Bryan Wilson: 1DERFUL, an Exclusive Detroit Fashion News Interview
Just beginning his third year at the University of Michigan, Bryan Wilson, creator, and designer of 1DERFUL has huge goals for his journey into the fashion industry. While working towards his degree in Art and Design, Bryan is also constantly taking strides in his brand where he wishes to show a deeper meaning of morality through his designs. He wants his pieces to leave viewers with more room to talk about this concept and essentially place themselves in the art.
Bryan Wilson: 1DERFUL – Exclusive Detroit Fashion News Interview
DFN: Hi, Bryan! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Tell me a bit about your studies.
Wilson: I am in my third year and am studying Art and Design. I’m in the Stamps School of Art and Design at U of M. It’s an umbrella as a major. You basically pick your classes on what you want to focus on, it’s broad and gives you the ability to be very open. I try to pick classes based on fashion. When I first came in, I was focused on fine arts, I wasn’t focused on fashion at all until about a year ago. I made a huge change all of a sudden. I don’t think U of M has played a huge role in my brand. Everything I’ve done for my brand has been completely outside of classes.
DFN: When did you realize you wanted to go into fashion?
Wilson: Over the summer of last year, I was doing smaller up-cycling pieces and it was just something fun to do. I was still painting and that was my main focus. Even with painting, doing gallery shows and all of that, it was still my focus. Towards the fall is when I made that first change. I would use the same principles and themes from my paintings in fashion and I started liking it more with fashion, so I pushed painting aside and decided to stick with fashion.
DFN: Speaking of that, what sparked wanting to push painting to the side?
Wilson: It’s interesting. One thing I didn’t necessarily notice at the time was, even though I’ve always been into fashion, I never really saw myself going into the fashion industry. But, as a painter, I felt like it was coming to an end and I would feel that in the paintings I was creating. Before I stopped painting, the last two pieces I did were about me feeling overwhelmed as an artist. I feel like subconsciously I was pushing myself out of that space to push myself toward another avenue and it just happened to be fashion. Even in my paintings, I would try to incorporate some elements of fashion cause I’ve always been into it, but I just got to that point where I wanted to create things that I wasn’t able to obtain.
DFN: That’s inspiring. Do you have any plans for after graduation?
Wilson: I definitely plan on working in the fashion industry. Whether that’s my own brand or even working for another brand, I can definitely see either or.
DFN: Where do you get inspiration for your work?
Wilson: It comes from so many different places. Everything is inspiration, it’s interesting. A lot of the topics and themes that I incorporate into my work tend to deal with morality. Stuff like that just comes from life. Also, I get inspiration from silhouettes or color trends, even social media. Just whatever is around me, it’s hard to pinpoint one sole thing, I tend to find inspiration all over the place.
DFN: That’s fair. I want to congratulate you on debuting a collection at Michigan Fashion Week. What was that experience like?
Wilson: It was a really great experience. I felt like that was my first big show, it was a big leap for me. Building up to that point, it was one of the most stressful times for me ever. It was insane, there were so many things going on. I had just ended school and I still had so many pieces to make for the show. Part of me felt like I wasn’t prepared but at the same time, I knew I could get to that point. I had finished school and instantly started a new program right after. I would be at this program, Monday through Friday up until the show. I’d get home after and just sew, it was so stressful but seeing everything come together was a huge relief. Having people come up to me and saying how much they liked, it was rewarding. I loved it.
DFN: That’s great! Speaking of school, how do you balance your work and school together?
Wilson: It’s hard. It’s all about prioritizing. Last semester was my first time experiencing how to do that. There would be some times when I would think to myself ‘ok, I can either make this piece or I can do this assignment on time.’ And sometimes, I would pick the piece over the assignment. It’s all about figuring out how to manage. There were some things I knew that I had to do for myself rather than an assignment. I always did the assignments, even if some of them ended up being a little late. As a designer, I enjoyed it so much that working on a piece would be my version of having fun, it didn’t feel like a chore or a task.
DFN: When you’re coming up with your designs, do you ever have a target audience in mind?
Wilson: Not particularly. I say that because that stems from the whole morality of my work. I use a lot of anatomies and human representation in the work. I think a lot of people associate anatomy, bones, and skeletons with death but I look at it as human representation. Everyone has their own skeleton. I want someone to be able to look at this skeleton and be able to see themselves in that situation and the clothing. I want my clothing to be for everyone.
DFN: With your brand and your clothing, what’s your biggest goal?
Wilson: I definitely strive to be a luxury streetwear brand, eventually. Especially, as I go on I want to be more focused on outerwear. I want to compete with some of the biggest brands in the outerwear industry such as Moncler or Canada Goose, those big names. I want to be up there along with them and that’s what I’m striving to do.
DFN: When it comes to actually making your pieces, how do you source your material?
Wilson: That’s been a struggle for me recently. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error with fabrics. I’ve been ordering stuff online, a lot of the material I use for the jackets nowadays is nylon and stuff like that. The puffer coats or the windbreaker style jackets are water-resistant nylon, it gives it that functional aspect as well as an aesthetic look. Some of them I just order online, and the prototypes are fabrics from Joannes.
DFN: I love that. Thank you so much for speaking with me today and good luck with your studies!
Wilson: Thank you.