by Jasmine Conrad
California Crown is an LA based clothing label that strives to provide its customers with “genuine swag”, by infusing Northern California style (where the movement began) with the trends of Southern California.
The brands mission is to represent the state of California in all its swaggerific glory…
Check out FAST’s exclusive interview with the creators of California Crown, Jay Perlman and Misu Minhaz (pictured below).
FAST: Who are the guys behind the brand?
MISU MINHAZ: As of now the company has two members running the major operations and logistics of the company. Jay Perlman is the visionary and initial founder of the idea behind California Crown Clothing, which began as the “Native Movement”. He has been developing the concept since high school and is the Chief Executive Officer of California Crown Clothing Co. I came along during the start up phase when I met Jay at USC. We both shared the same love for the state and ideas and worked well off each other. I began to find passion and drive in the concept, and with Jay developed our mission statement and overall goal of the company. I’m currently the Chief Operational Officer and oversee the day-to-day operations at California Crown Clothing Co. We are a versatile pair, and do all of the following tasks required to run a functioning and innovative line. From designing, marketing, and filling and shipping orders, we dedicate ourselves to our growth. We have two passionate minds at California Crown, and an array of noble friends who all contribute in their own way, whether it is filling in as a photographer, model, or designer.
FAST: How did California Crown come into existence?
MISU MINHAZ: We knew that the line had a captivating concept to it, so we decided to test out our vision at USC. Our first wave of products was for promotional purposes. We gave our initial designs to our closest friends from home, and various people on campus at SC. We immediately received positive feedback and ran with it. Every time I boarded through campus, it was a pleasure seeing a random girl or guy repping our product. We knew that our item was intriguing and began the legal process of trademarking and making the company official. When we finished the paperwork portion and handled all the non-fun tax stuff, we came out guns blazing during the sale and promotional stage. With a successful website launch in Dec 2011, we have pushed the line as much as we can with a full course load at SC. People started talking and it became an everyday scene to see some girl riding her beach cruiser wearing a tank or a guy casually wearing our distinctive snapbacks. Names such as Kid Ink (one of XXL’s Freshman of the Year, and emerging Hip-Hop powerhouse) and Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers star tight end) gave interest to our items and became our liaisons to our demographic.
FAST: If you could put California Crown into a style genre, what would it be?
MM: The genre that we envisioned is everyday street gear with a fusion of class and the love of California. Our niche market as of now is people who enjoy the essence of our great state. Being proud of your roots and not falling into another trendy label that pursue material rather than a message. California Crown is not necessarily just a clothing line, it is a state of mind. We do not just sell our products with the intention of just making money, but rather offer an experience for natives of this great state and those who are fond of California.
FAST: What kind of message are you trying to send with you designs? How do you want the people who wear you clothes to feel/be perceived?
MM: Our “about” section on our site, which showcases our mission sums up this question.
“Founded in Los Angeles, CA and inspired by San Francisco, CA; California Crown strives to unite the best of Northern California, where the movement began, while incorporating the upbeat lifestyle of Southern California. California Crown offers our friends the best in style, comfort, and genuine swag. Our products provide the finest in quality with the intentions of maintaining the positive spirit of the people of this great state.
California Crown started as a simple idea of a clothing line that represented something more then just a trendy label. The mission was to establish a brand that represented our home, and the love we have for our roots. We believe that California has nothing but the best to offer, and with that, we try and foster this mentality into our clothing. If you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, life is good. CALIFORNIA”
Who are your style icons?
MM: Personally I look up to guys who were in similar situations as us and who have made a big name for themselves though honing in on their talents and craft. Some labels I can throw out are Five Four Clothing, 686 Snow Boarding, and Quick Silver who like California Crown all got their start as students at USC and flourished to success.
Jay Perlman: We have drawn inspiration from a variety of areas. The path of other designers such as Jonas Bevacqua of L-R-G and Emil Soriano and Dennis Calvero of Crooks and Castles has been something we try to emulate. Their messages and goals behind their line, in combination with the versatile and unique designs, have been inspirational since the start. Yet our appreciation for style and design goes all over the map, from hip-hop artists to the everyday person, everyone has something to showcase.
How would you describe your personal style?
MM: I would say keep it classy, practical, and innovative. A fusion of street gear and a touch of tailored look is the way to go. RVCA, LRG, Five Four, Levis and Creative Recreations are some of the brands which I typically wear on a daily basis. A referee once told me during a JV football game “That’s sloppy son, tuck in your jersey; you look good, you feel good, you play good” Although it seemed comical and embarrassing to me at the time, those words have stuck with me since high school and solidified the importance of having confidence and looking sharp.
JP: I like to feel like I have a “clean” look going, yet also being unique and original. I’ve always loved street wear, so brands such as L-R-G, Crooks and Castles, and Diamond Supply Co. have been staples in my wardrobe. If it catches my eye though, I’ll try and rock it.
If that wasn’t cool enough for you….Kid Ink rocks the California Crown Swag: