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Date posted Aug.15.02

Our Styles Have Emerged
by Shadai Payne
photos by Shem Rajoon


When you first glance at 30 year old Richard Braithwaite’s logos you see the image of horse’s head, but at a second glance you can also see two guys playing basketball. The room is soon filled with oohs and ohs after everyone has figured out the puzzling double image. Richard then started playing around with the letters and then emerged OSHE an acronym that stand for Our Styles Have Emerged, which shouldn’t be confused with NEOSHE a California based company. “The acronym celebrates our culture from the perspective of when light skin was in and dark skin wasn’t our full lips, and curvaceous bodies and the things that are typical of African Americans”. OSHE is a home-based company that Richard basically described as a “baby”. “No stores yet, I’m not even online, the orders would be too much to handle, “he explains”. Marketing is my main direction now and I have a few people helping me with that. I’m really concerned with layouts”.

Before becoming a clothing designer Richard always wanted to work in the field of graphic design and decided to put his artwork on T-shirts and other articles of clothing. Richard now attends the Catherine Gibbs Institute of Art and Design and is currently working on an associate’s degree in graphic arts. The response toward his clothing line has been very positive and he hopes to have OSHE hitting the stores soon. Richards’s main focus now is marketing and making the transition into the fashion industry, and states his “main thrust is getting the line out there”.

What is the target audience for your new clothing line?
The target audience is the urban youth demographic of 18-35 year olds. The line is dressy, casual and is for people going through different experiences in life.

What are some of the styles your coming out with?
T-shirts, slacks, plain fronts, button down shirts etc. I’m not necessarily trying to invent a new style, but trying to improve on it.

What type of shops and boutiques would you like to see your clothing line in?
More T-shirts in Yellow Rat Bastard, V.I.M, Jimmy Jazz and other stores that are more open to new designers.

The term FUBU stands for “For Us By Us” but it doesn’t fit us what will you do to ensure your lothes fit the average black women?
It’s all in the name. The whole concept of working with a seamstress and knowing the certain dimensions that is more typical of black women’s size, and styles that fit their curves, and also compliments their figure. I mean you will see a few wafe models here and there but thats not all your going to see. OSHE is for everybody.

Where do you see yourself and your company within the next 6 months to a year?
Once I get more shirts out I’ll be extremely busy, it’s all about the hustle. I would like to see myself with a cool mill! but it’s all about the hustle.

Where do you get your inspriration from?
Just walking through New York City, Harlem, and keeping my eyes open to everything. Going to the library and looking at old styles to try to make my line unique, maybe by adding pockets in different places or different styles of jackets. It’s all about the minor details that make the clothes unique. Sean John, and Ekco, are my two favorite urban designers and one of the classics like Ralph Lauren.


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