Boss Talk with Chicago Fashion Designer, Ron Louis

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I had the opportunity to sit up with up and coming Chicago fashion designer, Ron Louis. Check out our interview and let’s see if you think he’s as dope as I think he is.


HSM: When did you start getting into fashion and designing?

RL: “My junior year in high school I transferred out of construction and into art because of a girl. I was a semester behind, but I ended up being really good at it. I had a drawing background and my mom went to art school so it just came natural and I realized I had a gift for sewing.”

HSM: Why fashion? How do you feel when creating something?

RL: “In high school everything was about what you wore. It meant everything so I was always into art, colors, and shoes. I started realizing I could show my individuality in clothing. There’s no perfect way to dress and that’s very interesting to me. Giving people something that makes them feel good about themselves is like one of the greatest feelings ever and that’s what keeps me motivated to keep creating.”

HSM: Ok so you’re featured on The-Cuf’s website… Is that a place for you to showcase your work or what is your affiliation with them?

RL: “One of my friends started The Cuf. Together, we have a company called “Culture of the urban” (COTU) and that is basically an umbrella for different artists in fashion, film, music, etc. We are bringing a group together to promote art and push networking. The Cuf and COTU work with each other. So if I want to promote something under COTU, they will feature it on and vice versa. We are just trying to promote artistry.”


HSM: Who are your designs meant for? What type of person are they meant to embody?

RL: “I really don’t have one person. I just be thinking ‘Oh, this would look dope on this person or that person and so on.’ Not everything I create is something I myself would wear; I just keep in mind certain people I know who would wear it. I don’t try to make anything too high end or too urban. I try to make my clothing for someone who is connected to both the high fashion and the urban community. So I would basically sum it up as, everyday runway pieces.”

HSM: What do you draw inspiration from when creating your styles?

RL: “People I see every day. Alexander Wang would be the closest in the designer world, because he has comfortable wear, sportswear, and high end stuff. And I really like his color selections.”

HSM: What are the hardest and best aspects of industry?

RL: “Time management. We have deadlines and so much to do. The hardest thing for me since I started doing customs is also making sure each piece fits the customer just right.

The best part is the satisfaction of giving someone their garment and seeing them wear it out. Making people feel good is my goal in life and I just use fashion as a way to manipulate that.”


HSM: What do you feel like fashion has the power to do?

RL: “Change the world. You have to wear clothes. Kanye said that. It can break barriers between different classes, and cement ways to bring people together. If we figure out a way to get people to wear what they want to wear and can actually afford, I believe the world will be a better place.”


HSM: Were your parents supportive when you chose to venture into this industry?

RL: “My dad and mom have always been supportive, but during the rough patch of me not getting a lot of clients, my mom grew distant and suggested me getting a regular job. But now since I been doing stuff for celebrities and getting interviewed, she is back on board. ”

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HSM: What are your favorite and least favorite pieces to make?

RL: “Favorite? I got this spring collection coming out and there’s this open back, ribbed knit, turtle neck dress with long sleeves. I like how it looks on the ladies so I really enjoy making those.

Least favorite? When I first started out, I was making pocket tees and sleeves but people are still ordering them, and that just doesn’t challenge me. But no disrespect to anybody who does that.”

HSM: Who are some of the biggest names you have designed for?

RL: “I am going to forget some but, King Louie, Demi Lobo, Tink, Dreezy, Z money, Kanani Andaluz from ANTM, and I’m supposed to be working with Porschia from Empire.”



HSM: Where do you see your brand going? Where do you want it to go?

RL:“I would like to have my own store. I don’t know if I am going to ever go highend, but I like what RSVP gallery has got going on.”


HSM: Do you have other passions you want to pursue?

RL:“I want to do a lot of things. I want to produce beats, DJ, get back to painting, and direct videos. My other best friend and I are making videos that are like commercials for my brand and those will be coming out soon.”

HSM: What is something you love and something you hate about in the culture right now?

RL: “The biggest thing that I hate besides us killing each other is the skin tone thing that came back just because I’m educated on the Willie Lynch Letter.  People will ask me why I used white girls when I do a photo shoot. Then I’ll go ahead and do a shoot with just dark skin girls, and people will ask why you didn’t use any light skin girls. And it’s not even about that; it’s about the garment. I even catch myself doing it because my friends are light skin and there’s one of them who is dark skin. I will make jokes, but deep down I know it’s not even funny. Like the whole dark skin vs. light skin thing is not even funny. We are so programmed to segregate ourselves. I am questioned about who I use and what I draw, but black is black and white is white, and it’s not even about that. Even in our company, culture is deeper than color. It’s art—down to your swag and the way you wear your hat.  It’s funny but it’s not, especially when it comes to women.”

HSM: Why women?

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.35.30 PMRL: “I look at women very highly. Recently Kendrick got flak from this supposed black feminist asking him where his dark Nubian queen was at. My woman is my muse; she’s the reason why I create and why I build. Society is already tough on yall so the skin tone thing doesn’t make it better. Trying to separate, that’s ridiculous.”

HSM: What do you tell young twenty somethings who want to pursue their creative dreams but don’t feel like they have the right capital, familial support, or “connections”?

RL: “If you work at perfecting your craft and reach out to others, someone’s going to notice. You might not blow up overnight or even in a year or two, but if you keep at it someone’s going to notice.  Whether you are going to school or working on the side, keep doing that. I would never tell someone to quit their job or don’t go to school, but I will always tell people to do something that is good for them on the side. Someone’s going to notice. And even if they don’t it’s self-fulfilling.”

HSM: What is your definition of a boss?

RL:“A person who stays true to themselves and perfects being the best them they can be every day. If I’m being the best I can be, you can’t tell me nothing.”

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Akanimoh Ekong studies creative writing at the University of Illinois, with special interests in women's issues as they relate to sexuality and race. She previously has written “Girlfriends” column for Buzz magazine. Akanimoh believes the art of fashion should be the utmost form of self-expression. She dually enjoys blogging on issues pertaining to fashion and pop culture news.

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