Where you been, what happened? These are questions I’ve been asked even while in the mist of presenting celebrated runway shows during NY Fashion Week. I completely get why. I understand there are not many examples of popular brands entrenched in a culture and taken off the market at the height of success.
To be totally honest, it doesn’t happen very often because it’s not a smart business thing to do. If I would have let things go as they were going, I’d probably be very, very rich by now. I basically traded money and stress for peace and total control.
For Maurice Malone fans and diehard streetwear enthusiast that don’t know what I’ve been up to since Mojeans seemingly disappeared, I’d like to introduce you to Williamsburg Garment Company (www.madeinUSAjeans.us). The American made denim brand I started at the end of 2011. Here’s the brief update.
When I created the Williamsburg brand, I recalled the pushback and difficult time I had transitioning or evolving in my work. I didn’t want this new brand to be prejudged or put into a box. I made a concerted effort not to use my name in association with the brand until it was well established in the market.
The brand was launched amid a sluggish economy with high unemployment. At that time I couldn’t find investors for brand ideas and couldn’t land a job. I was freelancing to earn income and aiding young inspiring designers. I knew there were many designers and entrepreneurs like me that the economy hit hard. So, I sat out to inspire people by proving one person could build and operate a successful brand using the technology of that time with very little money. Williamsburg Garment Company was born with about $1,600.
The idea behind Williamsburg is to be a clean, simple American made core jean that appeals to all types of people. My goal at Williamsburg is to sell a customer base as wide as Levi’s. The brand started with imported products and in 2013, I changed it to be purely American made products.
At Williamsburg, I went back to the basics – doing everything. Sewing some of the products myself, building and optimizing the websites, taking photos, editing them, answering emails, calls, creating advertisements, writing content, press releases, etc. Designing is the least of the jobs I do at Williamsburg.
The genius in the brand was creating something that never gets old. Not driven by trends, WGC makes products that people want over and over. The customers find a fit, love it and buy the same style in different colors or washes. They find enjoyment in the aging process of our jeans, then come back for a new pair to start over again. I think WGC will end up being the biggest thing I ever do.
However, I do miss imagining new styles and experimenting without limits. This is I why I’m so inspired and itching to do creatively designed clothing again with the Maurice Malone brand.