or streetwear. I always wanted to open up my own boutique but I never had the funds to do so. So after endless alcohol induced discussions Carville and I decided, lets try our hand at clothing… we need an outlet, plus we know fashion, lets just do it! So now you have The 3rd Estate
Describe this season’s theme for your line. Include any sources of inspiration (examples: 80’s punk, muses like Amber Rose, 70’s disco bands, Kanye, etc)
We named our inaugural season “La Fin Du Monde” which is French for “The End of The World”. This may sound strange but the inspiration for this season is actually beer and the history channel. When we first came up with the theme I was actually sitting in the emergency room being treated for an ulcer (most likely caused by my love for beer). I was watching the History Channel and on it was a show about Nastradamus’ prophecies. What in particular caught my attention was the correlation between astronomy, astrology, and ancient civilizations. Carville is deep into astrology so I suggested to him a shirt around an astrological symbol that some believe marks the end of times. As we went deeper into detail we realized that this theme would need to be bigger than one design so we should use this as the theme for our first line. Around the same time I began drinking a canadian beer named “La Fin Du Monde” and also the origin our brand name stems from the French Revolution. So we thought… Hey thats a perfect fit!!
Any product placements on celebs to keep an eye out for (examples: publicity photos, magazines, movies, music videos etc)
Well this may be a shameless plug but we consider our close friend Jameel Saleem as a celeb. He’s the same guy that left the group to pursue a career in film, and he’s actually has done pretty well. So of course he wears The 3rd Estate. But more important he’s made sure that the actors in his films have worn it so look for our t’s in his latest 2 films, Fear Not and Exit Strategy. Outside of him I feel it is very important who represents our brand on a wider scale. The wrong publicity could have a negative affect on how the consumer perceives us. Clothing is a form of self expression but humans are such social beings that “self” is really the pack (for lack of better terms) that you believe you belong to. Lets say our consumer thinks they belong in the same “pack” as Ghandi but he sees Hitler wearing his shirt… His instant response is “Fuck that!! Hitler wears this shit! I wont be caught dead in this shirt anymore!”
What has been a surprise fashion hit over the last year? (a particular piece, a look or even another brand)
The surprise fashion hit to me has been the return to the “mod” look. Specifically slim cut denim, or chino’s paired Dr. Martens work boots. To me a return to this look says a lot about the influence of fashion. I say this because as an African-American, that look resembles the “skinhead” look. I am knowledgable to know that the origins of the Skinhead culture was not based on race but it was heavily influenced by west indian culture in the UK, but I assume that not everyone knows this. So to see people adapting to this trend leads me to believe that fashion made them overlook the fact that the trend is resembles the look of a racist group or that fashion forced them to look deeper to gain an understanding of where skinhead culture originated
What current fashion trend would you like to see thrown overboard?
None, every trend is for someone just not for me!
What is/was one of your most prized fashion pieces, past or present?
My most prized piece was my v-neck Coogie Sweater (mind you I was 11 and it was 1992). I remember I begged my mom for 3 years to buy me a Coogie. So in 1992 she finally did!! She told me never where it to school but of course i did. The one day that I wore it a school bully (who was 4 inches shorter than me lol) stole it. But my teacher got it back for me, honestly if i still had it I would wear it today… Oh the memories!!
TuPac or Biggie?
Pac for passion Biggie for lyricism. Me for the sake of being a douche’
You can get The 3rd Estate Clothing at their official website http://www.3rdestateclothing.com for reasonable prices (t-shirts are sold for $28 each). Or you can win some of their hottest pieces from The 3rd Estate’s La Fin Du Monde collection!
THE 3RD ESTATE GIVEAWAY!
The 3RD ESTATE is happy to give away 3 (three) supercool t-shirts from the “La Fin Du Monde” Collection to 3 (three) lucky SoJones readers. Check what you could win right here:
Here’s how it works:
1. Every SoJones comment posted on this page from October 1st – October 15th, 2010 counts as a “lottery entry”. Also make sure when you comment, have a link to somewhere we can contact you (like your SoJones account, your facebook, etc.). It makes it easier to contact you if you win.
2. Drawing for THREE winners will be held on October 16th, 2010. Winners will be announced on this page and on the forums page (http://www.sojones.com/forums/).
Article Comments Lottery Rules
One item per winner
Previous winners must wait 30 days before entering this contest
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