Today we’d like to introduce you to Ean Michael.
Hi Ean, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m the youngest in my family. I grew up around older people, so I always felt like I was older than I was. My father ran a kiosk named “CAPS UNLIMITED” when I was a child, where he sold custom shirts and hats. Which probably unintentionally created my knack for designing. Two things I was always passionate about growing up were sports and clothes. I once had dreams of playing professional sports. But, although I played varsity sports throughout my high school career, I never saw myself as an athlete. I just saw myself as a regular person who was good at sports. I’ve always admired doing fly things more than playing sports. So, once I stopped playing sports after high school, I started honing in on my admiration for fashion. I knew exactly what I wanted to be coming out of high school. I just had to figure out how to get there. In 2016 I co-created an unofficial Gucci Mane Tour Tee that was very successful and gained a lot of celebrity notoriety. I also landed a Billboard post about it. That sparked a flame in me that’s forever going to burn. For 90% of my college life, I stayed in my dorm to design. I’ve spent many hours perfecting my craft to get me where I am today and where I’m going.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road to becoming the creative I am today was not easy. After a few years of aspiring to become a creative, most quit if it doesn’t instantly pop. I knew I had major goals to achieve, so I wasn’t going to stop til I did. I haven’t achieved everything I wanted yet, but I have been checking things off the list over the years.
It will always be challenging as a creative, but that makes the lifestyle worth it because you have to get creative when getting past these obstacles. One challenge I faced as a creative was financial problems. Over the years, I’ve jumped from job to job, trying to support my creativity financially. Which was very hard to do because I was only working minimum wage jobs, and I never stayed at a job long enough to get any raise or promotion. I never stayed at a job for longer than 8 months. I left it if I felt like it was getting in the way of my creative process mentally. I haven’t worked a day job in 3 years, and I can fully support my business financially.
Another problem that I’ve faced is finding my target audience. I believe this isn’t often discussed when dealing with branding. Finding a group of consumers to market your product to can take a few trial and error. I’ve been designing clothes for 6 years now. I’ve gone through several rebrands to find the core audience I have today. It wasn’t until 2020 that I could finally recreate my brand in a way that was appealing to my core consumers that, eventually bringing in customers from all over the country.
Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a Creative Director. Along with my creative direction, I am also a fashion designer, stylist, and consultant. I am the Founder/CEO of two brands, “ClothingYouCanBuy” and “Ean Michael.” “ClothingYouCanBuy” is the streetwear brand I made to provide quality streetwear designs at an accessible rate at affordable prices. “Ean Michael” contains more high-fashioned and pristine pieces that are slightly more exclusive. It’s the best of both worlds. I also style under the moniker “Ean Michael.” I’ve been blessed to style and design with major brands such as Puma, Mitchell & Ness, and Netflix. I have big projects I worked on that you’ll be able to see soon.
What sets me apart from others is that I truly believe I was meant to do this. Every endeavor I ever pursued I never felt 100% comfortable doing. Or I did it just cause I knew I was good at it, so why not go for it? But designing, styling, clothes, etc., I’ve always felt comfortable and peaceful when indulging in it. Everywhere I look, I find inspiration within everything I do to feed my creativity. I’ve always taken it very seriously. Growing up, I was a very imaginative kid and expressed my imagination and creativity through clothes. As I got older, It translated into designing and styling as a career. This is who I am.
Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Ean Michael “Workers Jacket” Release F/W 2022. Exclusively online clothingyoucanbuy.com and in selected stores!
- Website: clothingyoucanbuy.com
- Instagram: @stayezzy (Personal IG)
- Other: @clothingyoucanbuy (Store IG)
Photographer: Ayathma Wickramasinghe (@ayathmathisali) Models: Ean Michael (@stayezzy) Rashard Davis (@rishardrdavis) Candace Poullard (cpdollas) @theaphr0dite @_heartbreaxjake