WOLF STYLE CLOTHING
HARLEM, NEW YORK DERRICK MURRAY CEO & DESIGNER
VALIDATED: Do you remember when you first became aware of fashion?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: It was 1985-86 when Tommy Hilfiger challenged Ralph Lauren’s pedigree with his Billboard in Times Square in 1985. Then Ralph Lauren opened the Polo Mansion in 1986. I thought to myself, "With the right people I can do that!"
VALIDATED: What inspired you to start your brand?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Arme was the name of my first brand. I was inspired by the overload of gun violence in America; I had something to say about it through clothing. WOLF is a collective of my two partners and me. We collaborate a lot, I don’t like collaborating but that’s who I am as a designer. Love those guys though.
VALIDATED: How did you get your start?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: My uncle Richard Bailey introduced me to an indie designer named Charles Mitchell aka Charlie Black (RIP). I became Black’s Designer and he’d do the sewing. He also created many of the styles. Brilliant man.
VALIDATED: Define fashion?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: If clothing could speak, they’d say what I’m wearing right now… “Damn… my style is at the end of an endless hallway... good luck following me.”
VALIDATED: Describe your creative process.
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: I clean the house, check ESPN News highlights, have a glass of scotch… in many cases Oban 14 or Lagavullan 16. Light a cigar – Padron 1926 Series No.6 Maduro and ignore all calls.
VALIDATED: What motivates you as a Fashion Designer?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: The ability to speak without saying a word.
VALIDATED: What is your target audience, and how do you relate to it?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: I can design for any demographic and genre with minimal research so my target audience is usually the one that progresses the fastest. Keeps me sharp.
VALIDATED: Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: I taught myself photography, design, computer graphic design, the marketing of apparel and tech design. A Jewish man taught me the business of apparel.
VALIDATED: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: I will never stop learning nor will I ever be completely satisfied with design so I’m always evolving.
VALIDATED: What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Keep in contact with industry people. Isolation can kill a designer’s potential.
VALIDATED: What advice would you give to young designers?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Learn the business, make sure you’re financed by apparel industry professionals and respect your audience because you’re gonna have to marry them if you wanna be successful.
VALIDATED: What's your motto/rules to live by?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Be original, within reason and don’t take advice from non-creative people unless they understand you!
VALIDATED: What has been the most difficult aspect of getting your brand off the ground and how did you overcome that?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: When the brand WOLF out grew our basic silhouettes, getting financing in a crowded and shaky market has been the Achilles heel. We’re overcoming it by providing our consumer with the product they demand most and gradually forming relationships with the proper manufacturers so we can push the line forward.
VALIDATED: What are two aspects of business in which you believe a new brand should invest resources?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Invest in popular young bloggers and partner with manufacturers who can dropship and have great distribution channels.
VALIDATED: Where can we get our hands on the collection?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Wolfstyle Store on 132nd and 8th Avenue in Harlem, NY and at wolfstylestore.com.
VALIDATED: Can you describe your brand in three words?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Strong, Original and Evolving
VALIDATED: If you could choose anyone to wear your brand, who would it be and why?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Jay-Z because it represents people like him, especially now that he’s taken a strong stance against injustice and Rhianna simply because she’s dope.
VALIDATED: Is there a particular designer who inspires you?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: I’m inspired by Derrick Murray (myself lol) and automobile designers like Walter de Silva (Audi R8), Henrik Fisker (BMW Z8), Shiro Nakamura (Nissan Skyline) and Peter Stevens (McLaren F1).
VALIDATED: Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: My All Black Jogger suit with the Black Wolf Face and Red eyes.
VALIDATED: Which celebrities have been spotted wearing your clothing?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: DJ Kay Slay, 50 Cent, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Mase, DMX, Doug E. Fresh, D-Dot Angelette, Stevie J., Mysonne, Kid Capri, Deontay Wilder, Quentin Tarantino and many others.
VALIDATED: How can we follow your brand on social media?
WOLF STYLE CLOTHING: Instagram at @wolfstyleclothing and online at wolfstylestore.com