my little sister sent me a text message on thursday with the question, “why are things that say herringbone always so expensive?”. she has long been inspired by my sense of style, always recognizing my development and then pulling from it to use as recycled inspiration for how she becomes the woman she feels empowered enough to be. knowing off the top of my head what herringbone is, as a textile- i tried my best to explain it in a way that would be easily digestible. in my mind- the inspiration, the visuals, the music, the artists, the ideas, the influence. all of those elements are circulating, brewing like a stew, in my mind at all times, at a constant rate. layers upon layers, thoughts on top of thoughts. conversations with loved ones creating additional layers, much like the fibers that make up herringbone. in my current head space, that’s where i’ve lived. in the fibers of intellectuality, sorting through this big ass idea. somehow trying to find the words, even in this space; for the last several years to come to a place where i can communicate this large, grand scale vision. everything that i do creatively is one huge explanation. a cultivation, of represented taste and style, words and perception- as i see it. this work, the translation of all of these elements has long been my life’s work.
earlier in the week, i seen the above image of christy turlington in the december issue of american vogue. shot by inez and vinoodh, the image was shot for a feature on edun, which is a label that is produced and manufactured in africa, to create jobs in that region. an amazing concept, founded by bono and ali hewson. i hit my girl, leya, up with an iphone shot image from the pages of vogue. i thought about the appropriation of african or tribal aesthetics, wanting to show leya the dope ideas coming from high fashion that represented our culture of color. their basket weaving technique is both timeless and contemporary all in one in the shot. matching my enthusiasm, leya responded. i then offered the suggestion that we have basket weaving in leather done at the bodice of her wedding gown. all in fun, with no actual plans of a wedding in the near or distant future. i entertain these visionary ideas on a regular basis with people im close with. it’s all about connecting and representing a pure form of yourself at all times for me. the idea of her wedding gown, the use of weaving technique done in leather was all just a dope idea that came to mind at the moment, while i waited to get my weekly hair cut at the salon. edun has provided sourcing out of africa as a continent which has promoted trade in that region of the globe since 2005. growth opportunity, infrastructure and community built initiatives- later during the week, i realized the presence of this theme.
in my current pursuits, i’ve been looking to align in the sense of direction. artistically, in order to understand direction, a number of elements must come into play. in this space, i’ve communicated with you openly but understand that the internet, among many other things in our wildly social world, need boundaries. intentionally vague to protect my ideas and trajectory with certain projects, i will say that the content i’ve developed here has etched it’s way into my heart over the last several years. once running in divergence, the creative persona that i have embodied in this space has become parallel with who i actually am. in thought, in process and in development and execution- i am becoming who i have always wanted to be. recognizing though, in this regard, that i have more to pursue throughout this journey. i’ve been searching for the ideas, the signs, the tools and the wisdom all with an elevated sense of awareness. it’s all necessary when communicating through art.
in responding to my sister, i broke herringbone down along the lines of it being a finer grade of textile. that it was made up of multiple fibers, in pattern as a form of twill. i went on further to explain the grade of quality, using chanel as an example; as they are world renowned for their use of tweed, which is in the same textile grouping as twill thus, herringbone. i explained that the number of fibers that makes up herringbone is processed differently, and comes with a higher price tag for that very reason. now circling back for a second, think about process, in general. think about the ways that you interpret shit- the ways you break things down. i’ve spent most of my life trying to explain things to people because they didn’t get “it”. whether i was giving them instructions over the phone on where to find my jeans to check the fit in my bedroom, or explaining to my mom the importance of freedom in not giving a fuck- it’s all directional. while i’ve certainly gotten lost driving around the city i’ve lived in all my life, geography has never been my strong suit, nor have i ever cared to become a world traveler. while lack of travel, lack of education or formal training all say something, my development and expression of such speaks louder. these ideas, these thoughts all have a home. whether here or in my heart, the direction that i’ve chosen to take creatively has allowed me to become well endowed as a man, and artist.
throughout this elongated process of breakdowns, refining and production- i’ve found that everything is relative. with the right vision, in the correct method of translation, anything can be connected. it just takes the right artist, with the right vision to produce or direct these ideas. i started to feel like kanye getting buck with sway at sirius. that line, “you don’t got the answers- you ain’t been doing the education!” moved me to tears, it felt like me. in my disconnected state, in understanding that others were not like me, that i was separate, that i had something that set me apart. an exception. it was all too familiar when kanye started speaking and expressing in that frustrated of a state. again, another theme. in the grand scheme of life, there are no spoilers, but you do have instinct. artistically, as you develop you learn to trust that instinct. in those instinctual moments, thats you aligning with god through a greater purpose of delivering a message that he has allowed you, and only you to see.
that idea of transcendence, of matrimony with leya, of mentorship with my sister, of process of textile as it relates to style- it was there, glowing- right in from of my face. the direction so clear and vivid. sometimes, when you’re in the clutch, you start asking yourself, what the fuck am i doing? who the fuck understands what im trying to say? am i translating this vision thoroughly enough? you feel frustrated at the thought that you don’t have all the tools to deliver this huge vision that is so much greater than you, but seemingly a part of god as an installment in you. while so many of my own dreams remain unfulfilled, my evaluation of such and the timeline necessary to get to that point are different now. my old ideas are still fresh, still fervent with inspiration, dripping in innovation and imagination. the next step feels like it’s close enough to touch, sweet enough to taste. but i’ve been in it enough to know that, i don’t know. to call it would be illogical, because im not yet worthy of knowing what will happen next. i know myself well enough to understand that there is a power greater than me that is driving this force of potential, to a realized state of dreamery that will soon become a greater glimpse of my current reality. it’s about knowing where you stand and being aware enough in that position to launch, to be lifted and to transcend.
like the patterned process of herringbone, at the luxury level of chanel, communicating this extended level of beauty and style- my mind is herringbone personified. the journey and price i have paid throughout my development is the price tag. protagonists, antagonists- it’s all a part of the story. and im trying to make y’all understand what everything means. but if i can’t in these few words, i don’t know that you’ll ever understand. cause where i am is not where i am meant to be, but it’s good enough at this moment, because it’s necessary in leading me to the next step which soon leads to the final step. final, not as in the end, but final as the beginning because that’s where we are, and have been, for quite sometime. while the textile of my mind is still being processed, i know- the more fibers that make it up, the more luxurious it will be, thus impending a heavier price. a price that supersedes monetary value, or financial comfort. instead a price that is paid through recognition of great creative work. that in which has been studied and refined. where someone who has been doing the education is able to assist in finding the answers to the questions that others are dumb enough to ask, but not smart enough to find. intricate yes, but only to those who don’t know the process.