Creative visionary, Amanda Moore-Karim had the pleasure of meeting the man at a Rag & Bone Sample Sale. His name is Jerrod (Spiph) Collins—a passionate individual whose drive and fashion pieces are admired. His unique take on fashion expressed through his brand The Goods is eye-catching and honorable. Amanda had the pleasure of working with some of Jerrod’s samples for a creative project entitled Business Acumen, a depiction of the versatility of black women in the workplace while maintaining a sense of professionalism and poise. After the project, she developed a strong business relationship with Jerrod and asked him to do an interview for Culture Starved.

Amanda Moore-Karim (AMK): Why did you decide to start a fashion brand?
Spiph (S): I wanted to supply our culture with a tailored point of view that is not office specific. I enjoy challenging others around me to do a little more than what’s required and starting a fashion brand felt as though it would assist with that.

 AMK: What was your state of mind during the creative process for The Goods?
S:During the process I wanted to create something original with a stylish flare. At the time, I was all about discrete details and texture. I wanted to take classic furnishings such as a necktie and pocket square and bring them to life in today’s time.

Photo 6AMK: What was the most frustrating part of the creative process for you?
S: Quickly producing the creative ideas. I want to try every idea, and starting out you have so many. But you have to teach yourself priority and purpose. It’s frustrating when you see a piece come out not quite as you expected or didn’t have the reaction you wanted.

AMK: How did your environment influence your work?
S: My environment was very outside the box. Filled with many styles and walks of life, it would be amazing to hear the reactions to me starting a necktie and furnishing line. The excitement it would bring out of people was refreshing to me. It was important to see the versatility of style of those around me to see where The Goods would naturally fit in.

 AMK: I know you just moved to New York not long ago; do you feel your environment is different? In what way?
S: New York is definitely different. This is where it’s all put together. From production to editorial, the full spectrum of fashion is here. New York forces you to think different, plan different and react different. I feel this is what has helped me evolve the content of my brand. In DC, you think Capitol Hill, even in New York you think Wall Street. The Goods is also for the cool musicians, slick brokers and dope doormen. I want my brand to be special and also accessible for the guy looking to present himself in a clean manner.

AMK: Do you consider yourself a starving artist?
S: I do feel like a starving artist. I live with the craving to share the brand with the world but, it’s still a tight ship. Living in New York ain’t cheap, and trying to put your dreams into motion on top of that gets tricky sometimes but I’m getting the hang of it.

AMK: Why did you decide to pick the fashion industry as your creative realm?
S: Fashion seemed the most natural for me. I always found myself captivated with the art of appearance and the confidence that came with it. I felt fashion and clothing are a must and tell a story of the person wearing it. So, for me, it’s like reading a bunch of short stories a day.

I want my work to be a breath of fresh air to the tailored at heart.  I want people to feel clean and fresh.

AMK: How do you want your work to make people feel?
S: I want my work to be a breath of fresh air to the tailored at heart.  I want people to feel clean and fresh. People want to feel identified by the brands they support and I want people to know their style is at the forefront of my work.

AMK: What experience(s) inspired your work?
S: There were two. In high school, to get on the bus to go play our basketball games, you had to have on a tie. No tie, No game. It got me to understand, before you get down and dirty you gotta show up clean. That’s the mentality of a professional.

I also had the pleasure to be the doorman of a very posh DC nightclub. This is where it clicked for me. In the sharpest of fits, this was one of the toughest jobs in my life. Balancing the line outside and making sure the party is flowing inside was my job, guest list and all. The best of DC would come through faithfully and I had to be ready for them. They gave my style free will and I ran with it. It was there that I saw what a tie could do and what a knot represented to our culture.

Photo 2AMK: How do you feel your work feeds the culture?
S: I feel the The Goods is giving our culture different lanes to jump in. We are in a transitional time in wardrobe. It’s almost to the point of wear what you want. I don’t want my culture to feel limited to active wear and tennis shoes. I want to feed the culture with finishing touches to silhouettes of old and new. We have the opportunity the be apart of inaugural occasions, travel cross seas and wake up to amazing views. I just want us to have dope furnishing while we do it.

Mr. Collins epitomizes a striving artist. He’s relentless, determined and Black Brilliance. You can find The Goods here. Thank you, Spiph, for continuing to feed the Culture Starved.