Rhythm and Blues, Urban FLRT
Fashion week left us excited about what to expect in fall fashions 2013! Rounding out one of the most fashionable months in New York City we are spotlighting designer Corey Wesley, CEO and Creative Director of the Harlem-based brand Urban FLRT. Urban FLRT is an innovative socially-conscious lifestyle brand that offers innovative fashions. Urban FLRT is the first t-shirt brand to make use of the new dye process dye sublimation. The dye sublimation process allows Urban FLRT to create some of the most visually appealing and artistic t-shirts in the marketplace. I caught up with Corey in his Harlem office this past week to discuss what’s new with Urban FLRT designs and what we could expect from the ever-expanding lifestyle brand.
Kass: Hi Corey! How are you?
Corey Wesley: Good Morning, Kass! I’m well!
Kass: Corey kindly share with our readers who aren’t familiar with Urban FLRT what exactly is Urban FLRT?
Corey Wesley: Urban FLRT is a socially conscious brand that represents art and culture. Over time urban has become a negative connotation, we at Urban FLRT look to change that through the provision of expressive designs often referred to “wearable art”. Urban represents urban fashion and a lifestyle that is rewarding and timeless. FLRT represents freely living real and truth. I believe in everything we do here at Urban FLRT. Our followers are urbanites. Urban FLRT looks to celebrate the eclectic mecca of Harlem offering fashions representative of the art and the culture of Harlem on another level.
Kass: Tell me what inspires Urban FLRT?
Corey Wesley: Urban FLRT is inspired by so many things. It’s inspired by the environment (Harlem, NY), the subway, pulse of the city. I grew up on the Lower East Side and naturally embraced the influences of the music and cultures of the city.
Kass: New York absolutely offers an eclectic set of cultural influences. Speaking of which, what inspired this season’s collection?
Corey Wesley: The new collection is inspired by music, Obama’s re -election, R& B, Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera.
Kass: Tell us a little about your background. How did Urban FLRT get its start?
Corey Wesley: I am a former corporate trainer who along with countless others lost my job due to the recession. As my time as a corporate trainer afforded me an amazing background and keen business sense, I spent some time thinking of what I wanted to do next. I love to create something out of nothing. After countless hours of research and self-teaching – Urban FLRT was born.
House Music, Urban FLRT
Kass: What was one of your first design inspirations?
Corey Wesley: I was watching the view (shortly after Whoopi Goldberg joined) and I was in a dark place. For some reason Whoopi being on the view got me out of the bed. Whoopi is amazing. She is smart, talented, funny and passionate about her beliefs. As a result my design “guardian angel” was born and Whoopi later wore the shirt on a segment of The View.
Kass: Of all of the classifications of apparel you could’ve designed, why T-shirts?
Corey Wesley: Well actually, the brand is scheduled as a full-fledged line, however based on the economy it wasn’t the time for a full collection. So, I started with my favorite piece of apparel: The T-shirt.
Kass: Tell me about the Urban FLRT team.
Corey Wesley: Our team consists of John Meyers, Operations Manager and a small team of designers and associates.
Kass: Urban FLRT has been in the making for six years. What do you attribute your longevity in the fashion arena?
Corey Wesley: I find designers who make it – have to be able to switch roles. Once you’ve honed the creative, then you can focus on the business. Business has to play a role in being a successful designer.
Kass: That is so true! I think more up and coming designers need to hear such sound advice! Without understanding the business of fashion you just have an idea. The business of fashion will afford the manufacturing, marketing, and merchandising of that ideation into a saleable product.
Kass: What can we expect from Urban FLRT?
Corey Wesley: Creativity and a diversified product platform. We are planning to launch our new brand Crown Jewel, an undergarment line making full use of visual imagery. We also want our loyal and fringe customer base to participate in the development of future collections.
Kass: If there is one last thing you could leave readers about in reference to Urban FLRT what would it be?
Corey Wesley: You have to be willing to tune out the world to pay attention to detail. And more importantly, it is my belief you can lose something, but once you made something out of nothing it is reflective of your ability to be anyone and anything you want to be.
Kass: Corey thank you for sharing more about Urban FLRT with our readers. I wish you the best in all you do!
Corey Wesley: Thank you, Kass and Harlem World for taking out the time to speak with us!
Cassettes, Urban FLRT
You can find additional information on the UrbanFLRT lifestyle brand by visiting: www.urbanflrt.com
Until we meet again, remember Fashion is what YOU make it!
Photo credit to Debora Clark Fairfax.
- Toyota Urban Cruiser Concept Photos: 2006 Geneva Motor Show (motortrend.com)