Fashion guides our lives in ways that we do not even realize. On August 25th, I got a fully fleshed-out example of this in a space that felt like another magical dimension in the city of Baltimore: The Consumer-S event thrown by genius creative Greg (@sickboygreg), unforgettably dope Jael (@TheRealJWK) and the rest of their dynamic team/family.
I was on a mission by The Demo Tape to seek out a certain Fashion icon, but what I accidentally found was the El Dorado of Fashion creativity in the city.
All good things come to those that wait. The event did not start until a couple hours then advertised, but after being in the event planning business for years myself, I was completely fine with the wait as I arrived closer to 6:00pm. Working on prepping for my slated interview of the night and other articles for The Demo Tape in the meantime, I briefly helped with the set up as the new Too Cozy album blazed to set the vibe. If you want a soul-soothing aesthetic vibe to your events in the DMV, I believe Greg and his crew are clearly the ones to contact. There were TV displays and all the staff, designers and models were setting up notable and photoshoot fresh areas as music from Skepta blazed. While working on my own materials until my time had come for my main job at this event, I watched in awe seeing the simple workout room be transformed (in the most fashionably fly manner) with Christmas lights, caution tape, and more.
My patience was awarded as the individual I came to see arrived in all of his powerful, but calm and welcoming aura.
— MENYELEK (@menyelekrose) May 19, 2017
Enter Menyelek Rose, one of the featured designers on the flyer, but extremely more than just a feature. After his notable setup with his pieces using the weights in the area as well as caution tape and hanging materials, I was blessed to finally get my shot at an interview.
After the brief, proper praise and introduction of The Demo Tape, I began. With origins from Kingston, Jamaica, this DMV native did not start off as the fashion person, he said. It started in middle school and ripping pieces, putting them together for people and for fun, teaching himself how to sew as well as teaching himself essential designer/fashion pioneer skills. A natural prodigy of the craft, Menyelek was invited to Fashion Week in New York in just 11th grade and has had three collections presented there since. From there, Menyelek has been featured in The Source more than four times, i-D Magazine (a subsection of Vice magazine), Office magazine and so much more. (*Clout Alert*)
Wow I'm speechless
Thank you lord pic.twitter.com/QjHjNcMvWd
— MENYELEK (@menyelekrose) August 31, 2017
Beyond the prestige and the undeniably growing reputation throughout the nation and world at large, I wanted to know what the brilliant creative attempts to project into the world with his art, self-describing himself; he stated “strength, truth, reality and power.” I asked him what inspires his art and he stated that the things and scattering of clothing around him does so. He likes to mix them and piece them together, in mosaic-like style as I could see. As one could see from his display at this event, a piece of his can contain parts of dresses, T-shirts and even flannel mixed in. Menyelek makes an active effort to make his pieces unisex. I commented and inquired about his musical inspiration, as music is extremely influential like fashion and influential to the creative process as well. He loves Opera, artists like Lil Uzi and the A$AP crew, and expressed a special affinity for House music.
Researching Menyelek, I immediately noticed the super wavey, diversity of his models in terms of hair styles, races, etc. I asked Menyelek what goes into the process of choosing these individuals, and he began to eloquently describe the concept of diversity. “EVERYTHING you do must be diverse,” he stated. “Lack of diversity can scare individuals off,” he also said; a valid statement considering the concept of alienation and erasure within the fashion community at points. Also, as he confirmed once when followed up with that question, lack of diversity is indeed bad for business.
Now, I could have dipped after that, but the energy of the venue was just too infectious to ignore. With Jael as the clever and energetic AUX cord DJ for a majority of the night, there were entire dance cyphers the whole night with creatives from all over the DMV, individuals breakdancing and hitting the coolest moves to House music, and all races and orientations being truly carefree in all of their fashionable beauty. There were even brief, live boxing matches between the creatives of playful hilarity as new music from Lil Uzi, A$AP Mob, Ski Mask The Slump God, and old bangers had everyone shaking the place down. There were model-looking women at this event, so I attempted to snag perspective for them, just to find out that they were not models but model-esque with their soul-snatching and head turning fashion. One these individuals, Daisy (@bisoumiuccia), added to the vibe the entire evening with her ABRA/Kilo Kish vibes, quaint but noticeable fashion style from the septum piercing down, and her loving the mirror in the venue the entire night. Daisy gave background on the collective of Greg, Jael and their crew and how they do typically amazing events like this on the regular in a motivating manner. Also sharing with me her come up as a stylist and assistance from Greg, one could see that fashion is deeper than it seems in terms of shaping one’s purpose and life past.
Vibing out and working on articles in the corner, whilst taking time to interact with all of the great people, I continued to enjoy myself until I had to depart early. As I blasted “Wu-Tang Forever” on my Pokéball speaker and bopped to my ride to get home, it was beautiful realizing how much Baltimore has to offer the world with the art of its newer generation