Recently, COZY mag had the chance to catch up with the up and coming streetwear designer Djiba Berete from New York. Unbelievably, he is only 21 but making huge impact on the high street fashion scene. Let’s see what he’s up to next…
COZY MAG: How and when did you start your designer career?
Djiba Berete: I would say about 2 years ago.
CM: What made you decide you want to make your own clothing?
Djiba: I felt like it was a space for limitless creativity. I enjoy bringing my thoughts to life.
CM: Did you attend school for fashion/design? What do you think on the importance of education in the creative industry?
Djiba: I actually didn't attend school for fashion at all. I learned as I went along, to me it's not important where you learn its about how you learn. A formal education isn't all you need to gain great knowledge. The world and your surroundings can play a huge role in building and adding to your craft.
CM: Do you feel it is hard to build a brand in the world of fashion and to be acknowledged? How did social media help you put your name out there?
Djiba: I'd say it's difficult if you truly do not enjoy the craft, when you really care for an art, the best in you will come out for everyone to see and enjoy.
CM: You have a brand called ‘Grouture’. What does it mean? What does it stand for?
Djiba: I wouldn't say there's a meaning to it, the definition is based off of emotion and how you perceive the name to be when you hear it, I feel giving it one specific meaning would limit the brand, to what people naturally see it as when they first hear about it.
CM: What inspires your designs? What motivates you in designing a new garment?
Djiba: I strive to fill in the blank spaces in street wear. I have those moments when I think "what if this garment or pant looked like this instead of what it's always looked like", and that just continues on and on in my mind inspiring my next piece.
CM: How does the making process/ creative process look like for you? Do you have any method when you start producing a new piece?
Djiba: It's really hard for me to tell at this stage, it's hard for me to monitor how each piece comes about I guess each one is approached differently because I try so hard not to repeat any of my designs. I like to live in the now so I believe my old work is simply a memory.
CM: How would you best describe your personal style?
Djiba: I'd say Basic yet creative.
CM: What brands are you currently obsessed with?
Djiba: There's a few that I really do admire, they're more underground so not too many people would know about them. One would be "Lease on Society" and the other would be "Tainted NY".
CM: What stores or where do you like to shop?
Djiba: I don't shop often, sometimes I feel clothes magically appear In my closet!
CM: Top 3 favorite artists…
Djiba: I'd say George Condo, Phoebe Philo, and yea that's all I could think of at the moment.
CM: Are there any artists that you would like to work with or collaborate with on a project?
Djiba: Honestly not really, I'd rather not interfere with anyone's vision, I'd rather just enjoy it.
CM: What are your expectations for the future? Is there any new collection to drop or are you planning on expanding your profile other than jeans?
Djiba: Yeah absolutely, there's has always been a bigger picture in mind it grows everyday jeans are definitely not the limit for me you'll be seeing more stuff from me other then jeans for sure!
Follow Djiba on Instagram and www.grouture.com
Words by Barb (@flygirlbarb)