In the middle of last year Adrien Gonzalez got together with his close friends and cooked up an idea for a new clothing brand to compliment the rap collective he rolls with. From that collaboration, URBN Cookies was born. Since then, the young up and coming creative has been working hard to get his brand out and recognized, making it only right to find out what exactly is the recipe behind URBN Cookies.
How old are you? Where are you from? How long have you lived in Florida?
I’m 23 years young and originally from Washington Heights, New York. I’ve been living in Florida for the past 14 years. I matured here in Tampa, yet frequently visited back to my hometown.
What inspired you to start URBN Cookies? When did you start the brand?
The oven doors busted open May of 2013 so over a year now, but the brand’s ingredients, soul and direction was conceptualized for a year before that. The inception of the U.C. was in small apartment in South Tampa pulsating sampled beats. Me and 4 other close friends were creating and talking about starting our own Hip-hop collective group and we were speaking on roles. My boys were already talented rappers, poets, producers and painters and I wanted to contribute something untouched that’d help the group heavily. Someone mentioned clothes and I was all over it.
What is the main focus behind the brand?
Skateboarding, bmx, and the genuine hip-hop culture is the brand’s foundation. I grew up bmxing while my boy skated so essentially it’s paying homage to those cultures and having fun with it. At the moment URBN Cookies sells tees, tanks, snapbacks, and beanies. As our exposure increases we’re almost positive that we’ll be expanding into hardware.
What success have you seen since the brand first formed?
We’ve recently stocked our gear in our first store, Soleciety so that’s a big one for us. We’ve shipped our product to California, Texas, New York, and all the way to Jeollabuk-do, South Korea. We’ve attended 6 trade shows now with much success, exposure’s been great and we have a few more things baking for everyone.
What are your goals for the brand this year?
I have a few key stores I’ve been scoping that I’d like to get U.C. into. Besides that simply continuing onwards, staying consistent and progressive.
How do you feel about the fashion scene in Florida?
What fashion scene lol na. To break it down, Florida and Tampa mainly, has a strong enclave of fashion heads, artists, and sneakerhead collectives.. But they’re getting the limelight shunned on them. I found that one has to work 3 times as hard to create a following in FL vs a fashion capital like Ny or Cali, from my perspective. It’ll get there once there’s more or an equivalent of producers than there are consumers.
Besides apparel design, what else interests you most?
Everything with a creative perspective. I choose to remain formless and have many passions but photography and film probably compliments my love for design best. Holding a mirror to the world is easy, but once you add an idea and creativity behind it, forget it. That’s just ill.
What has been the hardest part about starting your own brand?
The legalities. Niggas can’t read lol.
Any advice to up and coming designers?
Just really know your industry. Starting a brand or label requires homework, vision, balls, and capital. It’s a business so you have to treat it as such and know your field better than your surroundings. Whose going to manufacture your designs? Are you going to form a Dba or LLC? Whose your competitors? What’s your niche angle? You plan to have an exclusive brand only in select stores as well as your own online shop or do you want to wholesale into Dillard’s etc. Don’t forget you still need to make dope shit. It’s brutal but eternally rewarding.
Any upcoming events?
We have a few tradeshows in mind between Oct and Dec but nothing official yet. Our blog is our brand’s voice so anything important to us we place on there consistently. Peep for any details.
Final thoughts from you to the world?
Just believe. Our brand motto is, Go where there’s no path, then leave a trail. Have faith in your pursuit, it’ll inspire the next and continue the domino effect of the trail of dreams. Much love.
Huge thanks to Adrien for taking the time to talk to Mieux. Head over to www.urbncookies.com and check out all the fresh goods this aspiring brand has cooked up, or peep their in store selection over at the Soleciety Sneaker Boutique in New Tampa. Support local. Support Florida!