By Tajah Ware
As the fall weather makes its presence known, I can’t help but notice how put together some Illini are. As I make my way around the Quad, some students pop out every day, others dress up maybe two to three times a week, and some, well… some people don’t care about how they look. More power to them.
In honor of this glorious weather and all the amazing looks people are pulling off this fall, I decided to reach out to some fly guys with up-and-coming brands here at UIUC.
Omar Denteh of Cricket by Urban Elegance and Ron Lynch and Dakwon Carr of G.O.L.D. Clothing blessed me with their high-fashion auras over the weekend to talk to me about their own personal styles and their brands.
Denteh graduated from U of I two years ago, but his presence on this campus is still very much intact. Urban Elegance is the name of the brand Denteh – along with his brother Olabode Oladeinde – started and trademarked in 2012. According to Denteh, however, his first piece of hard work was not created until 2014.
“In 2014 I was able to sell my first piece,” he said.
Urban Elegance is a brand specializing in making jerseys, hats and embroidered jackets. Denteh goes into a quiet shop in River Oak Mall every day and sews his logo onto different types of hats, jackets and even jeans. He even went as far as taking classes from Joanne’s Fabrics on how to make a hat from scratch. Denteh ensures each product he sells has his touch, literally.
According to Denteh, Urban elegance is a brand dedicated to tastemakers, people that like to be different ”The goal of Urban Elegance is to open the viewer’s eyes to different styles of clothing and to help people see fashion from a different perspective.”
This is important to Denteh, because for so long he felt like he was trying to dress like people his age instead of embracing his own inner style. “I’ve always felt like I was ahead of fashion,” said Denteh.
Instead of going out in some Timbs and Robin Jeans, Denteh feels most comfortable in a pair of slim jeans, a nice shirt and tie and some loafers from Aldo. He stays true to his own sense of style, which is such an important thing to do in the fashion industry.
Urban Elegance is a brand that embodies originality and openness when it comes to fashion. In the words of Denteh, “everything has elegance in it,” and that is very evident in the way his brand is set up.
Coming in on the more street style of things, I sat down with Ron Lynch and Dakwon Carr, two of the founders of G.O.L.D. Clothing, over the weekend as well. These two came into the meeting dripping with self-confidence and swag, which is very representative of their brand.
A more urban and trendy type of clothing line, G.O.L.D. came about around a year and a half ago.
“We specialize in streetwear, we’ve made hats, t-shirts, windbreakers, jean jackets and polos,” said Lynch. “We have sweat suits dropping next.” G.O.LD. is certainly an innovative and unique brand here at UIUC.
“Everything we make has its own individualism,” said Lynch. From their logo, the three-eyed skull, to the fact they release new apparel every season, this brand openly states that it is unlike many other college clothing lines.
“Everything we make is sketched out first and designed from the bottom,” said Carr. “We don’t want to just make a shirt or a hat or a hoodie with our logo on it each season. We want something new each season.”
Lynch and Carrs’ passions for fashion are evident in how they run their line as well as how they dress. When asked what their go-to pieces of clothing are, both plainly stated that they like whatever is “jiggy.” Whether it’s popular or not, if they see a piece of clothing they like, they’ll buy it.
Whether in regards to their brand or their own personal sense of style, G.O.L.D. Clothing will always reject conformity in the fashion industry.
Individualism is a trait that is lacking in the fashion industry today. However, I am confident these two brands will not only uplift individuality but also encourage it in the fashion world.
All photographs courtesy of Tajah Ware