Having gotten into professional design at a later stage in my life, I think I have a unique
perspective as a designer. I have had numerous careers up to this point including scientist,
USMC Intelligence Officer, backpacking guide, multiple business owner and retail General
Manager. All those have greatly enhanced my experience base and my goal is to always bring
those experiences into my designs.
I started my professional development aiming to be a scientist. I got my undergraduate degree
in Botany almost 20 years ago. Deciding against the life of a scientist, I made the radical choice
to join the US Marine Corps to see the world, figure out what it was that I wanted to do now, and
discover myself. I exited the Corps after 6 years, a few wars and a lot more information on
myself and the world. The military, and specifically officer training, gave me the confidence,
discipline and motivation to start my own business leading backpacking trips. Tied in with that I
started working at an outdoor retail store, called Sports Basement. I was very quickly promoted
to General Manager, and worked in that position for over 10 years. The whole time I knew this
wasn't the career for me, but again, I still was not sure what the right path was. After an
inspirational trip to Rio, my good friend and I started a small clothing company, called Cute Tank,
making basic, men's resort clothing. Very quickly I knew this was the path. This was my passion
and this was my future. I set out on mastering the craft, with my recent MFA degree from the
Academy of Art University in Fashion Design a direct result of that.
I like to identify myself as a designer, an entrepreneur, a leader and an adventurer. My age and
experience are a massive advantage in that I understand so much more of the business side,
truly understand the type of work ethic and discipline this industry demands, and have the
breadth of experience to know that design is truly my passion. Besides a fulfilling career, I see
fashion as such an amazing opportunity for personal, creative growth, and a perfect platform, due to its scale and influence, to highlight issues with global implications. Growing up working class, I never felt a career in the arts would be possible. It has only been through all the experiences that I have had growing up and in my careers, that have led me to this present, fortunate position to be pursuing a dream. Perhaps as a conscious or unconscious ode to my origins lies my deep interest in vintage, masculine influences and more specifically, denim. I always find denim and innovate denim treatments inspiring and, at this point, it remains a core fabrication in many of my designs.
Currently, I am working on my new brand, Mined on Denim, based on my collection that recently showed at New York Fashion Week in September. I poured everything I love into this collection and it is the ultimate expression of who I am as a designer. My goal is to create and grow my own, sustainable label where I can share the inspiration of my life and help bring about positive change in the fashion industry. With the right help, I know I can be a major, positive, leader and am determined to make a difference.
What matters most with my designs, is that they are beautifully crafted garments that actually mean something. Fashion has so many meanings that impact the lives of the individuals wearing them, observing them, and the world we live in. I believe in the art of fashion and that design creations can be as valid as any other art form. True craftsmanship, in design, is a beautiful thing. My goal is to create art, in my pieces, through innovative inspiration, craftsmanship and designs, and to ultimately consider myself an artist. I do, however, think my designs can more than just art. My goal is to utilize my designs as a tool for wearers to express their individuality and/or their point of view. Further, it is my aim to ensure that all my designs do no further harm to the environment. I would like my designs to actually improve the world we live in, thus sustainability is core aspect of my design philosophy. Sustainability in my designs includes: organic/natural fabrics, no chemicals, recycled materials, local sourcing, timeless designs, quality construction and ethical design, operating and marketing practices. Ultimately, it's extremely important to me to create things of beauty, not things of destruction, that can enhance the world we live in and the lives of those inspired by it.