Daymon Green, The Fashion Kingpin On Each Side Of The Border
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Meet Daymon Green: The Man Who Changed The Way You Dress For 20 Years Strong!
If you don’t know Daymon Green by now you should definitely do your research! He’s a fashion icon and one of the main pioneer of the vintage culture.
We had the chance to do a phone interview with the Daymon Green, the man, the entrepreneur and a culture influencer with over two decades of experience.
What does art and Hip Hop mean to you?
It really represents alot of our friends and a lot of the people we’ve worked with over the years. We’ve been blessed to be at the start of a lot of culture that’s really popping right now both in New York and Toronto. Nowadays musicians make art, artists make clothing, clothing people make music, music people produce. For us art, music, Hip hop, the whole lifestyle is something that we try to incorporate and we try to show love to a lot of the facets that don’t necessarly get the press.
You’ve promoted many artists that are now household names, do you feel you get enough credit for that?
We’ve shouted out alot of people and we’ve also been blessed, like when we opened up in 2011 on October 30th, we opened on the lower eastside and we opened with an aritst who was on the come up at that point : Asap Rocky and his crew. At the time they were just known locally, we were blessed to work with their crew and we all kinda came up together. Joey Baddass is another guy that definitely came up with us and we’ve seen him blossom. It was really people that we knew and we fucked with at the time and we feel really blessed that their carreers have skyrocketed. And you know Rocky did a video in our backyard for «Lord Flacko Jodye». So we continue to work with artists as a team and it’s a blessing as they grow we continue to work with them on different projects.
Do you have an artistic background? Have you done music or paint yourself? What attracts you to art that much?
It’s funny because there’s a really well known brand, Legends League run by a gentleman named Bryan and he did an interview recently with Shopify and they asked him: what artist got him to do what he does? He listed me as one of the main. He was like : «You know, he’s not really an artist but he inspired me and really in his own way he’s an artist». At the end of the day, I don’t paint, I don’t rap, you don’t want to see me breakdance for sure, but I’ve been blessed to always be a part of the culture definitely on the business tip. I’ve produced, I’ve worked with Baby Blue Soundcrew back in the day, I’ve produced «Money Jane» and a lot of the songs and these are now things that are part of the Canadian hip hop history.
«I don’t paint, I don’t rap, you don’t want to see me breakdance for sure, but I’ve been blessed to always be a part of the culture definitely on the business tip»-Daymon Green
Was it hard to become that much of an influence in another country?
At the time when I moved and started to go back and forth from Toronto to New York, it was about 8 years ago, and all these people that are household names now in Toronto and Canada, no one in the states knew them or it was really obscure. For me to be like «oh I own Browns, or I work with Choclair, I work with Baby blue or even at that time I worked with Sean Paul» you know the average American was like : «Who? What?». I had to go down in my first job, I was blessed because it was a really good job. I worked for Red Monkey Jeans when people were buying jeans for 2000$ a box. In my job I did a lot of PR for them and I hooked them up with a lot of the artists that I had relationships with, so it got me in the know, but nothing I did in the past meant anything to the new people and I had to start from scratch. I was already in my early 30’s at the time, in Toronto I was doing multiple things and on the food chain I was definitely somewhere closer to the top and I went down in New York and literally started from the bottom.
Do you feel like you’re a bridge between Toronto and the States now?
We’ve been blessed to get a lot of press from The New York Times, The AP and The Globe & Mail recently. No one really connects the dots, either people are interested in what’s happening in the States and they focus their interviews on that or they’re interested in what’s happening in Canada. For me no matter how long I spend outside of Canada, I’ll always be Canadian. I know you Montreal people don’t always love Toronto, don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Montreal; it’s one of my favourite cities in the world but I bleed Toronto. I felt like I had to get the Toronto word out in different parts of the world because so many people from Toronto are doing so many amazing things. The average person is more interested in a lot of ways in what’s happening in Toronto versus New York. New York really inspires me but Toronto is where my heart is.
Is there something coming up for Montreal?
As a kid, I used to manage groups so I managed Baby Blue Soundcrew, I managed Bishop Brigante and so I used to go on the road and I used to tour. There was always a lot animosity and there was a lot of issues between Montreal and Ottawa or Montreal and Toronto. I have so much love for Montreal, that being said I have good friends there, I’ve worked with Marcus Troy, I was one of the first guys to work with him and I’ve known him for 20 years. Corey Shapiro from Vintage Frames, I did one of his first pop ups ever in New York, I was blessed to work with him very early on. I consider him a very close friend. We’ve done pop ups with and done really well with a brand called Atelier New Regime when we did pop ups for them in Toronto and I’d love to bring them down to New York. We also talked about possibly doing something in Montreal. We love to do pop ups, we popped up in Vancouver, we popped in Japan, we popped up in Korea, we popped up in Miami, we popped up in Philly. It’s only a matter of time, the next two cities I would say we need to do between you and me and whoever actually reads this, would be Montreal in Canada and Los Angeles in the States.
Do you think that people have an issue wearing used clothes when it comes to vintage items?
“When it comes to fashion and art, Daymon Green has what we call the EYE”
There’s alot of cats that they just can’t wrap their heads around wearing used clothes. There’s always been a set of people that are into it, now more than ever, and that’s what makes it a lot more difficult to find vintage. When you do find it, it’s very expensive. In our first store on Clinton street on the Lower Eastside where we were selling snapbacks, champion jerseys, Ralph Lauren, we really pioneered that 10 years ago. A lot of dudes would just come in to clown us like: “Snapbacks? Who’s gonna wear these crusty clothes” and we had a lot of deadstock stuffs so it wasn’t even just used, it was like dudes were into different styles. That was for the weirdos, the “skater” maybe, the white boy or whatever was the look at the time. Now as the cultures are so mashed up, the majority of kids are not afraid to try new things, to experiment.
Is there any trend that should never come back ?
Those pants that were like bigger than your shoes, that like belled out at the bottom, those “raver” pants. Anything that Eminem wore, I don’t mean to diss Eminem, I love him as one the best rappers ever but fashion is not his thing. People are dressing a lot cleaner and more stylish. Fashion has changed a ton. You guys in Montreal always had a more European look, and you guys were never sloppy like some other places were and it’s funny because now fashion is now gone that way.
According to you, how do fashion enthusiasts stay ahead? These days trends happen so quickly and people gorge on trends to the point that a month later people are like : «that’s wack». Back in the days it used to take years, now it’s like within a month. So I would say do what you like, be your own person. What I feel like New York does the best is that people there come up with weirdo ideas. A lot of it comes from being broke, spending all your money on rent and moving around because you have no money for fashion. Those are the most creative people.
What does Community 54 do for the community?
A lot of community based activities, the last friday of every month we host Finale Fridays; that’s where we switch over all our locations. Any one who’s doing anything creative, music, fashion, art hit us on [email protected], hit us on our Instagram community 54 and let us know what you’re up to . Like I said we give back. We don’t just mess with the top five coolest people in the world, we mess with everybody and anyone can be part of the community.
What’s next for Community 54
God willing, maybe a Montreal pop up. Some things in L.A, we’ve been talking to some key people there, we have a whole Fall collection coming out. Local Hooligans is our hashtag, and we have done a lot of products on it, we have a new New Era collab no one knows that yet, we have an Everfield collab no one knows about that, that’s another plug. We will continue to build our exclusive products for our locations seasonnaly and I want to make sure to big up Jason Jacobs, who’s my business partner in New York, he’s the foundation in New York, I want to big up Joel Riley, whose definitely the foundation in Toronto and he’s basically the mayor of Toronto.
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