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Q:Fantasy: Who is Stevie Boi? Where did you grow up? How was life as a kid? What were some of your hobbies back then? How did you get started in the industry… how old were you? Give us a little history lesson if you will.
A:Stevie Boi: Stevie Boi is a designer, an alien, and philanthropist from outer space. Well… I grew up mostly in Europe, but I was born in Augusta, Georgia; in Europe and uh France. I lived in Paris and in Italy I grew up mostly in Germany and… that’s pretty much it. Yeah! Really fun, really positive… I had a really good childhood. My hobby was building. I used to love to play with Leggos and to just build things. I think that’s how I was able to transcend into doing fashion. I got into music when I was 16yrs old, back when MySpace was popular. I started designing in 2009.
Q:Fantasy: Your brand “SB Shades” has been featured in several projects, have been worn by the industry’s elite, Vogue Japan’s Anna Dello Russo and artists as such as Lady GaGa, Beyonce’, and Rasheeda just to name a few. They have graced the pages of Vogue and other publications. How many times have you been featured in Vogue? How many publications have you covered within your career thus far? Name a few.
A:Stevie Boi: Over twenty times now…. Over 400. Clam Magazine, YRB Magazine, Paper Cut Magazine, a lot of newspapers, Tom Boyz quarterly, GQ, Vogue, Elle Magazine, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, every single top fashion magazine I’ve either had my product in or I did interviews for.
Q:Fantasy: You were a part of Lady GaGa’s Monster’s Ball tour in 2009 how did that come about? Describe the overall experience. Were you nervous?
A:Stevie Boi: No, definitely not nervous, it was fun. It was really random and spontaneous. I got the call to make product and I did. I couldn’t actually go on the tour because clearly I was building my own business and traveling myself. At the time I was in Atlanta filming for a show and I was also styling celebrities for one of my old lines titled “Malibu Stevie.” It was a great experience, but it was also something where I had to choose between myself and my client so you know… I had to do the right thing.
Q:Fantasy: When you are in design mode what type of music do you listen to, if any? What’s on your mind? How does your craft make you feel? You said that you want people to feel the love and passion behind each piece you make. What’s the most memorable thing that anyone has ever expressed to you about SB Shades?
A:Stevie Boi: Um that’s funny because sometimes I don’t really even listen to music, if I do listen to music I love to listen to Azealia Banks, Lola Monroe. I really love Lola that’s my sister… one of my best friends. Shystie… I listen to a lot of female rap because it takes me back to a happy place. I love female rappers. Clearly, I know a lot of them, ((LOL) but um it just usually takes me to a happy place… usually female rap is good.
Nothing! Usually nothing’s really on my mind. Like that’s not a metaphor or anything like that… I’m not thinking about making anything. I just freely let my hands do whatever they want. When I do think about what I am going to design I do not sketch. I don’t believe in sketching. I think sketching is setting you up for failure. I say that because people sketch and want to make everything they sketch, literally like that. I feel that that’s so professional, great and awesome, but for me I don’t do that.
It always makes me feel really good afterwards 80% of the time… no. 90% of the time (this is an honest statement) everything I design I always love. I always like it. 10% of the time I hate it. I just take it apart and I don’t work on it at all for days then I come back and I do it all over again. I just feel it’s a sign from God if I make something and I don’t like it and just put it to the side because when I come back to it… it always turns out to be one of my best pieces or a piece that is featured in something more prominent than the other pieces have been featured in or on.
They said my glasses, just the design themselves have changed people’s lives. “Changed my life or changed my friend’s life,” because the designs are so unique considering that they’re on your face. Usually when you wear sunglasses they’re boring. They have no life to them. A lot of designers… I went to Russia three months ago. I taught a class, not taught, but mentored a class and just gave them ideas and told them what they should do. To not just make it in the fashion world, but to make it in your own spiritual zone, that helps when you’re designing, etc. So that was nice… to see that people were touched, not just by my designs, but by the effort and work ethic that went into it.
Q:Fantasy: You have a serious sense of style. If I had to use slang to describe it I would say that it’s “Sick,” “Dope,” or “Epic.” Your fashion sense is thru the roof. Do you forsee a Stevie Boi clothing line or shoe coming in our near future?
A:Stevie Boi: Yes, I’m currently working on a shoe line right now for men and women. I want to pull a Converse type of feel so I’m going to do a unisex line of shoes and a unisex line of clothes. I feel like anything that’s just real fashion. Not a T-shirt with a pocket on it, but real fashion. If it’s a designer brand… if it’s made… usually, they make a lot of things for strictly women or strictly men. I prefer… this time with my clothing line, like my black clothing line CoExist which was one of my biggest lines. I’m trying to out beat that line right now with 54, but anyway CoExist was my first clothing line it was unisex and I go a lot of celebrities to wear it. I just didn’t promote the line as much because I have to promote the eyewear. So, this time around if I do another clothing collection it will be unisex; to go along with the unisex glasses that I design and the unisex shoes that I will be coming out with in the winter.
Q:Fantasy: There’s a lot of bullying going on across the country. You can get bullied because of your race, sexuality, because others see you as different (as an outsider) and for many other reasons. Were you ever a bully or bullied? If you could send a mass text message to all bullies, that could possibly make them change their minds about picking on others, in 140 characters or less what would you say to them?
A:Stevie Boi: Yeah I was bullied, but the thing about me being bullied was that I’m very, very confrontational. A lot of people are intimidated by that because they don’t expect that from me, but I’m very confrontational because of my background. I lived in the projects. I’ve lived in the suburbs. I had to defend myself and I’d never been bullied when I was living in the nicer areas. I think it was pretty much because I was sheltered, but when I moved to bad areas I got bullied because of the fact that I came from such a nice lifestyle. I didn’t understand how people were talking and what they were saying. People thought I was like… better than them and that wasn’t the case. I was just more educated, I spoke two languages, “Hello I was a model.” People were also shocked to see that I wasn’t a punk and I wasn’t .., um I don’t know how to explain it without sounding boggy.., but I wasn’t a B#[email protected] ((LOL)) On top of that I come from a southern family. So that’s just something that you just have to just… I had a southern father and southern mother. I learned to shoot a gun and row a boat, how to fish, fight so you just have to. Regardless of the point whether my family had money or not nobody was putting their hands on me and nobody was going to talk disrespectfully to me because I wasn’t going to tolerate it. Yeah. I was bullied, but it didn’t affect me in the long run, it only made me stronger.
“Kiss my ass that would be the adult thing that I would say!” I would say something else, but it’s way too much for this interview. I would say hi… that’s all I would say. I don’t know what I would say, but kiss my ass would be the best option.
Q:Fantasy: The Olympic games get me excited! Sixteen year old Gabby Douglas, the American artistic gymnast, is the first African- American female to win the Olympic all around gold medal. Were you watching when this happened? If not, how did you feel when you heard the news? What advice do you have for children who are currently in the pursuit of dreams that others may feel are larger than life?
A:Stevie Boi: I was so excited for her and not even just because she was African- American, but her story was so profound… so phenomenal. The fact that… she’s from this place and she moved away. Her mom had so much faith in her that she let move to wherever she was, I don’t know, some random place that I would never go to and was raised by a sub-family. In which, I’ve never heard of before… it was just so amazing. Such a great story…it was a great story and it was also great to see an American win. My friend is actually… her name is Alex Morgan she plays for the women’s soccer team they just won the gold medal and I was so proud of her as well. It was just great to see her (Gabby Douglas) shine the light and break into history; on top of breaking African- American history and making something permanent for everyone.
Q:Fantasy: What advice do you have for children who are currently in the pursuit of dreams that others may feel are larger than life? In other words what advice would you give them as far as pursuing their dreams goes… meaning like as far as not letting people discourage them.
A:StevieBoi: Faith always comes into everything. If you believe that you can do it, you know that you can do it, and that you will not give up this is in your heart then you know that it’s literally probably destined to happen or it’s probably not. Here’s the thing this is what I tell everyone and “this is as simple as it comes,” if you know that you’re able… you want to do something you have to get education. That’s what it is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer. You need some type of education. I didn’t go to school for this. I went to school for criminal justice… completely different from what I’m doing right now and who I am. The sacrament… you need to get education. You need to know the history of it (the dreams that you pursue) because everybody wants to think this and then they prefer to do any and everything and… you always have to always remain humble and surround yourself with positive people. With that right there you’re able to accomplish anything; no matter if it’s stripping or going to school, no matter if it’s building a T.V. or several T.V.’s whatever you do it’s possible as long as you have it (education)… it’s possible.
Q:Fantasy: When you began designing sunglasses in 2009 did you believe that you would become one of the most sought after fashion icons of our time
A:Stevie Boi: I always knew that this is what he (God) had planned for me. The reason why I knew it is because I didn’t know that this was going to be my job. You know. I was doing music at first I had a really big record deal. That didn’t turn out. The album didn’t come out, but I had all the followers… all the press. I was on the cover of all of these different websites, etc. Nothing was coming out so that’s how I got into fashion because I wasn’t making any money from music. Besides performing and uh it’s such an interesting story and then I literally go into fashion and I’m designing clothes and no one’s buying them. Everyone’s gone! They disappeared (that was supporting me before) and so I decided… ok I’m going to make accessories and I got into the eye wear lab. As soon as I made the eye wear the first person to wear my sun glasses, a whole week later after making just one pair, was Eva Marcille Pigford. That’s when I knew God is doing something right here. There’s no way in hell that after a week of me designing something that Eva Marcille Pigford wears my stuff. My brother, I call him my brother because we are so close. His name is Michael Antonio, celebrity photographer. That was the first celebrity that he shot and I was like just before I worked with you (Eva) me and Michael had known each other for years and we were like “oh, we’re gonna make it one day.” That was the first person that I got to work with. The second person I got to work with was Lady GaGa. From that point it just went on to every other celebrity; you know and that’s how I knew that it was meant for me to make eye wear and accessories. Rather than clothing, at that particular point in time, I think God wanted me to do something easier first so then I could venture out… the more education I got.
Celebrities Rocking SB Shades
Q:Fantasy: What projects are you currently working on? What would you like to be remembered for long after you’re gone?
A:Stevie Boi: Well oh, gosh I just did two T.V. series. I’ve been out in L.A. a lot because I’ve been out there signing deals, doing movies about to style, and design for a lot of movies… a lot of major A- list clients that I’ve always wanted to work with like George Clooney. A lot of major people… It’s going to be interesting to see them in my designs um and my new collection 54 is coming out September 7th so I’m working on a lot right now. I’m excited and today’s just been a crazy! Crazy days… I’ve had for the last two weeks. I’ve been reading a book on spiritual development. I got myself in to a position where I finally found out who I was as a person. Aside from my role and what I was put here for, I found out why I am the way that I am. Why I’m so hard. I’m so soft at this moment and then I go back to being hard. I literally found out who I was and so much account of me being able to take on such a role in this industry as an African- American, as a gay male in the fashion world because it’s not easy. It’s not as easy as it looks, but I’m able to accomplish it because I know that no one can do it better than me, “So, sorry!” ((LOL))
I would like to be remembered for doing what was right, not even just for my fashion. I’m a cancer; you know ya’ll stereo type so whatever that means. I do agree with them sometimes. “I’m a cancer so I’m a very giving and shy person (stereotype).” I am not a shy person you ask me to go run out in the street naked I will do that. I am very spontaneous, but you gotta give me a check tho… a check that will buy me a new Ferrari… that type a check. Have a good down payment on my Lambo (Lamborghini.) I want people to remember me not for just being spontaneous, but for being caring as well. I’m funny… I’m a comedian okay.
A:Fantasy: and you’re definitely down to Earth and probably one of the most humble people I’ve met in a long time. I know because… I just said hey! Follow me back on Twitter. I’ve been a fan. I’ve been communicating with you ever since, there’s never been a dull moment and I really appreciate that.
A:Stevie Boi: I have a reason for that and this is a thing that usually pisses off a lot of people because they don’t want to hear it, but the reason why I… I’m just going to use my specific reason. I didn’t grow up in poverty, but I got the chance to experience poverty when my mom moved from Korea and back to America. I had to live in the projects (Augusta, Georgia’s Stone Gate) with roaches and rats, rottweilers outside… pit bulls. This was crazy and listening to Georgia Brown it was just a whole different project. So, um I just had to experience a life that I didn’t understand. When I got back to the suburbs I was just so grateful and happy… happy to have anything. Yesterday I cleaned out my closet and I found two Game Boys, an X-Box, two Play stations.“ like what?” Like most people can’t afford anything, not even a chipotle’ roll. That reminded me… I had everything as a kid why do I still have this stuff in my house now? I ended up selling it for like $20. I just realized how blessed I am so every time someone speaks to me on Twitter I respond to people even if I don’t speak out, but I still have to keep that stint there; that “Stevie Boi figure,” so that I can’t be accessible to everyone. That’s when crazy people come out.
Q:Fantasy: How do you feel after being interviewed? Is there anything that you’d like to share with our audience that you haven’t thus far? How do companies or individuals get into contact with you?
A:Stevie Boi: I feel great! I feel like once again, that whole two week thing I did, made me better spiritually. I just feel like I’m high as hell! I feel like I’m on a cloud. I feel like I’m just #turntup (all the way turned up, living loud, volume to the max)! I just feel so good right now. I feel like there’s no stress and doing this interview was great. Once again, I got to express myself aside from designing. I got to express myself with words which I don’t get to do too much and uh I just want to touch people out there. Let them know that I’m just as human as they are, I’m nobody different. If you saw me on the street you can walk by, but I’m right there just like you. I want to share with my audience who I am as a person. People have to visually see me! I always had this issue… I don’t have it anymore because I’m older. I’ve always had this issue with thinking about… “not necessarily sweating the small stuff,” but I had an issue with people just every single person not liking me because they wouldn’t tell me and because they’d keep it to themselves and not let me know. When you’re not acknowledged, when you are successful or when you know you’re going to become successful it just makes you feel a little unsure about if you’re doing the right thing. Personally, physically or whatever you’re doing. That was doubts that I used to have. Now, “I don’t really care anymore what people have to say about me unless it’s something positive and they’re going to leave a great mark on my life.” I like to remember people’s quotes and their words that they give me so the next time they see me especially, if I don’t know them, I let them know that hey I remember who you are. You said this to me and that makes people feel good .
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Face Book: http://facebook.com/sbshades
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