When two best friends get together and put their minds to what they do best, success is waiting for them and that’s what happened with Parth Sharma and Girish Karnani. Together, the two formed ONE90NE and conquered their own style demons. Get closer to the brand and find out what ONE90ONE is all about, as SoJones spoke to the two great minds behind the awesome streetwear.
Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
Parth: My name is Parth Sharma, I’m Co-Ceo of ONE90ONE. I have been the sales manager for ONE90ONE since day 1 and continue to spend every minute of my time growing sales for the company. The brand started when Girish Karnani and I went to Las Vegas shortly after graduating from college. We had $191 between the two of us and started an epic casino run that gave us enough cash to start a business. We both had a strong personal interest in fashion so we thought we should give it a shot. With no background or experience in fashion we just up and started our own line. We decided to name it ONE90ONE as a tribute to the original $191 that allowed us to get started. In hindsight it was pretty crazy of us but luckily things worked out for the best.
Girish: I’m Girish Karnani, Co-Founder of 191 Unlimited. I am the Creative Director and head of production for the brand.
ONE90ONE was started back in 2002 with $191 and a bottle of scotch. Parth and I were shitfaced in Vegas complaining that we didn’t get the Wall Street jobs we were training for, and didn’t know what to do with ourselves. That night, we turned the $191 in our pockets into just over $26,000 playing Roulette and Blackjack.
Parth and I both had a passion for style. We hated that everyone was stuck wearing black pants and a blue box cut shirt tucked in. Remember this was 2002, thank god those days are in the past. We decided to use our winnings responsibly, so we went to the strip club. At the Crazy Horse, we came up with the brilliant idea that we should create great fitting shirts.
We used our winnings, at least what was left over after our strip club experience, and created our first sample set. We drove the country, NYC to LA and back, and showed our samples to any store that would see us. We got enough orders to launch the brand officially.
This June is our 10 year anniversary. We are really proud of what we have accomplished and still have board meetings at strip clubs.
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).
Parth: This season is all about a return to wearable. We’re fed up with overkill details and unnecessary junk on garments that designers describe as “functional”. There is nothing functional about having 8 zippers on the shoulder of a cardigan or 12 pockets on a pair of shorts. That just reeks of overkill. When we designed this line we said to ourselves “we want to design the exact opposite of what you would see on the MTV show Jersey Shore.” We hate that show with passion and can’t stand the over-the-top outfits they are wearing these days. We want clean wearable items that don’t require a special occasion to sport. A few years ago we were making clothing that could only be worn out to a bar or club. Now we focus on stuff that guys can wear in everyday casual settings AND to the bar AND even to work. Some of the places we looked for inspirations are the show Madmen, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and other 1950s and early 1960s notable figures. That was a time period when guys rocked vests, skinny ties, fedoras, and collegiate cardigans. These items have been amongst our top selling categories in the past few seasons and continue getting hotter. Those old school looks matched up with livelier color and a little modern flare are spot on for what our customer looks for in our brand
Girish: We wanted to keep this collection simple and wearable. We didn’t want to go over the top with anything. Too many designers put so much useless crap on a shirt so that it will help them push the styles onto retailers. We came to the decision that those shirts always end up looking like crap, and we didn’t want to play that game. Clean, simple, wearable. Color was also a key factor in the Spring 2012 collection. Guys have too many black shirts in their closet.
Any product placements on celebs to keep an eye out for (examples: publicity photos, magazines, movies, music videos etc)
Parth: We have been fortunate enough to have a bunch of celebs rock ONE90ONE. Athletes like Tom Brady, Ike Davis, and Jason Kidd have been seen in our shirts. We have also had Lupe Fiasco use our jackets in one of his music videos. Bands like My Chemical Romance, The Used, Pappa Roach, and All American Rejects have pulled items from our stylists to wear on tour.
Girish: We have been fortunate enough to have a bunch of celebs rock ONE90ONE. Athletes like Tom Brady, Ike Davis, and Jason Kidd have been seen in our shirts. We have also had Lupe Fiasco and Adele use our clothing in their music videos. Bands like My Chemical Romance, The Used, Pappa Roach, and All American Rejects have pulled items from our stylists to wear on tour.
What has been a surprise fashion hit over the last year? (a particular piece, a look or even another brand).
Parth: The bowtie. This item had no business being in rap videos but somehow managed to work its way in. Cheers to the bowtie! I’d also like to mention Henleys. I didn’t think Henleys would outperform other t-shirts as much as they did. That was a nice surprise for us. Our black l/s “Settle Down” Henley was the first item to sell out from our Fall 2011 line.
Girish: Suspender pants. The best style was a grandpa plaid skinny pant with suspenders already sewn in. People usually rocked them with the suspender hanging down. We only came out with about 5 styles, but we sold 99% of them in about 2 weeks. We have a few select sizes available on the site, but that’s it. We will be running new styles this fall, which we are really excited about.
What current fashion trend would you like to see thrown overboard?
Parth: Embroidered shirts. That look was played out years ago but some guys are still hanging on to it. RIP embroidered shirts. I’d also like to get rid of short shorts. I know these items are hot at the moment but they don’t suit my personal style. I believe a guy’s shorts should fall below his knees. Short shorts remind me of the guys in the NBA in the 70s. While those guys were talented athletes with great hair, their shorts were not worthy of being repeated
Girish: We call them Douche Bag shirts. They piss me off. These are the shirts with super large stiff collars and cuffs, with way too many buttons on them, that have bright pink or pastel colored contrast fabrics inside the cuff. The shirt is made for the Miami Douche!
I can’t lie, we had a few styles like these in past collections, but its only because they were special requests from great customers. But whenever I saw in our warehouse, I would cringe.
What is/was one of your most prized fashion pieces, past or present?
Parth: The ONE90ONE Courageous Hat. We got that hat onto tons of celebrities. I personally gave Gary Payton and Sal Masekela their own. The funny part about that hat was that it was the very first piece of headwear we ever made.
Girish: Style XG117. That was the first style I ever designed back in 2002. We only made about 200 of them, and I own 3. I still wear it out even though it’s a dinosaur, but it reminds me what we had to go through to get to where we are now. It’s been a long and fun road.
TuPac or Biggie?
Parth: I’m an East Coaster but I’m going with Tupac all the way. All Eyes On Me was a classic album. Whenever someone brings this topic up I just think about Tupac’s last verse in the song “Hit Em Up” and how he just goes off on Biggie. Tupac had a passion and intensity that is rare to see
Girish: Even though I am from the east coast, I still have to go with TuPac.
Today is a great day for you, SoJones readers, because if you shop at http://www.191unlimited.com/ you can enter the code SOJONES upon check out and save 20% on your order. Check out the brand’s Facebook Page and follow ONE90ONE on Twitter too!
ONE90ONE is giving away FOUR t-shirts from the brand’s Spring collection for TWO very lucky SoJones readers (yes, each winner will get TWO t-shirts). And get this: the winners are entitled to choose their own prizes from ONE90ONE’s website! Now, pay attention to the rules because it’s slightly different than the usual. Make sure you follow all the steps!
Here’s how it works:
1. Answer this question on the comment box below: “What’s the name of the brand featured here today?”
2. ‘Like’ the facebook fan pages for Sojones and 191 Unlimited
3. Tweet ‘I just entered to win a @191unlimited prize pack from @sojones http://bit.ly/xSlXQG #191unlimited #contest’
4. You can do the steps above from February 10th – February 24th, 2012. Make sure that when you comment you provide a link of where we can contact you (like your SoJones account, your Facebook, Twitter etc.). It makes life easier to be able to contact you should you win. You MUST do all the required steps to be eligible to win.
5. Drawing for 2 (TWO) WINNERS will be held on February 27th, 2011. The winners will be announced on this page and on the forums page (http://www.sojones.com/forums/).
Article Comments Lottery Rules
* One prize package per winner
* Previous winners must wait 30 days before entering this contest
* Duplicate comments will not count, like posting “I love this forum” or “hi” 50 times.
* Garbage or nonsensical keyboard-pounding comments will not count, like “awr#$ASFasdfkl”
* Comments hating on other people will definitely NOT count.
* US Residents only
Don’t forget to visit SoJones.com’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SoJones and become a fan!
Check out the full ONE90ONE gallery below!