Unified in a joint venture with Rocawear, Jeezys Eight732
is a culture that examines the origins of Hip-Hop by journeying from the zones,
wards and boroughs of the urban streets. Collections vary in colors and designs with themes like "Captns and Crews" and "Never Sell Out," and as Jeezy explained to us, they even hit the road in a way a busy rapper can relate to with designs like Stars & Groupies.
After an unsatisfactory attempt by previous
designers to capture the styles Jeezy was looking for, he brought a five-man
crew, collectively known as Fly Paper Media Group, from Atlanta to New York to
design for Eight732.
Some of the the teams most notable designs are
the classic I Am The Street Dream and I Came From Nothing t-shirts that caught-fire
on the streets.
Eight732's mission is to appeal to the hustler
from every walk of life, from the corporate corner office to the street corner.
This movement and culture is targeted to the "Go Gettas" and anyone
that possesses a "Let's Get It" mind-state.
To learn more about the brand, we caught up with designer
D. Mapp to discuss the Eight732 vision and their work in Atlanta's community.
Soon after, we spoke with Jeezy at the MAGIC Convention in Las
Vegas about his personal inspirations for the line and the joys of going into
the retail business.
AllHipHop.com: Who are the primary designers for
D. Mapp: There are five of us, it's myself, D.
Mapp - it's Doug Evans, J. Bacon, Bobby Patterson and Craig White. Were a team
out of Atlanta that was brought to New York. We're not New Yorkers, we're all
from the A-Town, and we've been working with Jeezy and pretty much all of
Atlanta's artists as one of the best designing teams out of Atlanta. Our
company is called Fly Paper Media Group.
AllHipHop.com: Did you all know Jeezy prior to the
D. Mapp: We've been down with Jeezy for a while.
We have another partner who's running The Eight Store [Jeezy's boutique
clothing store in Atlanta] - his name is Kumtie. He introduced us to Jeezy
three years ago. We did the first Corporate Thugs Entertainment logo for him,
we did the USDA logo for him, we been down with him pretty much from the
beginning when he was with Boyz N Da Hood and when he signed to Def Jam.
We originally designed the I Am The Street Dream
t-shirt that came from our company Convertible Bertt, and that's kind of how it
all jumped-off. Def Jam and Jeezy were really digging it so he pushed the I Am The Street Dream mixtape, tour, and
t-shirt and that kind of brought us into the whole situation from that one
The I Came From Nothing t-shirts were very popular as well, and came
from Bobby and Doug's clothing line called Felix Meuon.
We were all into the fashion and entertainment
game in Atlanta. When Jay-Z gave Jeezy the line at Rocawear, it wasn't going in
the direction that Jeezy wanted it to go in so he came to the A-Town and was
like listen, "You guys understand me, y'all understand my vibe, y'all hot
- let's go to New York and see what we come up with." So once we got here,
they looked at our work, we put a presentation together, and before the day was
out they were like, "We want y'all." They love what we do, so we've
been making history thus far.
AllHipHop.com: So those [first shirts] were
designs that you all did prior to even hooking up with Jeezy - it was just
something that he gravitated towards?
D. Mapp: True, and once we got here we did what we
do naturally. We're very influential to the streets, we took our marketing
styles that he's very familiar with, we took our designer styles and we just
started making our way. It's been a year now and we've made history - we took
the line from being under the radar to being on the radar heavy.
AllHipHop.com: Is there a design from the line that's
your personal favorite?
D. Mapp: Personal favorite? I don't think I've
done it yet. [laughs] Honestly, I'm learning a lot about the business side
right now, the creativity is natural, it's a God given thing. But right now if
I had to pick a favorite, I really like our "Horses and Bulls" collection. I
think people are really going to vibe with the whole "Horses and Bulls" motif
that we've got going on.
Every season you'll see something different from
us that is its own culture and has its own lane. "Horses and Bulls," which is
Lamborghinis and Ferraris and old school cars, it's kind of like a culture of
its own. If you're a Lamborghini or Ferrari driver, you're probably part of a
different type of elite class of people.
AllHipHop.com: Do you guys have any foundations
that you're supporting or charity organizations in Atlanta that you want to
D. Mapp: Yeah, we do a lot for the city period. We've
been doing that for years. We give back to the Y.M.C.A., which is on Auburn
Ave., where we all got our start. We've been reaching out to some other
foundations like the Ludacris Foundation, which was one of our clients that we
did work for and Disturbing Tha Peace, we're very familiar with them. We've
also done some things with Frank Ski's Kids Foundation and Tom Joyner's
foundation as well.
AllHipHop.com: How does it feel when you visualize
a design in your head and you put it down on paper, and then you actually see
it on a shirt or jeans or other clothing? How does it feel to see one of your
designs come to fruition?
D. Mapp: Oh it feels great, it's like giving
AllHipHop.com: [laughs] Right.
D. Mapp: Like you have it in your head and then
you put it down. It's more of a gratification when you see people, who don't
know you, buy the clothing and 'rock-it' the way that you would imagine someone
wearing it. When you see someone on the street and they don't know that you're
the designer, and they didn't buy it because they were caught up in the hype,
they bought it because it looked good and they 'rocked-it' the way you
perceived them wearing it - that's what makes me feel good. Just to see a person
really get their whole swagger on in something I created in my head."Starships and Rockets"The animal-themed "For My Name, I Would Risk It All"Caps from the "EuroHood" collection"Never Sell Out""Stars and Groupies" kept buyers intrigued at the February MAGIC Convention"Captns and Crews" [this is the shirt Jeezy is wearing in the video below]
Jeezy tells us about the Eight732 Fall line at MAGIC: