By Ozzy Otsby
Fashion means something very different to each person, whether you view it as a consumer, an artist, a visionary or a designer. Almost everyone uses their wardrobe as a way to express themselves in some way. This is the idea that Syracuse Local, Sean Adams had in mind when he first created his brand, Oh My Chicken (OMC). A Popcycle affiliate for this year, Adams sat down to give his insight on what it takes to build a personal style in 2020.
In the midst of the global pandemic, many creators who did not have a valid online platform resorted to other methods of promoting their products. As a creator himself, Adams took this as a challenge to experiment with a different marketing approach.
“I didn’t have a way of selling when I couldn’t get a pop-up shop...I created my own at my home, with a tent, decorations. I really created the environment around me to present my clothes in the best light,” Adams explained.
This opportunity to build his own space allowed Adams to realize how much the aesthetic you build around your brand and yourself matters. He described how he wasn’t targeting his clothes to any specific audience but was targeting an audience that would target use his clothes as a source to build their own personal style.
Adams ventured into this idea by stating, “The environment that I created around my brand was different than it had been before. It’s the same when thinking about yourself...I thought to myself, I’m not just selling clothes, I'm selling a lifestyle.”
He then took time to reflect on his own personal brand, and how his journey progressed from viewing clothes as a way other people see him, to a way that he sees himself. He started out following trends, wearing what was “hot.” He then branched out to what he liked and, more importantly, what fit his own personality the best.
“Everyone has their own journey through style and fashion...I never thought I would end up here.” He then continued, “I didn’t make the clothing fit who I was, [and] I didn’t make who I was, fit the clothing.”
A powerful statement, this attests to his experience in the world of fashion.
Adams was one of the first thrifters in his area; his mom couldn’t afford what he wanted when he got to high school. His mom thrifted all the time and she used to be a stylist in the 90s.
Adams was inspired by his mom’s aesthetic. He said, “it was amazing to see it translate from her, now full circle back to myself, and my younger brother and my two sisters.” He then elaborated on the influence his mother had by saying, “In the beginning I got everything that I knew [about fashion] from her.”
Inspiration and individuality are found in very small places. Adams talked about how he found that small place.
“I took a trip with some of my friends to the city and we went to this store called KITH. I saw the hoodies in there, and how [Ronnie Fieg] was doing these collabs with Nike, and big-name brands. At that moment I thought, ‘I could do that.’”
I asked about how much other people and certain outside influences should play a role in building a personal style. Adams spoke on this for a long time, giving his advice to those trying to find themselves in the world of fashion who may be insecure about what to wear.
“Rock what you want to rock. Don’t wear anything for someone else, a price tag is only worth the money you spent...it’s the same as not putting a price on your self-worth, Don’t build a style around how other people are going to see you, but build a style on how YOU want to see you.” Adams finished this with, “Find your inspiration for what to wear in what you already love. My advice to others is that their style should be a reflection of who they are, put time into it...find passion in it.”
Adams obviously implemented this idea in his own brand; the cultural work of OMC reflects the direction that he took to get to where he is. Adams really wants the brand to represent his home, and for the clothing to represent who he is.
He continued on the idea of personal style and the role that Ronnie Fieg played by saying, “I take some of the essence of [Fieg’s] work culturally into my own brand. I want [OMC] to be a direct reflection of my personality.”
Through his brand and his own experiences, Adams found what “fashion” truly meant to him. The word is filled with artistry, passion, commitment, and joy. He and many in the industry view fashion as their own creative space, to express who they really are to the world.
He gave his final thoughts and advice by saying, “Creating something unique was always my goal, and I would say I used that in my own sense of fashion. When it comes down to it, we’re all unique, we’re all different: own it.”
To read more student-owned fashion coverage, click here.