Luis Banks of Carpe Dream Speaks on His Accessory Line’s Popularity, Reception from Rappers and Holiday Collection
“Transitioning from fitting in to standing out” is a Drake line (“Say You Will”) that remains a mantra to rising designer Luis Banks. The Queens product has his sights set on keeping it original and does so through his popular accessory line, Carpe Dream. Since dabbling in the world of fashion in high school, first starting out with hoodies, the 22 year-old creates cutting edge designs that’s been worn by the likes of Teyana Taylor, Wale, ScHoolboy Q and many more. Speaking to XXL’s The Good Life, Banks touches on his Carpe Dream line, today’s trends and future for the brand. —Christian Mordi (@mordi_thecomeup)
XXL: Who is Carpe Dream?
Luis Banks: Carpe Dream is a brand I started a year ago. It’s a brand created to represent the dreams of my generation. The brand is here to help show what happens when you turn your dream into a reality.
What is your personality like and do you think it is visible in your brand?
My personality is real laid back. When the opportunity arises though, I am a strong leader. The products in the brand are very well rounded between the different pieces. Some are chill, some are real flashy. I think the brand does a good job of reflecting the needs of the people each piece.
When was Carpe Dream created?
Well I started with fashion back in 2005-2006. I didn’t think that it was my calling at the time, but I really enjoyed what I was doing back then with clothing. The second time when I created Carpe Dream was when I felt like I found my niche with fashion.
When did you know you wanted to make fashion a profession?
In 2005. I was customizing hoodies and other clothing items. No two products were the same; I was focused on making something unique each and every time.
Tell us a little about your childhood. How was it growing up and how did that affect your fashion sense or savvy?
I grew up in Queens, New York. Fashion back then to me when I grew up was real flashy. When I was young in the ’90’s and early 2000’s people rocked a lot of Jordan’s, jerseys were in style also. A lot of the style stemmed from what athletes wore. In high school though things changed. I went to school in Harlem, [which] is known for being trendsetters; they take pride in being ahead. I think that really helps me with my brand and staying ahead of the rest.
What is the Carpe Dream creative process like?
I put a lot of thought into the purpose of each piece in the color schemes and its design. I like to make a “family” of things. Like a complete line that go together with the style of beads chosen. I want people to see the whole line and be able to put together the dots and not to think it’s a bunch of random products put together
What makes Carpe Dream different from other accessory lines that are out right now?
I think it’s the original look that makes Carpe Dream work. Very few had seen something when it dropped that looked like my line. Like even the wings. The wings are a trademark of Carpe Dream. I think what makes my brand work is it’s not about the flash, it’s that each bracelet actually means something. They see the bracelets as inspiration. Flashy does appeal to certain people and there is nothing wrong with that though.
Your bracelets were recently worn by Joey Bada$$ and the Pro Era Crew. How did you link with them?
Well I linked with them through one of my home girls in Brooklyn. We were at one of their shoots and I gave Joey and the rest of the members of the Pro Era Crew some and they keep asking for more.
I have also seen your brand with Black Hippy members ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. How important was it to you to link with them?
Black Hippy are some of my favorite artists, so it felt good when I reached out to them and they supported the work. Its good to see them rock the pieces casually on their own. Curren$y was cool also. I hit him once and told him I had some stuff for him. He asked to see it and was really excited when he saw it and rocks his a lot as well. I don’t force my work upon any of them, they just rock with it.
Can we get some details on the new line you are working on?
It’s going to be the Tiger Eye collection. That’s what I am working on for the holiday collection. I plan for it to be less than ten pieces in the line. I feel like I have been giving customers a little too many pieces at once, so I am going to cut back a little
Will Carpe Dream stay strictly to accessories, or do you plan to venture out into a new realm of fashion soon?
I plan on venturing out to hoodies and adding on some other new things, like t-shirts in the spring. Lookout for all of that soon.