When Rebels to Dons' founder and head designer was younger, he worked at his father's Brooklyn studio making hats, sandals and leather goods. But when he wasn't doing that, he was running with the rebels.
As 26-year-old Trinidad native Joshua C. Joseph grew up around hardened dudes and suburban kids alike, he found links between those two lifestyles that ultimately led to the inspiration for Rebels to Dons. Although he's the first to say his parents taught him everything he knows about clothing design, the New York-based designer plans to serve up his own kind of reckless teenage influence with a side of grown-man modernity for the spring 2014 debut collection, "Birth of the Rebel."
The line, which features razor-sharp collared button downs, grey hoodies Rocky wouldn't mind sporting, and damn near-calculated detail on that black tunic, is Joseph's first full collection. It's an acknowledgement of adulthood, but not without remembering the days of defiance.
"You start seeing things differently as you become an adult," he said. "That's where the transition comes in."
As he continued working on designs, Joseph soon realized that young fools and presumptuous meatheads throwing their weight around on the block weren't the only kinds of rebels. He started looking at photographs of African rebel forces from various news sources - the way they carried themselves, their torn attire, faces wrought with power struggle, reminded him of attitudes he'd seen around the city.
"I found these pictures of this guy with hyenas strung up on chains," he recalled. "His clothes were raggedy and dirty, but somehow, I saw it in a different light."
Look out for Rebels to Dons' drop in January 2014, and see more in the Source's June issue, where some of Joseph's caps were featured.
[via Rebels to Dons]