Last November I was sitting in my sister's living room thinking about whether or not there are fashion designers in Washington, DC. A message popped up on my computer screen--her flatmate had sent me a link to an article about a fashion designer in DC. My question was answered.
Skyler Javier, designer of urban menswear brand NativeDanger, is the kind of person you could talk to for hours. Or at least, I could talk to for hours about everything from fashion production headaches to siblings to finding balance between chaos and order. It's refreshing to meet an artist so entirely committed, but yet extremely down to earth. The Native Danger Spring/Summer line is part whimsy, part function and all future perfect--the kind of line that seeps into your psyche and helps produce dreams.
When did you first become interested in design?
Around 2007 some of my sketching and illustration work started to focus on figure drawing. The figures were typically clothed so there was attention to the shape, fold and fit of their garments. I guess that may have been the initial starting point of my interest in design since it was basically fashion illustration, although from an unintentional standpoint.
How do you define creativity?
To me it's a drive to generate, and specifically with the goal of communicating personal and deeper facets of the human experience in a non-verbal way.
What's one thing you have to do everyday?
Zone out and just take a moment to hang out in my head, preferably while listening to some tunes.
Which part of the design process is most challenging for you? Most rewarding?
The most challenging part is the middle stage when you start pulling a concept into reality and you have to coincide imagination with math, geometry and the temperamental physical properties of whatever materials you're using.
The most rewarding part is the final execution. There's singular moment when all the frustration, doubt and stress fade and turn into this rush of a high while you're staring back at a product when it's finished to satisfaction.
What keeps you motivated? And/or Inspired?
In short, ennui.
Your recent collection is very monochromatic and minimal, if you had to pick one color, what would it be and why?
Black because it's never wrong.
what one piece of advice would you give a fashion designer that is just starting out?
Seek advice from established designers who have been successful in the specific category of the industry you're interested in pursuing and force yourself to stay grounded within a realistic business plan.
Visit NativeDanger and other fashion houses and artists at 52 O Street Open Studios this Saturday and Sunday, May 10th and 11th, from 12pm - 6pm.