It’s been awhile, but we are back with another interview. I’ve been lucky enough to get in contact with such a creative, passionate and enduring soul, Jamal Moore. I actually went to university with this guy, and didn’t know how talented he was with apparel. A couple weeks ago, we did a blog post on three young extraordinary clothing designers in the U.S., but I wanted to save Mal for his own personal interview.
Jamal Moore, or Malz for short, introduces himself as a 21 year old clothing designer. Malz grew up in Atlanta, GA, the “Black Hollywood” of the east coast. He is the creator of the ‘oh-so’ stylish Phorever Phocas. If you haven’t heard of this ultra-hip clothing line, well here’s your chance to get hooked on game.
Question: What do you do that exceeds expectations?
Answer: I give consumers something that is diverse through simplicity in the street-wear world.
Question: How has your hometown influenced your craft?
Answer: There wouldn’t be a Phorever Phocas if I was anywhere else; I know that for a fact. I went to Margaret Mitchell in the kindergarten and my teachers would let me paint portraits of historians and civil rights leaders after school. I was the only one their just painting every day for hours and that’s what sparked the creative Frankenstein in me today.
Question: What social media accounts have supported your craft? What type of audience is the most supportive?
Answer: Mainly tumblr and instagram. I don’t have a personal twitter because it feels strange for people to know what you’re thinking and when. I will create one soon to give buyers updates on upcoming releases. My main supporters are the young visionaries; they are the future of this generation.
Question: After watching the Kanye West and Sway interview in 2013, how do feel about Sway’s suggestion to Kanye West about skirting the fashion industry to put out West’s own designs?
Answer: I feel like he didn’t really understand Kanye’s frustration with being a rap artist and trying to be accepted in the high-end side of the fashion industry. Kanye is not a billionaire like the high end owners so he can’t produce his designs at the amount and quality that he desires. Look at Dr. Dre, he just became a billionaire at 50 and Kanye’s only in his 30s; it could take years for him to become a billionaire and by then he won’t be as relevant as he is today. His prime is now and it is the best time for him to create high-end fashion.
Question: How would you have handled the suggestion from Sway about your clothing line? Why?
Answer: Sway’s a legend and a person who really cares about the people who comes to his show, so I definitely wouldn’t spazz out at him. But Kanye was passionate about how he felt and I think he was holding something back, that’s what was breeding the rage. It was something that he wanted to say but couldn’t.
Question: Why did you name your clothing line “Phorever Phocas”?
Answer: It was originally called Phocas because I wanted people to think. Yeah it means focus but it also means many other things. For me it means to have innovative thoughts through creativity. I want it to just keep people driven and to make people more open-minded. Nowadays it’s rare to meet people with their own view because so many are brain-washed by stuff people beat in their heads. Like I believe that any one can be whatever they dream to be, if they never stop believing in themselves. The only thing that stops them is when they start to believe the people that sh*t on their dreams. Nobody can see your vision but you.
Question: What lead you to spell the name of your line with a “Ph” instead of a “F”?
Answer: I’m a severe word bender and it gives people a chance to their own meanings.
Question: Was it a struggle launching your own clothing line?
Answer: The struggle at the beginning is constantly taking each dollar that you make into upcoming products and trying to please everyone at the same time.
Question: What inspired you to take a risk and start your clothing line?
Answer: The internet. Before it could only be an idea to create your own line independently, now the internet gives different outlets where you can brand yourself throughout the world with one click. Most people don’t even watch TV anymore because anything you want is on the internet.
Question: What age did you consider starting your own clothing line?
Answer: I’ve wanted to start a brand for years but I told myself that if I ever did it would mean something.
Question: Who is your favorite fashion designer? Why?
Answer: Alessandro Gallo & Francesca Rinaldo. It’s a couple in Italy who creates designs with an artsy sense. Each of their designs tells a story and that is what I try to do with Phorever Phocas.
Question: What clothing line are you most inspired by? Why?
Answer: None at the moment. I get most of my inspiration from everyday life. Like last week at Wendys, I saw this old man who had to be in his 70s with a crazy dope style. It was out of the ordinary, but unique enough to inspire me with concepts.
Question: What sets “Phorever Phocas” apart from other up and coming clothing lines out right now?
Answer: It’s not a quick buck brand. I care more about the art than the trends. It’s about longevity that’s why it’s Phorever.
Question: Do you want to remain independent or would you merge with another clothing line? Why or why not?
Answer: I can’t really say I wouldn’t but if I did it would have to be the right situation.
Question: What type of clothing store or boutique would you consider selling your merchandise at? Why?
Answer: At this moment I’ve taken likes to the new shoe boutiques in Atlanta. There, it would be less competition so it would benefit me most at the time.
Question: What style would you consider “Phorever Phocas”? What type of fabric?
Answer: I want to give a different theme for each couple of seasons. Right now, it’s going through a skater/hiphop-rockstar phase.
Question: What are your long term goals for your clothing line?
Answer: A collaboration with Andre 3000, that’s been my idol since I was a kid. I always admired how he took risks in style, and how he would push the limits. It’s tough to not care what people say and do you, and he’s been doing that for decades now. It’s not about the money, that’s going to come. I want to inspire the world and give them my vision.
Question: What influenced the design of the logo?
Answer: Nights of listening to old Stevie Wonder, Travis Scott, and Portishead designing in my room. It took me to a creative world and everything just came together.
Question: In what way will “Phorever Phocas” influence the fashion industry? Why?
Answer: It will inspire them to be different and not recycle the same trends, because it is the “cool thing” at the time. That’s something I try to avoid. It wouldn’t feel right to compromise my craft for popular fads that plays-out after a couple of months.
Question: What items (products) do you wish to add to expand your collection in the future?
Answer: I’m most eager about the jackets I’ve been sketching up for the future, but I want it to be quality so it may take time.
Question: What do you want your fans, consumers, supporters, and or viewers to know about upcoming events for “Phorever Phocas”?
Answer: They need to know it’s all about them and each upcoming project will be worth it. In the future I want to involve them in online contests that would benefit them in different ways.
Ladies and gentlemen this is just the beginning. If you want to contact and or purchase Phorever Phocas, you can shop with Malz on http://www.phoreverphocas.com/
Malz’s Instagram: @PhoeverPhocas and email: Phoreverphocas@gmail.com
Thanks for reading!