Compton-raised fashion designer Andrew Evans is making a statement. His successful clothing brand Homme + Femme Los Angeles sprouted many worthwhile relationships and connects over the past year or so. The brand arose from Andrew recognizing that clothing was the ultimate respect and creating something of his own could take him very far. “We designed the first few pieces at a startup and I borrowed $800 from my grandfather to make our first samples,” he recites. Since then, major artists like SZA, Gunna, and French Montana have rocked Homme + Femme during their concerts and so forth.
RESPECT. recently caught up with the Los Angeles-native to talk about his upbringings, launching the brand, and more. Check out our interview below.
Walk me through your childhood, how did fashion and clothing influence you growing up?
What were some of the brands or designers that created the blueprint for you to break into fashion?
What is the meaning of Homme + Femme?
Homme + Femme is literally the French translation of Man and Woman.
Can you give me the background behind your initial startup?
I was basically released from my internship with Ti$A and I told my friend at the time I wanted to start a brand of our own. I messed around with merch for my event planning company LA Hype and other hats and stuff but April 2013 we decided to really make our own brand. We designed the first few pieces at a startup and I borrowed $800 from my grandfather to make our first samples. After we made the samples we put them on Instagram and people went crazy so we literally made them to order. Pay now and wait 2-3 weeks to receive the goods. We had no real money to start so this is how we got by.
How about as the brand developed, were there any problems or setbacks that you faced?
There are always sets backs no matter what level of successful you achieve in this game. From running out of capital, to customers trying fraud credit cards and losing money to stores canceling their wholesale orders. It’s really a gauntlet of surviving, advancing forward and adapting to changes. There’s never a perfect scenario but as long as you build a team that can adapt to changes you’ll come out on top.
Getting your clothing in the hands of artists, would you say that’s easier said than done and why/why not?
What is the influence behind your creative direction when working on capsules and collections?
My creative influence varies but it’s always usually something to do with the struggle of surviving and advancing outside of a tough environment. It mixes between the good life and the inner city struggle. I come from a lower middle class background and has always striven to make it big. At its finest Homme + Femme represents that struggle to advance to a better place in life. Our clothes look to pull people into a more refined space in their style. It’s just not fast fashion people would find at local shops. We try to capture the luxury and grittiness of Los Angeles and design quality pieces that can speak to everyone.
Looking a few years into the future, where would you ideally see Homme + Femme?
In a few years I see the brand being an established pillar in men’s and women’s fashion. We want to earn the respect as a staple in people’s wardrobe and lifestyle. We will hopefully be a nine figure brand. We want to be generational like Ralph Lauren.
What sets the brand apart from its fellow competitors?
As I said before we are not fast fashion. Our output is slower and we focus more on uniqueness and breaking trends not following them. We could be way more profitable if we rode trends for revenue but we don’t. Anyone who has ever purchased our goods can attest to our quality standard and our quality holds up for years.
What do you want people to take away from your success and the brand?
I want kids and young entrepreneurs to see me still standing here through the ups and downs and know that good things don’t come easy and they need patience to win in the long run. There are plenty of kids way more talented than me who can do this if they give themselves time to grown and gradually progress. They should see an orphan kid from Compton who became a man in the business. Who messes up more than he succeeds. But they should see someone who won’t quit and then apply that to themselves.
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