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An Interview With the Founder of Clothing Brand Dnalsi, Part II

Everyone from hip-hop legend Wyclef Jean to fashion great Donna Karan have been spotted wearing the brand Dnalsi. But what is Dnalsi? A clothing line started by East Flatbush, Brooklyn-born and raised college friends Rob Constant and Gladymir Leveille, in case you didn’t know! The conversation is already in motion with co-founder Gladymir…Here’s what he had to say in terms of advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs and his future plans for his brand.

ritage clothing brand Dnalsi
Kreyolicious: What would you say to someone who wants to start a brand like Dnalsi?
You have to know you’re overall goal and vision for your brand. Once you know that, then you know what your starting point will be and what your end goal will be for the brand. Your customer may not know what your end goal is in the beginning but as long as you’re telling a story and keep them captivated they’ll stay with you on the ride. But speaking in general terms as an entrepreneur, you’ll face many obstacles when starting your business. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself how bad do you want it? What are you willing to give up and sacrifice? Is this your dream, your passion or just a hobby? It’s a mental grind and you will be tested every day, and that’s a fact!!

Kreyolicious: Also, you had an event where you helped raise money for a soccer program in Haiti. Why do you think it’s important to give back?
It’s a must us and it’s only right. We are the keepers of our legacy. Our Sak Pase collection is all about promoting the Haitian Culture in a positive way It’s a “Love Movement”, and so, giving back is also part of what we do. It’s important because although Haiti has made some great strides over the past few years; this generation has to continue to give back and be part of the continued growth of Haiti as a whole.
An interview with the founders of the heritage brand Dinalsi
Kreyolicious: Do you have a favorite book that you turn to for inspiration or motivation that you’d like to recommend to others?
I’ll give you two. [Laughter] Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle–We grew up not to far from Daymond John and his partners and watched the rise of Fubu with our own eyes. It’s a great story of not giving up, believing in your dreams, and finding creative ways to brand your company with no budget. Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out….This is Marc Ecko’s book and he lays it all out of all the mistakes he made in the fashion industry when he first started out. But even moreso, his story is amazing of he started doing graffiti shirts from his garage to a multi-billion dollar fashion label.

Kreyolicious: Sounds good..It’s two years from now, and we’re having yet another conversation about Dnalsi. What will the brand have achieved between now and then?
Among our achievements: our brand will be [carried by] more stores around the country. The Dnalsi brand which is the umbrella company would be on its second or third collection. Our new collection New York Is Hip-Hop would be in market for sale–we’d be celebrating seven years of our Sak Pase brand and you’d see us with cooler designs to rep Haiti and to rep your culture. You’ll also you’d see the brand move on ancillary products. So, look out for that Sak Pase Cocktail coming soon!

This concludes PART II of the interview with heritage clothing brand Dnalsi’s co-founder Vladymyr Leveille. Watch out for PART II. CLICK HERE if you missed PART I

CLICK HERE to purchase Dnalsi’s cultural wear!

CLICK HERE to visit the clothing brand Dnalsi website!

Original author: kreyolicious
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An Interview With the Founder of Clothing Brand Dnalsi, Part I

An interview with the founders of the heritage clothing brand Dnalsi
Culture-focused clothing brands are all the rage these days. Take Dnalsi, for instance…Founded by entrepreneurs and college classmates Rob Constant and Gladymir Leveille, the brand made its grand debut at the Small Boutique Fashion Week in Manhattan last fall. The fashion brand is not all flash and culture. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the line’s flagship tee go towards actor Jimmy Jean-Louis’ HUFH foundation. Here’s Gladymir telling us about where the brand has been and where he and his business partner hope to take it.

Kreyolicious: How did Dnalsi come about?
We’ve always loved fashion-we went to the same school (Long Island University) and use to produce fashion shows on campus. After we graduated college we both went on to intern for prominent fashion street-wear brands to learn about the fashion industry. After years of learning the business we decided to start our fashion company, but we wanted to do something different—celebrating our Caribbean roots and the Caribbean in general and felt there was a void that needed to be filled in the market and so we wanted to be that brand that produces dope cultural street-wear lifestyle clothing celebrating the Caribbean Culture and island life.
An interview with the founders of the heritage clothing brand Dnalsi

In the beginning we started wearing our Dnalsi shirts to Kompa parties but we weren’t getting the reaction and feedback that we were looking for. Nobody knew what Dnalsi was. Until one day we wore a shirt that had our Dnalsi Logo on the front and our Sak Pase logo on the back. As we were leaving the club, a guy who had a little too much to drink came up to us and said, “Yo, ya’ll need to stop playing and put that Sak Pase on the front.” And so we did just that–the next time we went out we had Sak Pase (which is a spoof off of the Snapple logo) on the front of our shirts and we were one of the last people to leave the club that night busy getting orders from people. From that time…that’s when our movement started going viral and that was the birth of the Sak Pase collection of tees by Dnalsi Clothing.

Kreyolicious: It’s a cute and unique name. Is there a story behind it?
We were at our friends house one day hanging out–Rob was scribbling something on a napkin–he came over and nudged me on the shoulder and showed me what he was doing. He said, “What do you think about this?” I then read out loud what he wrote on the napkin with a perplex look on my face I said, “Dnalsi? What does that mean?” He then replied, “Island—spelled backwards.” I was like “Wow, that’s it.” He didn’t have to say anything else to me. I automatically got it. The rest is history!
An interview with the founder of Dnalsi, the clothing brand

Kreyolicious: What are some obstacles that you had to face in order to make Dnalsi a reality?
Money and resources. There’s a lot of competition in the fashion industry, and it changes quickly so you have to be on top of all the trends. Once we started getting great feedback from the Haitian community who we were predominately targeting and learned how to manage our bottom line, it was all systems go from there.

Kreyolicious: Dnalsi was part of the Small Boutique Fashion Week in Manhattan this past fall. Can you tell us about that experience?
We pushed back our viewing and will showcase our line February 2017. We’re excited–there’ll be many international buyers who are looking for upcoming designers to have in their stores. We’re preparing for it now as we speak.

This concludes PART I of the interview with heritage clothing brand Dnalsi’s co-founder Gladymyr Leveille. Watch out for PART II.

Meanwhile…

CLICK HERE to purchase Dnalsi’s cultural wear!

Get immersed in the Dnalsi brand culture! CLICK HERE to visit the Dnalsi clothing brand’s website!

Original author: kreyolicious
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