Having known the owners of Chief Threadz from our more aggressive dance floor days it was no surprise this stylish duo would create a brand together. Introducing Chief Threadz: Fashion With Flavor the unique display of vintage, style and handmade freshness you need in your closet this winter.
Chicago Hustles: Let’s start with the name Chief Threadz where did it originate initially? What is its overall meaning to you?
TONIC–Barberik and I were playing with words sitting in a diner. We wanted the name to be bold and sort of indirectly say “we are the best” without actually saying it. We didn’t want anything corny but simple yet sophisticated.
BARBERIK–Tonic and I were just thinking of something that was original and different. We wanted something strong in the name, and we wanted it to rep us.
Chicago Hustles: As creative entrepreneurs what made you decide to combine art dance and music these into a style brand?
TONIC–Well being heavily involved in dance, art and music we figured our creations are made from what is influenced around us. Barberik creates and designs clothes that are comfortable for a dancer for free flowing movement. I create and design jewelry that I can wear while dancing. It felt easy for us to do so; the creativity was never blocked when we combined our passions.
BARBERIK–When I first started dancing, I liked rocking an outfit that made me feel good about myself. My confidence would show in my performance. The way you rock gear or clothing is a big part of your style, it can show what kind of a person you are in different ways. Mixing other cultures and styles while being fresh is what Chief Threadz is all about.
Chicago Hustles: In a vintage saturated city like Chicago how do you feel Chief Threadaz stands out from the other vintage resellers on Etsy?
TONIC–We feel we stand out because we don’t just sell vintage items, but we also can customize any product to fit, or create a better alteration. Handpicking each vintage item is something we almost find pride in. There is a reason for the choice we make, each item represents our style.
BARBERIK– We aren’t looking to stand out, but we look to be ourselves. Choosing to be different is a trend now days. We just want to be original with what we pick and make.
Chicago Hustles: Chief Threadz has always had style as individuals so at what point did fashion become your passion? Where does Cheif Threadz pull its inspiration from?
TONIC– I feel like my inspiration stems from the music and culture of the 90’s. My favorite decade for real! The fashion was out there and colorful. This is the time when I discovered hip hop and house music, so that helped play a powerful influence in how I am today. But most of the time I am inspired on a daily basis in what I see on other people or movies. I like to take bits and pieces of things I’m into at the time and create a fusion.
BARBERIK– Fashion became a passion for me in the early 2000s. Around that time I got big on experimenting w/ Hip Hop, House, Electronic, and Disco music. I get my inspiration from music I hear every day, and I’m also a big fan of the Tokyo fashion scene.
Chicago Hustles: Chief Threadz alters, makes and creates unique individual pieces by request. This would seem tedious if you get a ton of request at once. How large is the Chief Threadz team and how long does the average custom piece make?
T&B– The team only consists of us two. The average custom piece takes only a couple of days for us to produce. Shipping an item takes longer than it does for us to customize or create a piece.
Chicago Hustles: Explain to the readers and fashion lovers the process for making your last piece you posted on Facebook. What did you like most about the process, also what did you like least?
TONIC– The last thing I created was a collar tip necklace. I was inspired to make it after watching the movie ‘Metropolis’. It’s a silent science fiction film from the 1920’s. I was so inspired by the makeup and fashion. The necklace I created sort of reflected what I saw in the film. It was romantic, sophisticated, and simple. Creating it was the best thing I liked, as always cleaning up after the mess I make when trying to look for the perfect pieces to match is what I like the least.
BARBERIK– The last piece I made was straight freestyle. I didn’t plan any of it; I just got into an idea and went for it. Sometimes what I create may not look perfect to others, but for me I find perfection in the rawness of a creation. Perfection is boring; flaws in anything can be beautiful or show character.
Chicago Hustles: Fashion is a hard field as are so many other creative ones, especially when it comes to standing out. What does Chief Threadz look to do in the future of the brand given its not even a year old yet?
TONIC–Honestly, we just love doing what we do. If we sell an item it’s a bonus for us. We don’t want to stress ourselves out about meeting a quota. I’m finding that if people are interested they will buy what we make/have because we share the same interest in style. We want to gradually work our way to becoming successful. We eventually want to expand/grow our brand, but we want to be patient and not rush anything. We always want to stay true to what we love. In the end, that’s what is really important for us.
Chicago Hustles: All words have power. We believe inspiration through passion is so important in a creative life. What advice can you give to the upcoming fashion heads still struggling through school on managing a brand through creativity, passion and hustle?
TONIC– Stay hungry, be determined and have the will to keep going .Patience is so rewarding in the end. It sounds so cliché, but it’s the truth.
BARBERIK– Don’t be afraid to try something different or explore different scenes. Try to understand where different styles come from. It’s never about ONE unique style, it’s about creating and making new ones. Always evolve.
Make sure to keep up with the Chief Threadz below as they continue to amaze you with the fashions.
Shout out to our crew Chicago Tribe and Digital Nativez for being supportive of our brand. Especially to our family and friends. -CT