So, I got a chance to catch up with my main man Joshua Perry. Straight out of Taft Projects in Harlem. He and I grew up on the same block and were actually part of a dance crew together way back when (good times). It's been a while since we've all gone our separate ways, but when I finally catch up with the guy, it turns out that the guy is inspirational as hell.
Ok, I don't want to oversell. I know this is my boy, so I'll take that into account when I tell ya'll about him. But anyways, he is now a clothing designer, who currently makes all his clothing by hand, and earns money selling his pieces within his network.
I don't care where you're from, when you see him, you're going to point at 'something' that he has on and be like "where'd you get that?", and 9 times out of 10, his reply will be "oh, yea I made this". The way the whole cookie crumbled was that he didn't really see it as a big deal at first. He just always had an appreciation for fashion and how a person can make an impact just by how he or she carries themselves. He started off making alterations to his clothes, then taking pieces apart and putting them together as something basically unrecognizable. People went from offering him money to make them something, to telling him that he could possibly live off something like this.
He gets his the name "The Denim Barber" from the fact that he uses various types of box cutters to design his denim pieces. He uses the same wooden dinner table that he started with, working way into late hours of the night. He says that he will always use that table, even if he somehow becomes rich. He says that it will keep him in touch with how and why he started. My guess is that it will be to keep him from getting too caught up in the clout of the attention and to remember to enjoy what he does.
The guy has like a philosophy behind even the smallest alteration of detail of his designs. He'll do something like take the little rectangular piece of leather that goes in the back of your jeans and put it on the front of another pair of jeans and say "See, these jeans have good quality leather in the back. Too good of a quality to keep hidden in the back. These are supposed to be in the front where you can see them!". Now, I've noticed what he did in his design, but I literally have never thought about that. Like, if I had a leather jacket nearly as tough as the ones on the back of a pair some Levi's jeans, I'd probably never have to buy another jacket again...unless I was in some action movie explosion or just did something really stupid.
He and his boy Live Bradshaw have been making work together over the years and actually make music together. Live Bradshaw is a lyricist, songwriter, and producer. Check out the mixtape here. Feel free to check Josh on Instagram by searching @Mike_Josh or by clicking here. I love when new cats from my home town hold it down and stick together the way they are. We are in a crucial times in art where people are waking up and taking control of their careers and not letting large corporations set the standards of creativity. Link up, get engaged, get inspired, be happy.
Written by Quinton Counts