Trend Elements Magazine presents our interview with Persévérer, CEO Brandon Williamson. It has been a pleasure getting to know Brandon. He has definitely been an inspiration to me and my business. He has been so genuine, it all fit when he told me he was born in Detroit. Detroit breeds greatness! He now resides in Chicago, IL with his own showroom. Becoming a fashion blogger has given me the chance to meet many different designers and Brandon has to be one of the best. I really like that PRSVR not only has great clothing but a philosophy behind their brand. The inspirational quotes are what first attracted me to the brand. Then, the fashion that the line carries is incomparable and exclusive. Persévérer has been worn by many athletes and celebrities including Bow Wow on B.E.T.’s 106 and Park and most recently Teyana Taylor during All-Star Weekend 2013. Everything is dope from PRSVR in my opinion from their jackets, vests, t-shirts and sweatpants. My favorite color is red, so obviously my favorite designs are from the R.E.D. Collection. R.E.D. stands for Resilience Erases Defeat, and I completely agree. I also wanted to spotlight Brandon’s other projects like his Apple and Android application Sole Search, go download it. Soul Search allows you to search for sneaker boutiques near you or even around the world. I would like to thank Brandon again for allowing me to interview him, he gave some impressive answers. Check out the interview, pictures and videos below. www.prsvr.com
1. When and where was Perseverer founded?
Perseverer/PRSVR was founded in 2005 in Michigan. It came from a place where we really wanted to create something that not only looked good, but stood for something that was important to us. The process of perseverance is something that anybody that wakes up each morning can identify with, so to be able to embody that and present that in product is huge!!
2. What does Perseverer mean?
Well it’s the French pronunciation for persevere. My favorite meaning of the word is “to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement.” We took the word and made the acronym PRSVR which we have coined as Passion, Resilience, Sacrifice, Values, and Respect which are all of the ingredients that we feel are needed in order to Persevere!
3. Why did you start the label?
PRSVR was started from us wanting to offer into the culture that we were such a huge part of from a consumer stance. Even with us doing so much purchasing, we felt that we had the ability to present something that was able to speak directly to a demographic that we are a part of. We had graduated from our scholastic careers, and then from there going into a corporate world where we didn’t really identify with yet so it was the challenge at that point to design pieces for the male or female traveler with ambition. It had to be done!
4. When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Maybe 5 years ago… I think it was something I always wanted to do and wanted to be good at, but would talk myself out of! In time, I was making things that got people’s attention. Through this, my confidence was built up and I was able to tap into those thoughts that I had. From there it really became a thing of finding my style so to say, and I am still working on that. But it’s definitely a pleasure and something that I am growing in each season!
5. What was the first piece you designed?
It’s a piece that hasn’t launched yet called the “Space Hoodie” that I created a few years back. It should be launched this coming fall! It was like a quilted sweater that has this exaggerated neck with this rope pull that adjusts its height…Yea…that’s going to be great. The funny part about that piece is that it’s from 4 years ago, and we are just now seeing brands put things out very similar to it. Have to learn to strike when you have the idea…time waits never!
6. What are your dreams for the future and what’s next for the brand?
I think it would be amazing to be able to present during fashion week! Definitely a goal to aspire to on our end that will happen for sure! Next up, we have some publications that covered the brand that will be releasing soon. Next on our plate is presenting our spring and summer collections. From there, we will get back to fall and thankful to God that we’ve been able to sustain the business and release another collection for that season. We will continue with our philanthropic endeavors and look for more ways to be involved in our communities.
7. Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration usually comes from lack of on our end. We see things often, but other things just don’t exist and we look to fill those voids. Otherwise, design wise, I am inspired by Ghostface and Raekwon from the Wu! The way that they carried themselves was like these superheros of fashion and etiquette without being presented in a way that wasn’t acceptable in any crowd. Asian culture and their risk to do daring things in their daily life are also very inspiring as well. It comes and it goes, but with inspiration, it really comes down to riding that high when it does come, and not forcing the results!
8. Explain to us the overall theme of the line?
We want to convey functionality and versatility. With us traveling so much, convenience is important. From climate changes, overhead bins, wardrobe modifications, it’s important to always be ready and prepared when opportunities arise for us all. To present the functionality aspect, it creates a lane that shows not only style, but use for the products as well. Being cool is great, but being useful is where one can find worth when purchasing products.
9. How do we get information and products?
Information for PRSVR can be found on our website www.prsvr.com, as well as our social networks with the handle PRSVR. We have several retail locations that will be carrying our line very soon so that is going to be a great way to expand the brand and present to different markets.
10. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Don’t follow…to be called a designer, you have to have something that sets you aside in your own right. Inspiration is always good and needed, but you can’t ride someone’s wave and expect to sustain. You always have to ask yourself “did you improve on a design? Did you do something new?” At least that is how I approach things.
What do you think is the next trend for the Spring/Summer season?
Leather is still here…you’ll see a lot of people in leather during the warmer months still. This all over print shirt thing is going to stay…its kind of hard to forecast because these things are already shown and evident, but there will be a lot of layering dressing for the fall, all summer.
11. What’s the most challenging part of being a designer?
I personally feel that striking at the right time is the most challenging. You may have an idea that is brilliant, but may also be too early or not correctly received. On the flip side, you may have an idea, or a take on an idea that somebody else is also having their take on. When this happens, you have to either stick with your guns and present your take, or be ready to immediately transition!
12. Who are some of your favorite designers?
I am a huge fan of Ralph Lauren and his make up as far as business is concerned. Tom Ford has always been one of my favorites, Anna Hovet is great and getting better every year, Nigo is a genius, and I’m a fan of Ozwald Boateng. All of those designers make up my inspiration to this day!
13. What do you want to say to your supporters?
Everybody roots for the underdog in the movie. When you are the underdog, will you have the confidence to root for yourself? Passion, Resilience, Sacrifice, Values, Respect…peace!
Pictures of PRSVR Designs…