We had the good fortune of connecting with Derrian Davidson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Derrian, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always been ambitious. Ever since I was younger I know that money made the world go round and I was always on a mission to be successful. In grade school, I would run a neighborhood kool-aid stand in the summer, and would also sell Pokemon cards. I’d go to the store and buy a 200 pack of Pokemon cards then package them up into smaller packs of 10 cards and sell them to kids around school.

I was studying Film Production in Orlando in 2013 and a close friend of mine was studying in Miami. She invited me down to visit and when I went and my mind was blown by how people embraced fashion down there. It was a complete culture shock. Shortly after that amazing trip, I started to experiment with fashion and different looks. I used fashion to express myself and I would try to get fun looks that no one else was wearing. I would go down to Miami a couple of times a month and explore different boutiques and find unique designs.

After college, I moved to Denver and fashion expression completely changed. I couldn’t find any unique designs in Denver and had a really hard time finding fun things to wear. I was randomly on youtube one day and saw a video about “creating your own t-shirt business. After watching it, I thought to myself “wow, I can do that, and at least I’ll have fun T-shirts to wear”. I logged off of youtube and started designing. I reached out to graphic designers and started to make a small team. In July of 2016, I created my first collection of T-shirts. I was nervous to put them out because they were very simple and only a handful of shirts but I was super proud. Word of my company grew in Denver and I was approached by a Drag Queen and she asked if I could create T-Shirts for her. I created her shirts and then things quickly started to expand. Soon I was approached by more queens and performers and over the next few years, I started selling merchandise for Drag Queens, performers, DJs, and clubs in Denver. These collaborations grew nationwide until March of 2020. When the pandemic hit, the company changed directions and started to provide medical masks to the public and create logo cloth masks for companies.

In December of 2020 The direction of the company changed again as I had a new sense of inspiration post lockdown. I was struggling with finding things that I wanted to wear. I’d spend all day at the mall and leave empty-handed. I’d search online and couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I started sketching designs and creating looks that I wanted to wear. This really pushed me into creating my first clothing collection for Verse Fashion.

Verse Fashion has always been a brand that stood for inclusivity – a place where everyone felt represented regardless of gender, sexuality, race, size, age, or any other labels. Verse Fashion continued this mission during the conception of the first full clothing collection “Miami Collection Volume 1” This collection featured 23 pieces that were released on 11.11.2021.

What should our readers know about your business?
Something that sets my business apart is what we stand for. Growing up I always loved that I could go to the mall with my friends (male & female) and shop at the same stores. However, something that always bugged me with the women’s sections would be 85% of the store and the men’s would be 15% of the store. I always felt very limited shopping.

While in college I was with my friend at Wet Seal, shopping and I saw a sweater that I thought was so dope. I pointed it out to my friend and say “Oh i wish I could buy this sweater, it’s so nice”, and she replied, “Why can’t you?” This puzzled me because, clearly I couldn’t buy this sweater, we were in a women’s store and it wasnt made for men. Before I could even respond she said “just buy an XL and it will fit”. I grabbed the XL, held it up to myself, looked around the store to see if anyone was watching me, and thought “oh it will actually fit.”

That sweater became my favorite thing to wear. Not because it was an amazing sweater but every time I wore it no only did people compliment me on it but I felt like I was breaking some unwritten rule. “Men don’t wear women’s clothes”

As I’ve gotten older I’ve seen rappers and celebrities able to express themselves in fashion. Rappers wearing dresses and skirts, and being styled and a way that pushes boundaries.

When I was creating my brand I wanted to create a place where people felt safe to wear whatever they wanted. Inclusive luxe clothes for everyone regardless of their background. I took away the words “men’s” and “women’s” from my brand and wanted to create a shopping experience that feels inclusive.

Having an inclusive brand has had its challenges. Everyone’s bodies are different, and creating sizing that fits everyone is hard. I think it’s important to push the boundaries though and push fashion forward. I didn’t want a brand where someone could feel like they could only shop at 15% of the store, I wanted to create a brand that was for everyone.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am still new to the SoCal area but if my best friend was visiting these are the things I would do to show them a great time.

First I’d take them to the Santa Monica pier to grab a corndog and see the Pacific for the first time. It’s a great first stop to see the water, eat some trashy food, and see some great views of the coastline. Then i would take them to the Getty Villa. It’s right on the Pacific Coast and it’s the perfect place for pictures and to explore some of the ancient cultures and arts of ancient Greece and Rome.

Next, we are going to head to Venice for happy hour and a nice dinner. Lastly, we will nd the night in West Hollywood, for some great dancing and bar hopping.

   

Website: www.versefashion.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/versefashion_collection/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/versefashioncollection

Image Credits
Personal Pictures: Photographer – Kay Hues Brand photography: Photographer – Freddy Tyler Paul Models Imani Fulwilder Lauren Park Ishimwe Manoa Eliseo Equihua

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