“It’s always been a dream of mine, I’ve always wanted my own brand,” said Mike Morris, who worked with rapper Lil Wayne, first as a stylist and then as an operational manager for his Trukfit apparel line and music merchandise line from 2012 to 2018.
Based in Los Angeles, Morris’ new venture is CWBY Studios, a direct-to-consumer men’s wear brand of deconstructed Americana pieces. The first drop, available on his web site, includes “Frankenstein” bandana print shorts, satin athletic joggers, a reworked “Zionic” hockey jersey in linen instead of mesh, and a logo button-down “office shirt.” “It’s the western aesthetic but giving it cuts that are not traditional,” Morris said of the line, influenced by Ralph Lauren and the Compton Cowboys, among other things.
The nascent designer, who is producing the pieces in downtown L.A., said he’s seeing a resurgence of interest in small-batch, homegrown labels: “I want people to feel like if they don’t have it, they are missing out.”
Going from a mass brand like Trukfit, to his new niche project has been a learning curve, he said. “I am learning a lot because I did not go to school for fashion design, but I’m very curious and I’m motivated.”