COOL was started by Ian Shaw, CEO of the company and Nuwo Johnson. The brand name came about because the two felt there was a void that needed to be filled for the creative people. The creators felt like there was a misrepresentation & interpretation of the meaning of the word cool. People were playing the part, but not necessarily were they cool individuals. The two recognizing that cool people are typically the ones that create the style and trends they decided to represent this through their clothing line. Ian came up with the name COOL. COOL is an acronym which stands for "Creative Outlook On Life". COOL is a clothing company which purpose is to re-define the essence of cool through creativity, intellect, and style. As a fashion brand they are re-defining the word cool to mean something more than just looking the part, but to mean one is creative and unique while carrying themselves with class, and intellect.
Urban Steez: Tell us your name and how you came up with the name for your clothing line?
My name is Ronald Clark. Originally, the company was started by my friend, Ian Shaw who is currently the CEO of the company and Nuwo Johnson. We recognizing that COOL people are typically the creative’s, that create the style and trends we decided to represent this through our clothing line. Being we were those people Nuwo and Ian came up with the name COOL. COOL is an acronym that means Creative Outlook On Life.
Urban Steez: So when and how did you get started?
Ron: Ian and Nuwo started the company in an off campus apartment while in college in the fall of ‘08. Initially the company started out as an entertainment company, but quickly turned into a clothing line. For about a year and a half it was all strategizing, putting things together. Around Labor Day 2010 we officially put our clothes online. I first came in to the business around Winter ‘10 as the VP of Marketing & did a good job at that. I was then promoted to President. I met with Senami our women’s designer who had a clothing line called Je Suis & we merged lines to make our women’s line for COOL called Je Suis COOL.
Urban Steez: What is the concept behind your clothing and designs?
Ron: The concept behind our Je Suis COOL clothing is a creative, eclectic, and stylish look. Very different from other brands referring to our prints. We have a lot of tribal prints & prints that you wouldn’t see any other brands have. It gives us our distinct look, and lives up to our brand to be creatively different while still being stylishly dope.
Urban Steez: I likes. Is there a specific group of people that you are trying to grab if so explain?
Ron: We capture the creative, innovators, and trendsetters. Those individuals that aren’t afraid to be uniquely COOL. Our women’s line what you see before you is called Je Suis COOL which is French for I AM COOL. The concept behind our company is to encourage and inspire those to live creatively. Je Suis COOL is a clothing company which purpose is to re-define the essence of cool through creativity, intellect, and style. As a fashion brand we are re-defining the word cool to mean something more than just looking the part, but to mean one is creative and unique while carrying themselves with class, and intellect.
Urban Steez: What can we expect from your clothing line in the future?
Ron: You can definitely expect us to make a difference in the fashion world, but also you can expect us to move progressively forward in our designs bringing consumers a breath of fresh air in the clothing industry. There are things & people that come along once every few decades that define a generation & Je Suis COOL will be that brand that will define a generation’s attitudes and way of life through our clothing.
Urban Steez: Name some of your influences for your clothing line?
Ron: There is no one thing in particular that influences our clothing line. But, if I had to say what our biggest influence is, it would be Creativity. We are pushed by creativity to always be ahead of the curve while being in tune with the times fashion wise. I think when you look at creativity which is the main inspiration of our line, it comes from everywhere. Anything and everything that captures our eye influences us. We walk down the street we can see something influence us. We try not to let anything box our creativity in. Definitely, creativity would be our biggest influencer, we are the creative brand.
Urban Steez: What do you feel separates your line from the rest?
Ron: Our line separates itself from the rest of the pack because we focus on uniqueness. We focus on creativity while still being stylish. We want our clothes to resonate with the trendsetter, the innovator, and creative person. Therefore; we are pushed every day to make our clothes fresh, and stylish. We are not the ones who follow the trends but rather the ones who set them and when our style catches on & people want to make it a trend, we are developing a new style or look & carving out our own lane again. So, with that said we are constantly at work staying ahead of the rest of the industry.
Urban Steez: Give us one MAJOR fashion NO-NO?
Ron: When someone matches too many colors in an outfit. Solid color matching is a huge no. For instance, if you’re wearing all red… a red shirt, red pants and red shoes. Huge mistake that I see a lot of people do.
Urban Steez: Lol, damn that’s all bad! Lol If I wear one color its “ALL BLACK” everything. What have you learned being an up and coming clothing line, good and bad?
Ron: I have learned starting out that it is a lot of work and effort you have to put in because a lot of individuals you may have thought were going to be supportive will not be. Also, that it is about perseverance. This isn’t an overnight get rich scheme industry and there is a lot of blood sweat & tears as well as money that goes in to this business. However; you have to look at things as an investment. You have to be willing to stay down when things are not looking up. It’s all about working hard, and recognizing perceived failures are not failures but lesson learned.
Urban Steez: I hear that! Give us three things you can’t live without?
Ron: My inner circle of family & friends those individuals that will have your back in the worst and best of times, my cellphone, I feel like I would be out of the loop without it, and Computer I need my internet connection (digital connection).
Urban Steez: What is the best way to get a hold of your threads?
Ron: By going to our website thecool-life.com and clicking on apparel. You can purchase them straight from the site.
Urban Steez: Every Clothing line usually has a “motto” or a “saying” that represents there clothing line, what is yours?
Ron: Our motto is “Create Your Own Path”. This is our slogan because our brand encourages individuals to be just that “individuals” through the freedom of expression through their personal style in their clothing. We at Je Suis COOL believe that everyone in life has their own unique purpose or blueprint & you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve in life therefore live creatively & “Create Your Own Path”.
Urban Steez: That’s Wassup! Any additional words you like to say to your supporters?
Ron: First, I want to remind those of our Fashion show taking place at Basic Ballroom in New York City the address is 335 West 35th Street New York, NY 10001. It will be on Saturday, November 16, 2011 from 7:30-11:00pm. I would like to thank everyone especially in the New York City area that has been supporting us since day one. Everyone that has been a loyal supporter’s and has been to all of our events. It is much appreciated! Be informed that our women’s line Je Suis COOL Spring ’12 collection will be dropping soon & our summer collection as well. Go to our website www.thecool-life.com to check out all of our apparel. I would like to shout out my business partners, team, & supporters Ian Shaw, Deonna Je Suis, Senami Je Suis, & Corazon Yigan & Tracey Je Suis.