“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”
– Madam C.J. Walker
I spent a long awaited weekend in New York City where I joined the good folks over at B. Gold NYC clothing during their first pop up shop of the new season. I haven’t seen the crew in months, since they’ve been traveling all over the country attending fashion industry events, so much has changed for us all since summer of 2011 when most of everything we all are doing now was in the discussion phase.
How do I describe what happens next?
If I called them a movement I risk diminishing the array of accomplishments held by Winston B. and Max G individually. Each man came into the industry with an extensive list of accomplishments from a previous time and place.
“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.”
– Coco Chanel
As the principal co-owners of the Soho based orders-taken-and-manufactured-by-the-minute couture clothing company, they each have their hands full with running the growing company that consists of an exclusive and tight knit team of creative contributors that spans across several industries and almost every continent.
If I tried to describe B. Gold NYC as simply a clothing company, I wouldn’t be giving you an accurate description. They do far more than just manufacture clothes. They build, destroy, reconstruct and improve the design of the clothing and the process that creates the clothing.
As fans of fluidity and efficiency, plans change, things change, and the only people not trying to keep up is the inner circle of the B. Gold executive team.
Meetings are conducted via IM, text messaging and sporadic emails which may only containing images and exclamation points.
You’ve got to keep up.
They use social media to accomplish this.
The onlookers, the consumers, the fans and the haters lurk in the shadows wondering what’s next. A constant check of everyone’s social network stats shows whose clicking and whose favoriting ideas.
They see you watching them.
And unlike other companies, there’s no hate from the inside out. Ideas are free and infinite when you create as a part of life, you can give away the excess to make space for more.
Winston and Max believe in trickle down resources. Imagine how cool it would be if a follower took an image or an idea or a tweet and created something with it that didn’t exist before? It could be art work or a business concept…after all, that’s what friends are for and since their business is based on community and friendship everything is working as planned.
If I called them a design company that still wouldn’t be correct, because they not only come up with nifty logos and designs, they come up with zeitgeist pop culture symbols that are a sign of our times. Alicia Keys can be seen wearing a piece from the B. Gold Brilliantly Bespoke Collection in her Teenage Love Affair video.
Inspired by the Occupy Movement their signature “Eat the Rich” 100% organic cotton handmade t-shirts became a must have item among the renegade fashion conscious. The debut of the items came during Yelp’s 2011 New York City Shop Local event which set them apart from their vendor counterparts when it became clear that a powerful statement was more valuable than yet another scented candle.
If I called them a movement, I risk diminishing the array of accomplishments held by Winston B. and Max G individually, when it comes to what each man brings to their business. These two brown skinned guys from regular NYC neighborhoods are impressively educated and refreshingly down to Earth.
As the principal co-owners of the Soho based orders-taken-and-manufactured-by-the-minute couture clothing company, they each have their hands full. All insiders play multiple roles that both contribute to the development of B. Gold and to their own sectors.
A requirement of being an insider is being able to bring your own set of ideas and vision to the table.
“Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”
The two founders are enigmas.
Energetic and daring, Max has been doing what he does since the age of 19, when he formulated, developed, solicited funding and launched his very first professional business as a marketer in the emerging professional inline skate industry.
Providing money and employment to his friends was his initial motivation, instead, Max’s ideas and good intentions found these regular guys from the Bronx touring throughout the US and Europe for two consecutive years as before finally retiring to focus on other endeavors.
Unassuming, fashionably scruffy with a smile that is welcoming and peaceful, he gives off the air of someone who isn’t worried about what happens next. Winston is your humble Golden Boy, figuratively holding his architectural career achievements in one hand while discussing his plans to create luxurious jeans made for thighs like “these” as he inspects the stitching in my clothes on this day.
His questions and tugs were more about him visualizing improvement in design then it was about a free feel up. I happily obliged in hopes that he could make a pair of jeans for me that would really fit my “thighs like these”, wide hips, big booty and small waisted-ed self.
We shall see.
He’ll be a billionaire if he can solve the “black girl booty” jeans issue. Though I don’t doubt him, since they make complicated quite simple. Creative minds have a way of doing that.
B Gold NYC is the evolution of urban entrepreneurship and a blueprint for new business practice. Hopefully, other small and/or minority owned businesses will take notice and begin to utilize the free marketing tools the web has to offer.
Willing to share information and resources, they’re enthusiasm for forging relationships isn’t always met with honesty and integrity, but that doesn’t deter them from continuing on in a way that welcomes the opportunity to work and make money with people that look just like them.
So when you see the guys over there partying with the supermodels, don’t be intimidated, go over and speak to them before snapping pictures of them with your Iphone. I promise you they’re all nice guys.
When you see the team members joking among each other on Twitter in several different languages, they’re just being themselves, average, everyday, normal Dominican, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, Afro-Cuban, German, London, African artists…..just talking smack after a few beers as they collect for a meeting on a public social network platform throughout various parts of the world.
Socialism isn’t so bad after all.