What actually makes Royce Original an original clothing brand? Well, for starters, founder and lead designer Andre Royce isn’t simply slapping a logo on a t-shirt and selling them to his homies. Royce has actually developed a marketing scheme that involves the creation of a complete women’s line, men’s line, accessories, and eventually even—a fragrance.
I peeped the brand a little while back and have to admit it stood out amongst a host of other independent brands. When I talked to Royce, here are some of the things I discovered:
Kenya Sherron: How did the brand even come about?
Andre Royce: Royce really came on a “perfect timing” type of thing. I knew I wanted to do a clothing line and I knew exactly how I wanted to market it and everything. Couldn’t think of a name really. I actually used to do music, that’s how I came up with my name Andre Royce. And what happened was: when I was coming up with the clothing line thing, I was thinking of all these names and it really wasn’t original or nothing. We came up with like “Good Vibes,” all types of crazy names but it didn’t stand for myself. So one day I was really thinking hard and I was like you know what ima just name it Royce Brand because that’s my name. After I thought of the name I focused on making designs and I knew I wanted to market it with a lot of females wearing the shirts and stuff like that. What I did was really just came up with the design, shot it to a manufacturer, and ran it like that. A couple of my friends posted it on their Instagram accounts and it just went crazy from there.
K: What were the first steps you took to actually make this happen? When did it take off?
A: I just ordered about 50 shirts. I had all the black shirts and stuff like that. I dropped it the end of September and after that people just really been coppin ‘em. I sent ‘em out to at least over 10 states. And I sent ‘em out to Canada a couple times last year to people that wanted the shirts. So I’ve just been traveling different places you know, just going to different places talking to different designers, tryna make connections there.
K: A lot of people have these far-fetched dreams or goals similar to yours. What gave you that extra motivation to actually execute the ideas?
A: Well I got a couple buddies that actually started clothing lines and I just saw how they branded theirs. What really pushed me is that I knew I had the resources and I could get it out there. I just knew it had to be really dope. Before I had the name I knew how I wanted to market it, how I wanted to come out with it… everything. So I had in my mind how I would come out with the clothing line and I had this design. Really it just went viral after that, people started discussing with me a lot and wanted to see more. Really it just happened so fast—I didn’t even know it was gone come out like that. I was really motivated to do it once I knew exactly how I wanted to market it and had the resources to do it.
K: Don’t think too hard on this one, first thing that comes to your mind—3 words to describe what Royce Original represents.
A: Classic, because it’s not too much but it’s enough to stand out. Second, I would have to say quality. When you put it on it’s just a perfect fit and shit like that. And I’ll say luxury because when I’m done with this year I want [the brand] to be luxurious. It’s more than just a t-shirt. I’m putting my hands in a lot of different stuff right now. I’m looking at perfume, alcoholic beverages.
K: Damn I see you’re branching out already.
A: I mean, I’m not gone come out with it all at once, but you know, I really want to put my hands in a lot of different stuff with this one. I really feel like I’m on to something.
K: What’s next for Royce Original?
A: Right now I’m working on a lot of different collections for this year. I’m tryna get a whole collection for men, a whole collection for women. I’m actually going for a pop-up in the beginning of February. I actually have a couple more pieces—t-shirts, hoodies, hats, pants—the whole nine. At the end of this month I’ll be able to present it to everybody. I’m workin’ on having a physical store by spring.
What’s really impressive about this kid is that he’s hardly 20 years old and has built a relatively large buzz for his brand in just a few months. The designs he has already released are dope, but (I’m gonna let y’all in on some exclusive shit right now) he’s planning to drop even colder designers early next month. So y’all can expect to see new designs pretty soon and info on the pop up shop next week.
To cop somethin’ from Royce Original head over to royceoriginal.bigcartel.com and follow him on Twitter/Instagram to keep up with the releases @AndreRoyce.