Meet the Next Dapper Dan, Tee of Exclusive Game Clothing

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
One is getting out the orders, two is bringing in new orders, three making sure the production is right, coming up with new designs for different things, shipping, making sure the leather, fabrics and other materials are right—I do a lot. For all these years I’ve been so hands on to the point that my dudes were like, “Man, you need to hire more people,” but I’m so hands on. I don’t want to have one of my customers complain about a jacket not fitting right. I feel like I need to be a part of everything.

What does fashion mean to you?

I just love fashion. I love being a trendsetter, coming up with new designs. I actually like watchingthese big fashion houses take over. I feel like a lot of my stuff, during the last 10 years, I see a lot of apparel that I’ve been designing come out in Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Versace. All these stores [are] starting to duplicate a lot of stuff I’ve been doing because they see it in the streets. You know, that’s what they do: They steal our—all us underground, street designers’—ideas. I’m just waiting on the check from them. I actually designed for a few of the Versace stores in the country. They’ll give me a lot of their high-end clientele and I’ll make a lot of customized pieces for them. By me just coming in there and buying attire it helps their customers and clientele. A lot of their customers may reach a point where they’re not feeling nothing, but when they come to me, I fill that gap. I can get Exclusive Game to come in to make this sick-ass silk jacket or this Versace long-sleeve shirt to go with that. So that helps them out for their sales.

Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

If you’re gonna do this clothing thing, really be about this clothing thing. Don’t be like, “Oh, this man makes this much money” and then try to jump in the field, because that’s what a lot of these people are doing now. It’s like the music business; everybody wants to be a rapper, now everybody wants to be a designer. Within the past five years, it’s been a zoo. It’s what everybody wants to do. So if you want to do it, just be about it, because it’s a lot of work if you’re not willing to be dedicated.