When did Karoshi United start? I suppose you could say it started when I was 9. I grew up on the eastside of Detroit, born to a career fire fighter / guitar player and a blind occupational therapist / secret artist. I was grounded for 2 weeks, have no clue what I did, but I remember I used to always get these Eastbay and Alloy catalogs. I'd also routinely swipe my mother's Newport News catalog. Well on this week that I was grounded, a conversation I had with my best friend and neighbor about things we'd change about certain dresses or pants, was stuck in my mind. And I started to notice it was always there, this feeling of wanting to see things on clothing I had never seen before. So I spent the entire two weeks redrawing all the clothing I liked but in a way that I wanted to wear them.
When my punishment was over I ended up having maybe 20 - 30 pages of this imaginary sportswear catalog. I showed it to my classmates, neighbors, and some adults and so many people expressed that they wanted to wear the things I had drawn. I think people like my apparel now for the same reasons they did then, the colors, statements, and styles were a bit different than anything they'd seen before and I've just taken that feeling and ran with it.
I learned how to sew and took classes, went to college for fashion. I was also chosen to audition for Project Runway maybe 5 - 6 years ago. Mondo, my favorite PR designer, happened to be one of the judges and I was so nervous I couldn't get any words out. But he gave me some positive feedback and that was to keep focused on my inspiration and keep trying.
Fast forward to now.
Karoshi United itself began with my ever constant life partners: anxiety and dreams. It began as political clothing and grew to further express my sci fi / pop cultural / political obsession
KAROSHI is a Japanese term defining the epidemic of people working themselves to death. This name was chosen because of my obsessions with politics and pop culture and to express the way I feel about the constant push and pull of society, social media, politics & pop culture and the constant need to always be working or consuming with no true time to be oneself.
Karoshi United is a brand that is to represent what I believe to be the future of humans, a future where humankind takes back their lives by owning who they are, the good and the bad.
Committing to doing better and learning how to do so.
Celebrating the spirit of humans who came before us and in their own way broke down society's norms, broke out of the mundane, and created lives that inspired many and changed the world.
It's not about good or bad, it's about being you no matter what because that's what the world needs. The world needs you to be you, whoever you are.