Paid Homage x Chris Brown Launch “FAME” T-Shirts, Explain Why Merchandising Is Necessary [Pg. 2]

Definitely, and this digital era is a perfect time to make a line like this successful. What artists do you most want to pay homage to that you haven’t yet?
Personally, we want to go with people like M.I.A. and Gaga because they’re really open and out there trying new things. I think that’d be another great avenue to take. Right now, we only have hip-hop artists, so I want to branch out and make sure we cover everybody.
My-Kel: Also, I want to start doing athletes that are just phenomenal.

Like, Derrick Rose!
All: Definitely! [Laughs]

[Laughs] Okay, so tell me a bit about this new line with Chris Brown and its direction.
The Chris Brown situation came about because Fli Stylz showed him a brand that I did called Collage, and Chris Brown went crazy over it. [Fli] was like, ’Why don’t you do something for Chris?’ So, I hit Fresh up, and Fresh always comes back with something that thee people are knocked onto the floor with. In less than 24 hours, we had a full layout, full concept broken down, stuff that really fit hit persona and he loved it. Loved it off the top! I made him some samples and he went to Australia, and on a video he was rocking that. There’s a Twitter link of him wearing the shirt, and we’re just going through the paperwork part to solidify the deal.

That’s going to be nuts! Chris Brown is a major stable in music culture right now.
The best thing about it is that he’s fully supportive of it. That just makes everything that happens from it even better, you know?

Exactly. It’s better than just putting artists’ faces on shirt without their input. What are your thoughts on the marriage between fashion and pop culture?
I think that’s the future. We live in a very fast-paced world and consumers want to be sold to. Right now, we’re in the age of instant everything. If a person knows that they can connect with their fan with something cool that fits their persona then it works. If you look on the twitter page where Breezy tweeted that picture, he didn’t even say anything about Paid Homage but he was wearing the shirt. The reaction to the shirt was authentic, and that was ever doper to me that people connected with that shirt off top. People were like, ‘Yo, where can I get that shirt,’ because if you can connect with your favorite star or whoever by what they’re wearing then you want to get into it. There are stars and people that put out stuff all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily connect with the fans. We’re actually seeing that the designs and the concepts and the ideas that we have are actually connecting with the fans of these artists. Even with Nicki, she saw what we did for her and loved it. Fresh has a very unique way of making things fit the aesthetic of that person to a T. Artists do 360 deals now that means merchandise, touring and your music, and you’ll make more money off your merchandise in the long haul. You have to give these consumers what they want, so pop culture and fashion is one and the same.

What do you feel, overall, about our culture and the direction we’re going in?
We’re going into a new generation. It’s all about good energy and working with your unit. It’s about teamwork , and I’ll collaborate with anybody. I’m open for whatever, and I’m into everything. There’s no reason why you can’t positively create with people. That’s the legacy I’m pushing towards; that’s the legacy I want to leave on my kids. It’s all about building pyramids with your people.
McFresh: Each person is necessary.


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