How did you become interested in fashion? Who are some of your inspirations and mentors?
We are both self-taught in the realm of fashion, design, and business. Our skill sets have developed over time from trial and error. Both of us have always had a strong sense of personal style and SBDKG is an extension of that. As a brand, we have drawn from the history of our people and the culture that we live in today for inspiration.
Daniel: I have loved fashion, style, and the runway/stage for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I would build scrapbooks of my favorite stars and pretend I was on red carpets, winning awards, and performing. Besides Beyonce, of course, some of my inspirations would include: anything Denim and Street-Style, Stylists like Ty Hunter (whom we recently dressed), and brands like Moschino, Balmain, Versace, and Gucci.
Once I became an adult, I dabbled in modeling and styling, but it wasn't until I got my first taste of the runway as a designer, that I actually found my passion. I started Splashed by DKG in 2013 by repurposing old denim pieces and tie dying them. This quickly sparked into a business slowly but surely once I wore my first pair out to an event. After revamping a few friends wardrobes, one being a celebrity stylist, I starting being asked to participate in local showcases. As the show opportunities got bigger, fashion week opportunities arose, magazine features, press, a WE TV show appearance, and even a few notable celebrities. Fast forward to now and I still can't believe this is what I am doing with my life, but I am enjoying every single minute of it!
As a brand, our inspiration is the everyday woman or man that wants to make a Splash! It is our goal to empower our clients, we believe if you look your best, you can perform at your best. My personal style has always sparked conversations by my fashion forwardness and it just developed more and more as the years went on. For me it was an escape to become these stars and let my imagination run wild.
Derek: I became interested in the fashion industry by way of reality television. Watching shows like America's Next Top Model and Project Runway actually first exposed me to fashion as a career option. My interests morphed from modeling to styling to photography to sewing and designing. So its been a bit of a journey for me to finally have landed where I feel like I was meant to be.
I remember for my 11th birthday, I asked my grandfather for a sewing machine and he reluctantly bought it for me. I remember knowing by his actions and attitude that he didn't want me to have it because at the time he didn't understand why a boy would want a sewing machine. That caused me to take it back and return it for something else. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I hadn't taken that sewing machine back. It used to bother me because I felt like I could be so much further along had I stuck with it then. But when I look at my journey, I say no, it was meant for me to learn about modeling, styling, and photography because you need to have at least a base knowledge of those things in order to be a successful designer.
My inspiration started out being my mom. She has always been fashionable in my eyes and so just seeing her dress well made a huge impression on me. She was also the first person that I ever physically made clothes for. Over time, my inspiration has begun to come less from particular people or designers, but from experiences and social issues. Of course, there are other designers who I think are amazing like Olivier from Balmain or Jeremy Scott of Moschino, but I don't want my work to look like theirs. What inspires me about them is the fact that there designs and brands are impactful. That's what I want to be is impactful.
How would you describe your style?
Splashed by DKG is a luxury streetwear brand based in Birmingham, Alabama known for its hand-constructed garments that are marked by bold, meticulously designed textiles that elevate classic designs for the fashion-forward man and trendsetting woman. We're known for utilizing denim as our staple fabric. Rocking our brand down any street is sure to cause quite the stir.
How have you been involved in the LGBT community as you grew your brand?
Our connection to the LGBTQ community has recently grown a lot closer as it relates to fashion. In 2017, we founded Magic City Fashion Week which has the unique mission of not only providing an inclusive platform for emerging designers, but raising awareness about HIV in our community. We partnered with Birmingham AIDS Outreach, a major health service organization and LGBTQ advocate facility, for our inaugural year.
We were fortunate enough to provide HIV testing and education at several of our Magic City Fashion Week events. We tested over 100 people for HIV and provided HIV 101 to a viewing audience of over 2k people. Our mantra was "Stigma Is So Last Season." This was aimed at addressing and beginning to break down the stigma associated with HIV by starting the conversation. Though our mantra focused on the stigma associated with HIV, we also used it as a means of addressing stigma as it relates to the LGTBQ community. We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and that was a part of why we created MCFW, to make people feel safe to share who they are and what they do. Through fashion we brought together people from all walks of life and it was a beautiful thing to experience.
Social media / web links
* Website: www.splashedbydkg.com
* Facebook: @splashedbydkg
* Twitter: @splashedbydkg
* Instagram: @splashedbydkg
* Snapchat: splashedbydkg
* LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/splashedbydkg/