Sorry for the delay but the Spotlight articles are back in FULL effect. This week I am bringing Black n’ Ugly Clothing to the site!
1. Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
I’m Rifa, owner/ceo of Black N Ugly Clothing. The line was a thought back in 2008. I was bored one day and created a Biggie shirt, after that the name Black N Ugly came from the Biggie shirt, the shirt read “Black and ugly as ever, however.” Everyone was referring to the shirt as the Black N Ugly shirt so I stuck with the name and decided that it would be a line that’s the complete opposite of the name. I wanted to take something that is frowned upon and turn it into something positive; it’s all irony. Biggie said it best “Black & Ugly as Ever, however” the word however dismisses an argument of being Black & Ugly. Where black and beautiful sounds all too cliché, Black & Ugly demands attention and fuels fire in the blood, daring people to repeat two separate hated words, both together, making them pure again Black is definitely not ugly, but because we as a people have been hearing it for so long, we have all begun to believe it. “I often tell people I am NOT saying black IS ugly, it’s that we have allowed continued thinking that these two words are associated with each other and means nothing good. So with that said, I wanted to take it and change one mind-set at a time. All my pieces have a meaning to them, it’s clothes that make a statement; not just a logo or a tagline. I’m not here for free advertisement across your chest, I want you to speak without saying a word. The name is a shock but the clothes bring calm. “There aren’t many brands that go the ‘black pride’ route even though all urban brands cater to Black people, “It’s more than a name, it’s about fueling negativity with an abundance of positivity. BU is not only an acronym for Black & Ugly, but it also holds a double message in telling the wearer to “Be You” and embrace your culture and history in everything you do including the clothes you wear.
The line was officially launch February of 2011.
2. Describe this season’s theme for your line. Include any sources of inspiration
This season’s theme is all about empowerment, generally speaking and inspiring others. All the designs are impact-full with a meaning to them. We make pieces that hold a statement in itself. The line’s name is so crazy so we can’t afford to come with lame designs. These designs are here to motivate our people and encourage to be their best and live life to the best of one’s ability.
3. What is/was one of your most prized fashion pieces, past or present?
The pharaoh image is simple yet so powerful because to us it represents one of the greatest empires that ever flourished. It was is the best-selling item from the line. I think many people can appreciate its art and connect with it on different levels.
4.What’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
My favorite part is the process in which i go through to get to the final step. I usually begin with something simple and ends up being flipped 360 into something different but it still holds that concept just with a brand new execution. Always amazes me.
5. What other experience do you have in the fashion industry (stylist, retail, marketing, etc.)
My experience in fashion is literally growing everyday, but I did obtain my BA in advertising/public relations so i do know a thing or two about business and the consumer.
6. What is the most difficult aspect of running your own boutique, and why? i.e. design, production, sales, finance, advertising?
The hardest part for me is advertising but as I go on I’m beginning to the see the works of word of mouth work wonders. You have to constantly let the people know what’s going on and look for different outlets and platforms to reach and engage old, new and potential customers. Also staying organized with everything and time management!
7. What is the best perk in being a designer?
The best perk in being a designer is the satisfaction i get in seeing people wearing my designs and they actually love what they have on. It’s hard to describe in words.
8. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of WCS?
I want the readers to see BU has a line that makes you think and look beyond the surface. In today’s generation we tend to like to get straight to the point without much effort. I want people to begin to observe and question things. My line is a representation of that, it begs you to look at things through an uncommon perspective.
I was sent out the flag “Bigger” shirt for review. (read side-ways).
It is paying respect to and inspired by the Faith Ringgold painting “Flag for the moon”. Meaning, in short, make an impact and die bigger. The message behind the shirt is what made me fall in love with it. Though it is harder to read it on the grey shirt than the black. But I loved explaining it, to the best of my knowledge, when asked frequently “What exactly does your shirt say?”
In regards to the quality, I would definitely recommend dry cleaning it oppose to washing it yourself. It handled ver well after being dry cleaned, but once I washed it myself the blue faded a bit. That is the only gripe I had concerning this piece. I definitely encourage you all to check out the brand and the pieces they offer. Each one holds a meaning that I would be proud to wear.
All you have to do is comment below to enter.
For extra entries
- Follow her on twitter @blacknugly
- Compose a tweet saying “I have just entered the @BlacknUgly Giveaway on @WhaChuShae”
Take advantage of the WHACHUSHAE coupon code for 10% off!!!! Good luck everyone!