Mechanical Dummy got the exclusive info behind the buzzing new brand Entree Lifestyle. Creative Director Mike Yeung explains the concept behind the brand and talks about the journey to the top of the fashion game in this Original G’z feature.
MD: What kind of brand is Entree Lifestyle and what do you create?
EL: Entree Lifestyle is an independent brand from Brooklyn, N.Y. The company creates limited quality garments and accessories.
MD: What was the original idea behind the brand?
EL: To be honest, we just wanted to share our passion and artwork. My partner/mentor Chuck Gee bought a 2-color screen print machine and printed t-shirts in the basement. As the brand grew, we saw something different. We wanted to make products for the kids that skated all day in the park but had a slim chance of ever going pro. We wanted to cater to the artists that make music because they truly love it…the ones who would still make songs even if they were told they would never land a record deal. We wanted the brand to represent them, to let them know that they’re acknowledged. We wanted to represent the unknown, the misunderstood, and the underrated individuals.
MD: What notable artists and celebs have worn your clothes?
EL: Entree LS has been spotted on Chris Brown, Rihanna, French Montana, J.Cole, Ciara, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Bow Wow, Lil Wayne, Austin Mahone, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Missy Elliott, T.I, Dawn Richards all the way to dope local artist like Danse Daimons and Joey Badass. Nonetheless, the very first notable person we saw wearing Entree LS was Paul Rodriguez. We were so overwhelmed that he even took notice of this little basement brand that no one has ever heard of. We have been very blessed by all of this support.
MD: Who creates the designs? What is the creative process?
EL: I am the creative director here but I ain’t shit without my team. I have my right hand man Gato, and many talented people here at Entree. The process starts with a concept, and from there we will design over and over again until we come up with something that we are truly happy with. We pay extra attention to the smallest details on every trim and color way, all the way to the final packaging of the product.
MD: What designers and brands influenced you?
EL: Underground start up brands and designers are usually the ones that put extra effort into everything. They appreciate every resource they have and use it to its full potential. I have heard complaints from people that there are too many new brands popping up everyday…but personally I love it and I think its great. It serves as a reminder of how lucky you are to own an established brand; meanwhile there are people that are willing to sacrifice who they are at any moment to become who YOU are. We firmly believe that everything we’ve accomplished was amongst the many things we once dreamt of, and in reality it can all be taken away from you in a matter of seconds.
MD: What hardships did you face on your rise to where you are now?
EL: We starved. We would go from door to door to promote Entree and we got rejected 90 percent of the time. We struggled for 5 years before seeing any profits but we stayed up to work every hour that the brand was slept on. One of the hardest things I have faced is making a decision that resulted in losing my friendship with one of my best friends. A lot of the people that work at Entree LS are kids that never had a job in their life and this is all they got right now. So when I look at the people that busted their ass for this brand to be where it is now, I have to look in the mirror and remind myself that this is not about me anymore. In this industry you will be forced to make decisions that might not feel right for you but are right for the bigger picture.
MD: What’s next for the brand?
EL: A lot of exciting things are coming up for the brand. We will be releasing a variety of products that will be a part of your every day needs. Fall/Winter 2013 will be full of some of the best designs we have ever created.
MD: Which trends do you guys feel connected to? Which ones are you trying to avoid?
EL: We are blessed to have a loyal fan base from some really unique people! Because of the close connections we have with our supporters I believe the brand no longer needs to follow or avoid any trends. We create things with 0% hype and hopefully we will continue to succeed in our own lane.
MD: What is the ultimate goal for the brand?
EL: Our goal for the brand is to never get caught up in the hype. Appreciate every moment to the fullest and give back. Support the lifestyle that supports the brand. Inspire as many people as possible to believe that you do not have to be rich or famous in order to accomplish whatever it is that you want to succeed in.
Watch our exclusive interview with Entree’s Reginald Elliott at the Agenda NYC show.