ONE37pm: How did this collab with Reigning Champ come together?
Jide Osifeso: I had conversations about products and processes in a general sense several times over the years with Reigning Champ. Our approach to design and business seemed to be pretty complementary. One day, the then brand manager at Reigning Champ asked if I’d be open to doing a guest designer line. We then pretty quickly got to work.
Can you elaborate on what the collection's title, "Weeping Eye," means in your life and your daily grind?
Osifeso: Weeping Eye is two things: It’s about the rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest and the way I feel when I'm there; It's a somber and calming place, I love it. Weeping Eye also represents the theme of loss or defeat. When I sat down and thought about what I wanted to say with the Reigning Champ partnership, I tried to dissect what it is to be champion. I found that the formula contains both wins and losses. A hero is a victory preceded by a fair share of defeat. Weeping Eye is the first step.
What's your top advice for young creatives looking to blaze a similar trail?
Osifeso: Don’t be afraid to go your own way. There’s a "follow the leader" mentality that is easy to imitate when you’re just starting. I still believe that having your perspective is the way to achieve real success. True success is to be great, not necessarily to have the most money or accolades. Hopefully, those come with it, but first, you must master your craft your way.
Lastly, what are your go-to books and mentors you lean on for inspiration and motivation when you need a spark?
Osifeso: There’s so many, but I'll name a few. At the moment, I'm reading a book called The New Black Vanguard by Antwaun Sargent that I love right now. It captures the new wave of influential contemporary artists doing great work. I get inspired every time I open it up. For real clothing inspiration, I loved a Japanese magazine called HUGE in the early and mid-2000s. I have an unreasonable amount of their print issues in my garage that I go back to and reference often. I read a book by Kenya Hara called White a while ago that I often reference when starting a new project. It details the design and communication ethos that I share. I use it as a point of reference when I need to clear my mind.