All of these really subtle details are evident when you see them in person. Are these details difficult to convey through digital images?
I mean, I face the challenge of growth. I am currently a one person team. I wish I had more time to make movies, show exercises, work on social media and content. There is a life that I build and it is not done in low plan. I struggle with that. But I want this story to last forever, so I’m patient. And there are people who have been wearing Billy since day one, and as soon as the boys understand, they’ll come back. They spend a thousand dollars to buy t-shirts and sweatshirts again and to buy their father’s jacket.
And that’s why, like the celebrities who wear the brand, everything is organic. Like G-Eazy, he is my friend. This is the brand ethic: family and unity. The traits with which I grew up are the heritage of my brand. And one day I hope we can have this great family dinner together.
You said earlier that it was not really important to be a fashionable woman, but I don’t know if I agree. Tell me what you think.
I am often asked. And I’m trying to say it’s nothing, but it’s difficult. Look, men’s clothes are … a boys’ club. It is very closely linked. There are different groups supporting each other and I just came from the left field. I was not in men’s fashion yet, so I think I have to knock down those walls to say: Hey, here I am. I know what I’m doing. It was hard, I’m not going to lie. Mike Amiri was very nice to me and he was a great mentor who calmed me down and just said, “You are doing the right thing, keep going.” I have great support.
I think I have a great attitude about how men should dress, so building the brand over the next few years will be very exciting. Because I know what women want to wear to men, what men want to wear to men. I mean, I create for a guy I want to be with. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not difficult, but whether you’re a man or a girl, it’s difficult to create your own brand and get people around the world to wear it. I never thought it would be easy.
What was the most exciting thing about launching your own brand?
Obviously Justin [Bieber] – it was damn major. But also Mr. Porter, because I was not even a year old. I missed my meeting with Sam [Lobban, a former men’s purchaser at Mr. Porter] and flew back to show him. For me, it is the largest dealer in the industry. So it was amazing to hear his comments. And he said, “I love what you’re doing, let’s come back next season.” And I agreed, I was literally starting. A few weeks later, they reached out and said, “We can’t wait, make an exclusive offer.” It was amazing to get such comments from someone you respect so much in the industry.
What was the most difficult part?
Build the business. I wanted to stop 50 million times. I know how to do business, but doing business is a lot. And I learn every day. I had so many roadblocks. Like last August, I had a factory that totally destroyed me – I didn’t know what to do. It was hard. Even things like making sure I have enough money now to make another collection. And how do I do it with limited resources and make sure it meets my standards? Because I don’t limit my standards.
Why do you think people like your clothes?
The guys around me, someone like G-Eazy, were satisfied with the cut and the “understated freshness”. I think the biggest problem – even with the MDs I get – is this low-key approach that I take. I posted a photo and someone just wrote “It’s so relaxed and cool” – and it was just a photo of my nephew wearing one of the hoodies. Guys often talk about cutting and it means a lot to me because I work on it, it’s so important to me. Look, my boy shouldn’t take longer to prepare than I do. That’s why I design the way I do it. These are things you can put on that are cool right now. He’s the guy you see at the cafe and you want to know more about him. He has that effortless self-confidence and doesn’t feel like he has to announce who he is all the time. I want people to take Billy and wear him the way they want.
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.