A$AP Bari Discusses Why the VLONE Brand Is in a Class of Its Own
When it comes to fashion brands that are helping to shift the culture, VLONE is definitely a label that is part of the wave. With creative designer and founder A$AP Bari at the helm of the brand, VLONE is on its way to taking over the world of fashion.
Widely recognized for his early involvement with the A$AP Mob collective, which he founded with the late A$AP Yams and A$AP Illz, Bari is known to be a multi-talented threat with a futuristic vision. Now, focused on pushing his VLONE brand to higher heights, Bari looks to get more familiar with his supporters by opening up several different VLONE pop-up locations throughout the globe. Most recently, Bari, along with the help of A$AP Rocky and friends, opened a special pop-up location in the city of Los Angeles. The Harlem native is determined to make the VLONE brand a staple in fashion for years to come. Along with the pop-up locations, Bari opened the VLONE website which is now live for people to purchase the garments.
XXL recently chopped it up with Bari to discuss the direction of his VLONE brand, the future of the label and his plans to take the pop-up shops all over the world.
XXL: What does VLONE stand for?
Bari: VLONE stands for kids that live alone and die alone.
When did you create VLONE?
It was around 2011 and 2012. Somewhere around that time.
What was the influence of the brand around the start up time?
Just the mood that I was in at the time. I was feeling very alone, you know? You know the name alone I just flipped it and made it VLONE.
I seen the brand repped by A$AP Mob a few years back. What was the original plan for VLONE?
I wanted to take my time with it. I wasn’t financially ready to start the brand at first but it just took time to get heads together and find the right manufacturer and not just put out T-shirts like that. I wanted to do it the right way, so that’s why now it’s a perfect time to really launch the brand.
What are the aesthetics of the VLONE brand and is there a certain theme to VLONE?
I can’t really explain that but it’s just something you just have to sit and watch, you know? A brand is all about the growth so I can't really speak on the future of it as of yet.
Tell me about the L.A. pop-up shop you did a few weeks back?
I did a presentation for my next collection so what I do is I drop a collection and then it's presented and then I release another collection. Just trying to do the opposite of what the other fashion brands are doing regularly. I’m a creative person so by me doing these pop-up shops I’m touching the kids, you know? So they can actually meet me and get to know about the quality of the clothes instead of purchasing online.
Now that the L.A. pop-up is done, are you trying to do more pop-up locations in other cities?
Yeah, I’m trying to do them all around the world. Japan, Paris, Russia, you know, just everywhere I can go and present my clothes and meet the supporters.
So when's the next pop-up location and where?
It’s going to be in Korea. It’s going to be happening really soon. Not sure about the exact date.
How dope is it to get the full support of your A$AP brothers when it comes to the brand?
I mean really cool! That’s family and they show support all the time. Anybody can be VLONE as long as you live that shit. It’s not just because you’re A$AP.
Would you say VLONE is streetwear and will the brand later down the line feature more high-fashion pieces?
I’d like to say it’s in a class of its own. I wouldn’t put it in high fashion or streetwear fashion. I would just put it in the VLONE fashion. I’m trying to start a new wave. I’m not trying to follow any trends with the brand. I’m not trying to follow a rock theme or a rap theme. I just want it to be VLONE.
How do you get your ideas for the clothing?
A lot of meditation. A lot of shower time and just a lot of time to myself just trying to come up with dope ideas.
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