What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming fashion talent. Today's guest is designer, Ray Hrobowski, founder of the Black Militia clothing brand. Black Militia is a Chicago clothing brand birthed during the pivotal 2020 BLM protest. The vision of the Black Militia brand is to highlight racial inequities faced by minorities in America. The Chicago based brand has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with them! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Ray? Your brand is dope. When did you start?
Ray: My fashion career started in May of 2020.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! How did your early life shape your fashion career?
Ray: -In my early life I always liked to stand out with the fashion on the streetwear side from Pelle Pelle to other brands. Hip hop and streetwear have been something I’ve been into since my early teens.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Pelle Pelle. So what's your biggest fashion influence?
Ray: One of my biggest influences in fashion is the Diplomats, from style to streetwear, I always try to create something that stands out.
Westleaf Staff: I love that. What's been the defining moment in your fashion career?
Ray: A defining moment in my fashion career so far is when Rick Ross posted some of our merchandise that we sent in his story on IG. That was unreal.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope. Shoutout to Ross. What does fashion mean to you?
Ray: Fashion to me is a way of expression. How you dress and present yourself is always important.
Westleaf Staff: So true! What inspired your fashion career?
Ray: My fashion interest actually started the same day of the looting in 2020. I wanted to create an impactful clothing line as a way to peacefully protest what minorities go through every day in this country.
Westleaf Staff: So cool! Salute for maintaining the vision. How is fashion shaping our world today?
Ray: I feel fashion is shaping our world for good and bad, the good people get to express their creative ideas and make them come to life and the bad is some of the fashion in certain communities that is very weird. That is not what our brand is about.
Westleaf Staff: Gotta do you. Much respect. So what does art mean to you?
Ray: Advice I would give to anyone who is starting in this industry is to always keep an open mind and also be open to opinions. Positive or negative and opinion can also give you more creative ideas in the future. so don’t let it detour you from your goals your trying to accomplish