Michael Cherry “Design & Quality”POSTED ON:
Jan 25 2019
HHO: Introduce yourself to the HipHopOverload readers
Michael Cherry: What’s good HipHopOverload, my name is “Michael Cherry” CEO/designer fashion brand that is black owned and operated.
HHO: What is your design history?
Michael Cherry: I’ve been designing for 24 years.My first company that I co-founded & designed for is Dada Supreme.We started that brand with $1000 and turned it into a multi million dollar brand under my direction. In 2005 I also co-founded & designed Cezer brand and within 3 years was doing 10 million at its peak.Shortly after I decided it was time for me to leave and start my own brand by myself the whole company went out of business within 6 months.In 2012 I started my signature brand “Michael Cherry” in 2012 from my basement with very little money.
It has been embraced by stores nationwide as well as many celebrities,rappers,actors,athletes,comedians,trend setters, hustlers and those that wanna be unique.I produce anywhere from 75 pcs to 150 pcs per colorway so the brand is very exclusive and hard to find.
HHO: Where are you from?
Michael Cherry: I am from Queens New York.Grew up in the Dapper Dan crack era of the 80’s when things were poppin fashion wise in the streets.Went to school with some of the biggest hustlers in the game not to mention a few stylish cats from Brooklyn & Harlem who bought a whole new perspective in the fashion game quietly without being too flashy.
HHO: Who was your musical influences growing up?
Michael Cherry: I am a big hip hop head. All these dudes had a certain “swag” that was larger than life.Living in Queens and going out constantly as a teen I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of them over my career from a teen til now.Big Daddy Kane, A tribe called Quest, De La Soul, Wu Tang Klan, Leaders of the New School,Eric B & Rakim, Nas,LL Cool J, Run DMC, Cool G Rap, Dr Dre, NWA, Slick Rick, Dana Dane and all the nineties music which was an incredible era for Hip Hop.
HHO: What albums did you grow up listening to?
Michael Cherry: It’s far too many to name but I actually was listening to the first rap records by “Spoonie G” and Sugar Hill gang.Before that it was underground and I listened to mix tapes that popular DJ’s were selling in the streets with artists such as Kool Moe D, The treacherous 3, Grand Master Flash and the furious 5, Funky 4 plus 1 more,and many others who never got their due in the Hip Hop world.
HHO: What role does Hip Hop play in your clothing design’s?
Michael Cherry: It’s crucial.I have to pay attention to the artists who usually start fashion trends.I pay attention to the hustlers just as much because they dress to impress constantly.I grew up around this in High School.There were kids in my school that were so fly, it seemed they owned a clothing store.Most of them were hustlers.You had to dress fresh back then.The whole Dapper Dan & Shirt Kings movement was huge.Naturally I am a graffitti artist that was heavy into fashion even as a 7 year old.I used to do air brush jackets,shirts,crystal hats as a 14 year old for money.It’s not by mistake that I am a designer.I just didn’t have direction back then on how to cultivate my gift.I only knew that I loved to do “pieces” daily in graffitti books.That and my love of fashion made me start my first company “Dada”.Everything else is history.
HHO: When you was a kid, what designer influenced you to become a designer?
Michael Cherry: First it was Dapper Dan, then Gucci,Louis Vuitton,MCM, Sergio Tacchinni, & Fila.Also some guys that were doing jackets at the “Kid & Play” store in East Elmhurst NY.When I saw what they were doing, I said to myself, “I can do that better than them” but I didn’t have the experience.I didn’t know how to sew but I did know how to do graffitti and fonts better.I even designed some velour suits with leather like Dapper Dan,found a tailor and the fabric to make them.I showed my designes in a book to showcase to a known hustler in 40 projects at the time to sell.He loved them so much he wanted to order 10 suits for himself & his team at $400 a piece.He pulled out a wad of cash to pay $4,000 to me upfront.Unfortunately even though he was willing to give me the money I was only 15 and worried I would mess it up so I didn’t take the money.I tried to get a personal loan from a bank but needed a co-signer but nobody would co-sign so my dream was temporarily on hold.
HHO: If you could pick one rap artist to represent your brand who would that be?
Michael Cherry: There are so many that are social media sensations but not necessarily my personal pick.If I had to pick one that I respect personally & fashion wise that has started and killed many trends, I would have to go with Jay Z who is recognized worldwide for his business acumen, fashion sense & moving with winners.
HHO: Who are some of the people that have worn your brand?
Michael Cherry: Rick Ross, French Montana, Lil Boosie, 50 Cent, Wale, Chinx (RIP), Busta Ryhme, Shawty Lo (RIP), Chris Brown, Dr.Dre, Wyclef, Raekwon, Stevie J, Noreaga, Rocko, Bun B, Juelz Santana, Papoose,Rowdy Rebel, Waka Flocka, Young MA,Mike Tyson, Mavodo, Da Brat,and many more.
HHO: Describe what your brand stands for?
Michael Cherry: My brand stands for design & quality.You will not be like everyone else.You will stand out.It’s very limited so to have it is rarer than “Supreme” and ideal.I make such few pcs, that when they sell out thats it forever.I have people that ask me for shirts I made 4-5 years ago.For those that know fashion, at some point in the near future they literally will become collectors items.
HHO: What artists do you listen to the most?
Michael Cherry: I’m old school so I listen to 80-90 hip hop.I’m a huge Jay Z fan and his music inspires me to get to another level from day 1.I do listen to Drake, Future and a few of the newer artists as well but not too often.
HHO: What are your plans for 2019?
Michael Cherry: I plan on bringing on an investor to grow the brand worldwide.I am also discussing a signature store & reality show for the “michael Cherry” brand.I also entered into a new partnership to start a new brand that will launch a high volume affordable brand with tee’s no more than $35 with applications and good quality in May 2019.With God’s blessing 2019 is gonna be incredible.
HHO: How can HipHopOverload readers reach you?
Michael Cherry: I have a website that you guys can subscribe to. www.michaelcherryshop.com.For all subscribers to HipHopOverload I am offering a discount of 20% by using promo code HIPHOP20 which will be good from now through the end of February as a thank you for your support.My instagram is @mike7cherry and email firstname.lastname@example.org for other inquiries.
HHO: Any last words or shout outs?
Michael Cherry: I wanna give a word of encouragement to anyone that has to start from the bottom.The bottom is temporary and with due diligence and hard work anything is possible.If I can do it so can you #stayhumble #stayfocused #workhard. For my shout outs, all due praises to God because without him none of this would be happening.To my wife (my rock),mother inlaw, mother,aunt,new family members and dear friends thank you for your love and support.I wanna say “thank you” second to Seneca from HipHopOverload for this platform to tell my story. Shout out to all my customers and everyone that has helped me on this journey out of pure genuine love, I am forever grateful and will never forget you EVER.For everyone else that moves funny I pray for you & thank God that he has given me the discernment to avoid you in an expeditious manner.God Bless.