The number of black-owned businesses has grown exponentially as entrepreneurship became a lifestyle for the individuals that make up the new millennial renaissance. Los Angeles is a top contender with New York City in the competition of ‘Who has the most creative population?’ in the U.S.
One Los Angeles native used New York Fashion Week as his battle ground and brought home a win for his city with the unveiling of his new line for his brand Underrated.
Q, as he is known in his hometown and the world, has explored entrepreneurship in the world of fashion. Using his creative gene to design unisex clothing for Underrated.
On Sunday (Feb. 11) we got to speak with Q during his pop-up shop at the All The Right store located in Queens, New York to discuss his new line and more.
Get to Know Q, the Man Behind The Designs:
I started it in February 2017. When I got started it was one of the things where I got tired of building other people brands up - I decided to do what I was doing for others for myself.
I’m known as a designer now but my platform has grown to be a lot bigger than that. This trip we brought 9 models to showcase in the fashion week show and [to] come here and be apart of the things I got book for. It’s giving open opportunities to emerging people and not just myself. I don’t like being glorified … if I can’t glorify more than myself.
It’s not a brand, it's a lifestyle. I think it’s just self- explanatory to my life. I’ve been overlooked a lot. I was told that I wouldn’t make it in certain things that I’ve done, so it just became a thing - again, it’s not a brand it’s my life.
Sometimes it’s a surreal feeling ‘cause I used to wonder if stuff like this was possible for me. Being [from] a small city in Pasadena I used to think about traveling to New York and think about going to Paris and literally now it’s my life. It’s surreal, it’s a great feeling, it’s very humbling. But, I know my purpose is a lot bigger than just fashion. So for me it’s a great accolade but I have so much more planned.
I don’t go by ideas, I go by how I feel. I am from Pasadena, California so the print on my hoodies says ‘6-2-6’ that’s just my area code and I’m from the city of roses, so a lot of stuff I do is rose themed or rose incorporated. It’s really just how I feel. I don’t really think about coming up with stuff, I don’t really follow a plan. I just kinda do it.
[It’s a ] very very complicated situation. The mother of my child is my partner, we have a great bond. We’ll see how things go, but I’m not really focused on that (dating life). It’s too much, especially right now [when] people look at me as an opportunity.
I feel like with certain people, like Nip, it’s more so your mindset it’s not really a brand. His mindset was: grow, instill, rebuild, [and] reform. I've been through a lot of things in my life. I feel like I should have been probably gone a long time ago. But, I think what kept me going is just always having that idea of ‘there’s more’, ‘this can’t be it’.
Confident. Like you’re the sh*t and it’s ok.
Q rose above the expectations others had for him as a kid from the less infamous parts of Los Angeles to create a new lifestyle for himself. The Underrated brand was designed to empower all genders to feel confident with who they are.With Nipsey Hussle being one of his inspirations, he’s learned to keep the “All Money In” mindset as he expands his brand throughout the world.
All The Right is the only store in the U.S. where Underrated is available. European locations include Paris and Amsterdam.
Check out Underrated:
Q’s Instagram: forever_mysister_keeper