In late 2014 brothers Moe Budden and Joe Watson along with childhood friend Elijah Spearman collaborated to create OeOe Brand, a clothing line born in Harlem, New York. With their signature face logo along with hip-hop and skater elements, they’re revolutionizing what it means to be an artist within the fashion world. Reminiscent of veteran line Billionaire Boys Club, they’re branding themselves to become a staple within the artistic community. They also have fashion consultant and social media help from friends Davine Nichols and Brandon Dot Alvarado, that keep them up to speed with the latest trends. I sat down with the team to talk fashion, what inspires them and what they hope to see in the future.
MADELYN (HIGHLARK): Where did the idea of OeOe come from?
MOE BUDDEN (OEOE BRAND): Originally it came from the idea of 2 brothers, Joe and I, and basically we wanted to bring together the vision of two people who have a good eye for fashion. We always wear clothes that become conversation pieces, so we thought why not create our own brand that can give off the same vibe. We also wanted people to see the world how we see it, which is how we came up with our signature logo which is the man’s face with no features. We removed the most recognizable elements of a person’s face so a customer wouldn’t see race, just a face that could translate across many types of people.
ELIJAH SPEARMAN (OEOE BRAND): I came in about 2 months after the idea came into fruition. Joe and Moe had some t-shirts printed as a small in-house test at the end of 2014. My past work experience was with marketing and promotions. Being a childhood friend they decided to include me to work within that element of the business. Once they explained their vision and I saw the idea for the product I definitely had faith in the brand.
MADELYN: What does OeOe stand for?
JOE WATSON (OEOE BRAND):It’s a word we created that means the bonding of people through the art of clothing. It’s not an acronym but there is an easter egg for what else it means if someone can figure it out.
MADELYN: Once you decided you were going to start this brand, what were your biggestobstacles and/or concerns?
MOE: I was concerned about the feedback and, it sounds weird, but if it was going to get ahead of us. If the demand was going to be more than we could supply. I wasn’t too concerned if it was possible to actually accomplish the creation of the brand.
ELIJAH: My concern was that I didn’t want to look like a cliche; another group of people creating a clothing line. But I got more confident once they said it wasn’t just a clothing line, it’s a brand. That means there are no ceilings, we have a lot of freedom to do more than just fashion. From clothes to accessories to even bedding. I knew we could create a brand and logo that could become a household name like Nike or Polo.
MADELYN: What type of clothing are you producing?
JOE: Sweaters, hoodies, denim & polo shirts, snapback hats, skullies, t-shirts, accessories, cell phone cases. We have a lot being produced and we want to keep expanding!
MADELYN: What do you think of the state of fashion?
JOE: I think its looking for a change. Something new but that will become a classic. I don’t think fashion has much art or creativity at the moment.
MOE:I think that everything looks recycled. It’s redundant. I think OeOe is fresh. We don’t make the actual shirts, we just make the designs and logos. We’re just focused on the actual art. Not that we wouldn’t explore that in the future but at this point in time we want to focus on the artistic detail. I think the clothes is the canvas and we are the artists.
ELIJAH: I think it’s kind of boring, with the exceptions of some classics of course. But for the most part it’s a bit monotonous.
MADELYN: What drives your creativity? What are your influences?
MOE: Everything that I DON’T see. What I’m craving to see, it makes me want to create.
JOE: Every day life, our environment but also our own vision of what we want to keep seeing. The types of clothes we want to wear ourselves.
ELIJAH: Yes it’s definitely looking to create what we’re not seeing. That drives me. To create that signature style. It’s a Harlem thing (laughs).
MOE: And of course we can’t forget to say music. We have a history in music. We left one form of art for the other. Elijah and I were artists and Joe was a producer. So we incorporate functions of the label into our brand.
MADELYN: What type of customer are you targeting?
JOE: Our age group is anywhere from 15-55 so basically it’s unlimited. It’s for the everyday person whether you’re an athlete, skater, biker, business man, etc. But you still have an artistic interest and creativity.
MADELYN: What type of impact do you want the brand to bring to the fashion community?
ELIJAH: We want to see people evolve with clothes and our brand in general. To continue to become a household name.
MOE:We want it to be magnetic, that people are inexplicably drawn. We want people to feel like there’s a way out of where you came from, of where you grew up. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself. Your environment is not your outcome its your out-FROM!
JOE: We don’t want sacrifice quality or integrity. Your dreams and visions can be achieved.