Originally published on MIChronicle.com.
What do your clothes say about you? We often hear the phrase “fashion statement”, but what does that mean? A fashion statement happens when something you wear draws others in, attracts attention, or starts a conversation. Class of Seventy Four is certainly starting the conversation and sparking up nostalgia with its line of dope graphic tees. Check out this interview and get to know this up and coming brand, their designs, and creative process.
Q. Explain who you are and/or what your brand is.
A. My name is Winston Brown III, and I am Creative Director for Class of Seventy Four and Detroit’s Doper. Aaron Wilson III is lead design. We are two guys who grew up watching a lot of wrestling, television and movies. Class of Seventy Four is the tangible expression of those fond memories.
Q. What was the initial motivation behind creating a line like this?
A. We started Class about six years ago, At the time, Aaron and I were both in the process of doing our own thing. We’ve known each other well over twenty years, so after a few conversations it made sense for us to join forces. We wanted to pay homage to our childhood and the stuff we loved growing up. We didn’t want to do a “retro” line that was forced, but we wanted to do it in the most organic way possible.
Q. What attracted you to the nostalgic approach in your brand?
A. We both love vintage ads, catalogs and photos. They always had the best colors, fonts and textures. We just thought it would be dope to add those elements to what we do. It adds to the overall feeling of the brand.
Q. How is the present state of Detroit different from the Detroit that is reflected in your line?
A. It’s not so much different, but more about what we wanted to focus on. We can remember when Belle Isle park had a zoo! Or, when you could see two movies for $2.50 at the Norwest and Mercury movie theaters. People now can’t fathom that Northland Mall was THE mall to go to. This was what we wanted to do with our “Detroit’s Doper” collection. The city is such an important ingredient in what we do because everything we experienced we experienced here.
Q. Your designs capture moments that people of all ages may both remember and enjoy. Are you seeking to recreate those moments, or remind people of them?
A. We most definitely want to remind people of them. Brands now are so serious and super cool that the heart gets lost at times. We want to bring the heart back.
Q. What celebrities can you see wearing your clothes? What is your targeted demographic?
A. Our demographic is anyone who loves vintage pop culture as much as we do.
Q. What does the future look like for Class?
A. We did our soft-launch for our “Detroit’s Doper” brand this year, and that did well. We will be doing more of that in the coming year. We also have some special projects in the works with Detroit based sneaker shop Bob’s Classic Kick’s located at 4717 Woodward. They are the exclusive carriers of Detroit’s Doper as well. Keep an eye on us.
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. Yes. We want to thank anyone who has ever bought a shirt or liked a picture or ad of ours.