Taking on the fashion world visually is a role that Justice Piggue already acquired as a photographer. Following the careers of other renowned photographers, Piggue decided to reimagine her career, this time as a fashion designer. Designers are challenged with the brutal honesty, as well as the dishonesty of the industry. Piggue learned that it takes a team that is both “Humble and Hungry” to achieve whatever they put their mind to.
With California origins, Piggue was already aware of her artistic dreams in the bright lights, big city. In Las Vegas, Piggue had a growing career as a photographer. Working with various muses such as fashion, music and artists helped inspire her passion for other fields.
“It was out of nowhere that I decided I wanted to have my own clothing line,” Piggue said.
Being a photographer helped widened Piggue’s visual talents and increased her skills needed for her own brand. Her next step was researching ways to create her own brand and she realized she needed a helping hand.
Nalani Carter, Piggue’s friend and business partner, is the second in command of “Humble and Hungry”. While maintaining her grades and finishing school, Piggue approached her with the idea of starting their brand after coming up with the idea.
“At first I thought it was just an idea,” Carter said.
“After she showed me the photos of the brand and we started visiting designers it all hit me.”
Even though, the idea came from nowhere, both Piggue and Carter had dabbled a little into the fashion world. Both have been told consistently that they had great style and Piggue participated in one high school fashion class. The idea was there but Piggue soon found out, that she needed more than a vision and trust worthy partner to create a clothing brand.
“As I was getting more information about starting a brand, I realized that creating a brand is not a one man job,” Piggue said.
“If you want a successful brand you need more than one person.”
Building A Team
Fashion is typically a hard career to handle alone. One person cannot stand the stress of designing a line, marketing it, purchasing it and etc. It is rarely completely run by a single individual. Of course one individual can have the idea, it takes a team of graphic designers, salespeople and marketers to further that vision. Finding creatively talented people is a hassle, but it can be accomplished. The difficult part is building a team with people you can trust.
“For me it was like creating a business partnership with someone I trusted, out of anyone in this world I trusted her the most”, Piggue said.
Piggue presented the idea to Carter by showing her visuals and ideas of the collection. Carter participated by finding graphic designers that can turn their dreams to real life. Building a brand with a partner is usually not easy but both Piggue and Carter utilized what they called-a collaboration factor.
“The idea of this factor is networking with other people”, Piggue said.
“Even though we know the same people, everyday we interact with different kinds of people who can support our brand.
In the process of looking for a designer, the duo met Rick Juego. Juego was previously a designer for well known brands such Diamond Supply and Crooks & Castles.As time went by the team grew with various designers and followers for the brand. One of the brand’s followers includes Piggue’s assistant, Angel Gutierrez. Gutierrez has been Piggue’s photography assistant for two and a half years and has contributed to viewing the behind the scene process of the brand.
“I love the brand humble and hungry because it was brought upon hard work and dedication”, Gutierez said.
“Her brand also speaks a lot about her, not only is she a humble and respected person but she's also a hungry, hard working and goes for her dream type of person.
“Humble & Hungry”
“Seven months ago at my grandma’s house, I came up with the name of the brand,” Piggue said.
“After what I went through with this brand, I realized that I had to be hungry to achieve and humble at the same time.”
Popular street wear brands struggle to find the wow factor incomparable to other brands. Other brand’s niche relates to vintage, throwback, skater and hip hop culture. The brand focuses on the grind to get to the top, and their model of being both humble and hungry. The duo’s current goal is to continue to spread their motto and inspire the message throughout the youth.
The current pieces of the brand are the Humble & Hungry Signature shirt and jacket. Both pieces of the introductory collection showcase the brand’s logo with various symbols representing the brand such as a lion and a money bag. As time goes by the brand’s collection will continue to add new pieces based off of the brand’s response. So far, the windbreakers and shirts have been a fan favorite and are continuously selling out. Though Piggue wants to continue the street wear style of the brand, in the future, she wants to switch it up by adding various pieces like cardigans.
Their future endeavors include spreading as far as they can possibly can. After stealing the scene in Nevada, the ultimate goal is to grow and progress. They want to progress by doing pop up shops in popular areas, joining local fashion shows and interviewing with blogs. Currently the brand is rising in Los Angeles and Piggue is continuing building her brand with the concepts of loyalty, humble and hungry.
“The ultimate tip is to make sure your team is trustworthy and loyal,” Piggue said.
“Also continue to never give up and achieve everything you put your mind to.
Quitting your job, packing your bags and moving to California may seem like the most impossible thing someone can do however, Londyn Douglas accomplished that and more in a short amount of time. Her fashion career started as a daring thrifter to a styling guru, and now she is making her mark as the curator for “The Club.”
She Got It from Her Mama
Washington D.C offered politics, while Londyn Douglas craved fashion. For years in D.C, she expressed her fashion sense through crazy clothes and vintage finds unlike no other. She was even voted the most creative in high school. Inspired by her mother’s fashion sense, Douglas developed a love for fashion at a young age and carried on her creativity.
“Seeing my mom pick an outfit in the morning for work was one of my favorite things,” Douglas said.
“I was in awe with her look and her closet.”
Waking up every morning, Douglas would watch her mom pick her look: from her outfits to her heels. This was her first encounter with fashion.
“I knew when I grew up that I wanted to be just like my mom,” Douglas said.
“I wanted to have the whole package: a woman who acts, talks and looks well.”
Not only did she develop her sense, but she also gained the eye for fashion from her mother. Though they do not have the same style, they both shared the love of shopping and finding great fashion deals.One day while thrifting in high school, she found these amazing pair of blue suede shoes. At that moment she had a fashion epiphany.
“I realized that I had a good eye for finding pieces and that I wanted to help others find great vintage pieces as well,” Douglas said.
California, Here She Comes
Having a stable job as a member service manager for a non-profit organization, did not sit well for Douglas. As she continued heightening her career, her love for fashion was always calling her back. A visit to a friend in California was the first step to determining her change of career. After falling in love with the weather and fashion, she took the next step by saving money, quitting her job and moving to California with her family’s full support.
Her first positions in California were as a buyer for Ross and working for an accounting firm. Carrying a degree in business and marketing, Douglas was tired of working with numbers and logistics. Surrounded by clothes she could not play with, made her unsatisfied once again. Then she took a chance with a Los Angeles fashion business class at the School of Style. Monica Rose, the Kardashian's stylist, was the guest speaker for the introduction to styling class. In the class, she learned about E-commerce, styling for certain occasions and marketing.
After taking only one class she bonded with the founders of the class, Luke Story and Lauren Messiah, who came from her hometown. They offered her a styling internship and position as a customer service and graduate relations manager. Her first styling job was Randy Jackson’s musical talent; she fell in love with the position and wanted to go to the next level.
“From then I continued juggling both the internship and my job,” Douglas said.
“However, I decided I wanted to go full force in this job. So I saved all my rent money for the year and quit my accounting job.”
The more involved she became in the styling school, the more opportunities came her way. While editing job postings on the school’s graduate relation page, she spotted a Vogue internship to work with Leslie Lessin as her styling intern. Her first gig was with legendary photographer Michael Comte, who has shot for Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair and more. She applied for the position and got accepted to more and more styling roles after impressing Lesson.
“From then on I started getting clients from her and others who worked with me,” Douglas said.
“Once you’re in the industry and do a great job, word spreads.”
Styling was fun but, bills had to be paid. Douglas combined her knowledge of business, fashion and vintage finds to create “The Club” an online vintage boutique with the motto “cool vintage for cool babes.”
From the start, Douglas knew she wanted to have her own vintage boutique like the Melrose and Silver Lake markets. With her knowledge of business, she created her own online boutique with a message of women empowerment and black girl magic.
“I designed my collection for all cool girls doing cool things to wear,” Douglas said.
“I also slid in a message within my line. Both of the models are black women doing something awesome like a ballerina and a writer.”
A brand with layers, “The Club” is not your typical Los Angeles brand. Offering vintage pieces is a really hard find in Los Angeles, unless you are a daring thrifter. Douglas utilized her fashion super powers to help girls find their vintage love at first sight. Her first collection, the Carry-Out, was also created with a sprinkle of Douglas’ heritage and homage to carryout meals.
“I am a quarter Japanese and I wanted to create a line that touched on my Japanese roots,” Douglas said.
“I created the line and realized they all had an Asian vibe: from the Mandarin collars to the silky Chinese shirts. From then I named every item after a notable Asian dish like the Mumbo Sauce.
A dose of California and Spring Rolls are the best options on the menu for Douglas herself. Appreciating her custom vintage pieces, Douglas also utilized her statement pieces within her styling jobs. Her friends and family are once again supportive of her decision to take her fashion career to the next level.
“What I love most about her collection is the gems she finds and the history behind each,” Bryce Barnes, friend and designer said.
“Also, the styling of each piece, she knows how to enhance the modernity and make it now rather than dated.”
When asked for how far she wanted “The Club” to go, Douglas responded with, “As far as it can go; I have not limit at all.” With a spring revamping coming up, Douglas’ boutique will continue to spread throughout the Los Angeles area.
How to Start Your Own Brand?
Though a new brand, The Club is already turning heads with Douglas’ growing success as a freelance stylist in Los Angeles. Utilizing her many skills and education in fashion, Douglas is the epitome of a thriving businesswomen.
“Starting your own business takes major balls and drive,” Rachel Carraway, Douglas’ friend said. “She's got both.”
Here, Douglas shares her top three tips for launching a fashion brand.
1) Make a plan. The plan is the most important because you cannot just jump into it, Douglas said. “You need to know your audience, designs and if you don’t have a plan you’ll lose site on why you started in the first place.”
2) Talk to the people around you, who know you. Coming into the fashion industry, it is easy to lose yourself against the competition. Luckily the field is forever growing with people just like you trying to make their mark. Douglass learned that being surrounded by people as creative as her can help her greatly in this industry. “They can give you resources and feedback for your work”, Douglas said.
3) Find your resources through the internet. The biggest myth of fashion is the amount you have to put out in order to receive the fashion benefits. Douglas was able to achieve her dreams through networking and researching the many opportunities in Los Angeles.
“You do not need to spend all of your money for school”, Douglas said. “By looking up the styling class on the internet, I was able to make my mark and take the next level in the fashion industry.”
4) Starting and Going for it! “Talk is cheap, unless you go for it”, Douglas said. Craving her desire to work in the fashion industry, Douglas dropped everything and took the next step. Instead of sitting around contemplating over what ifs, she made her dream come true.