Allies Before Enemies
Cj is the name of the creative director of ENEMIES. from New Jersey. He attends Bethune Cookman University. ENIMIES started with Cj making all the designs, whether from his iPad or laptop, after creating the designs, the rest of the team will critique them then make suggestions, and he finds the best way to incorporate everyone's suggestions into the art, so everyone is satisfied. This whole thing started with Demonte, who's a friend of Cj's, when he came to Cookman Demonte had plain t-shirts that said ENEMIES. with a bunch of other ideas in his head, but he didn't know where to start, Cj pushed him on a more creative path with clothes, and here we are
Q: Does attending an HBCU give you a different perspective on fashion and styles?
A: Yes because naturally all people have a very different style of fashion, being at an HBCU is different because the majority of the people here are african-americans so you get a different type of fashion and a different point of view, everyone is going to have the clothes they like and dislike, you’re going to meet people who are very judgemental, rather than being accepting, and you’re going to have the people who love what you do, but i think that is just a part of the experience.
Q: When it comes to clothing, what do you think is a big factor that can set everyone apart?
A: Just the uniqueness of their garments , with clothing the creativity is endless , being from the NY/NJ area I see the craziest clothes , i’ve seen pants with 20 pockets and shirts made in wildest styles, I think that your mind is a BIG factor that differentiates people within the clothing industry.
Q: What does your brand mean to you?
A: It means a lot to us as a whole collective, I love when people doubt the potential because that drives me to do better and push myself harder. I'm thankful for all the things that enemies has taught me about both the business and fashion industry.
Q: What is your thought process when creating something new?
A: My thought process is everywhere , It takes me a long time to design something because im never satisfied, I start thinking I want something one way then I end up hating it , I actually get surprised when I create something that actually makes sense, and even when I finish something im always critiquing it, and finding things that I wish I did a different way.
Q: Is your style of clothing a way you express yourself?
A: Yeah definitely, I literally just draw what i'm thinking and it turns into art. That's basically how the FREnemies came into the brand , one day I just started drawing this character I was thinking of then boom, frenemies.
Q: What are some things you do or say to yourself to achieve and keep your confidence?
A: Every time I feel myself getting down or not feeling confident in myself or the brand in general, I just think of the potential of what enemies really could be and where I see the brand in the future, and more importantly where the brand started from and that's usually what keeps me going
Q: Do you think fashion needs rules?
A: NO!! never, I feel like with fashion you should be able to express yourself creatively and defy any boundaries, I hate when people put a limit to their mind because they feel like that certain thing isn't gonna be accepted by society or fit the “rules” I feel like that's a big problem in fashion, everyones worried about fitting in instead of making what they like.
Q: What is something that you personally think signifies that you have officially achieved all your goals whether it is through fashion or personally?
A: To be honest I don’t think ill ever be able to say that I have achieved all my goals because I set new ones daily, I never actually feel like I accomplished any goals which is what drives me a lot of the time, the constant need to do better.
Q: How can people get in contact with you (social media handles)?