Screen Shot: UNE BÊTE NOIRE
CITY BASED: Greensboro, North Carolina
What inspired the brand name?
May 2018, I had broken up with my ex, I had gained 60 pounds and I overall hated myself. I went to look in the mirror and looked at myself shirtless and thought to myself "You are a nobody". I did not like who I was whatsoever and I wanted to express that the only way I knew how to at the time, which was on clothing. So I went on my computer and looked up synonyms for "nobody" until I stumbled on BÊTE NOIRE. I liked it and decided to add the "UNE" about a month and a half ago.
At what moment did you realize you wanted to start a brand?
I had a brand before but it failed because I wasn't prepared and my parents said I wouldn't get anywhere with it so I gave up on that dream for a while. Then on April 21st, 2018, I was talking to a friend and I was telling her how I'd given up on my brand to focus on things my parents liked and she told me that I needed to start valuing my own judgement over what others say, even my parents. "Live for yourself" is what I think she said. After that semester ended a week and a half later, I was opening up illustrator every day again.
What helps you get over creative blocks?
I get creative blocks all the time. My routine is telling myself I'm never going to design anything good anymore, I sulk, watch American Dad, go for a walk and then, after all of that, I get my ideas flowing again. I don't get my ideas when I'm thinking about getting ideas. All of my motivations come from life and living it brings me my ideas.
What is the biggest mistake you have made?
I think the biggest mistake I've made is trying to do everything myself. I used to try to do photography, all designing, shipping, packaging, everything, all by myself. Some people do it easily, I do not. I believe there are powers in numbers, no matter how little numbers are there. If anyone asked me what I wish I did before, it would definitely have to be outsourcing things like photography to more talented people.
What is the biggest success you have had?
The biggest success I've seen would have to be my last drop. I made some embroidered dead flower hoodies with a design I'd been sitting on for almost a year. I've never had that many people cop at once. Someone bought the MINUTE they dropped. I felt so awesome when that happened. The support I saw was amazing. Honestly, this isn't even my success, it's the success of the collective of my brand, especially the people who bought. Because of this, I was able to finance this drop and more, which I am extremely grateful for.
A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION PEOPLE MAY FIND WEIRD?
I listen to Playboi Carti like crazy and his music always inspires my aesthetic and the thought process behind the design aesthetic. As a contrast, I love drawing from my religious background and comparing those stories to life in 2019. My inspiration is drawn from every facet of my life. That's what I will always do to make sure my brand is 100% authentic and whoever decides to partake in the ethos can rest assured that they got 100% UNE BÊTE NOIRE, no ifs, ands or buts.
Favorite color to use?
I have no idea what color I like to use the most. I love designing in the space of every color. I do love greens though, and I have a pair of shorts (fingers crossed) that will show that.
ARE THERE ANY RETAIL SHOPS YOU WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU BRAND IN?
I would LOVE to be in local places like Social Status but I'd also love to be in any online retailers that would accept me. Civilization PGH and Nowhere would be great as physical places too. Ssense is where I peak though. If I get stocked at Ssense, my brand is over, someone else has to run the brand because I just died and went to Heaven. That was so corny...
ANOTHER BRAND THAT INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
Undercover inspires me so much with their funky aesthetic. The fact that they made edgy, punk t-shirts and then moved to actual runways is something I'll always admire, especially in the capacity that Jun got it to be.
Where do you see yourself and the brand in 1 year and 5 years?
In 1 year, I see myself with over 4k followers on Instagram (HOPEFULLY) and having an actual chance to do this for a career for a while, with collaborations under my belt and retail spaces, especially in my city of Greensboro, North Carolina. In 5 years, I see this brand 6 feet under and me onto new projects like film and a high fashion attempt. That is an optimistic look though. I love this brand, it's like a daughter to me. But I don't want my child to overstay her welcome. I want her to leave gracefully. So I will kill her when I see fit. 5 years may be enough.
In 5 words or less describe your brand?