By: Jack Wu
Started by local designer Christaveon Marcel, Highrise Apparel is an upcoming Phoenix brand. Through its products, the brand shows heavy influence from pop culture, being adorned with Rugrats and Simpsons characters. But, Marcel adds a twist to these classic icons like putting Bart Simpson in a Bape jacket or having Polo wear a Supreme box logo.
Marcel also prints sayings from his life, adding extra flare to the design. The brand is, simply put, a reflection of a creative mind with no canvas.
During our conversation, Marcel said “art is a part of me” and it’s easy to see this is reflected in his work. The designs are sporadic and focus on different subjects each time a new product comes out.
Other than Highrise, Marcel also makes digital prints on his Instagram account @C.visions.
JW (Jack Wu): Why do you make clothes?
CM (Christaveon Marcel): Highrise Apparel is one of the few things I created, or I should say that I put my creations into. My first actual creative idea was within apparel. I want my own line. I want people to see my work on a shirt, jeans or even a hat and be like “that shit’s lit, I need that.” When I see people wearing something I created, it enlightens me. Especially when they know how to dress. Growing up, my brother and I would share clothes, we didn’t have much of it either. So visioning myself a couple of years from now owning my own streetwear shop is pretty lit. Making apparel allows me to be creative. I see Highrise Apparel as a sample, it’s definitely not my vision as a whole. It’s so premature right now and that’s purposely. It’s a taste of my actual vision. Some months I go without even printing and selling because I’m planning and envisioning for the future of it.
JW: What inspiration do you get from your designs?
CM: When speaking on my apparel side, there are actually a few inspirations that I have, Kanye, for one. Anyone can say what they want about you, what’s undeniable is his fashion trend and creativity. Two other inspirations are Tyler the Creator & Luka Sabbat. The dude’s ability to dress is just well put. I also can’t speak on dressing without at-least mentioning A$AP and Fab. Also, most of my designs just come from self-inspiration and how I’m feeling. I have a shirt “Trapping with a Broken Heart,” because that’s how I was feeling at the moment.
JW: Is art something you’ve always been into or is it more recently developed?
CM: Art definitely has been something that I’ve been into since I was young. When I think of art, I don’t think of just paintings. Art is in apparel, photoshopping, barbering, the way you dress. Art is in it all. I do it all. I’m one of the humblest people here, although my creativity is undeniable. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always been an Entrepreneur. Every other month I incorporate a new skill or learning of art. I picked up C.visions in one day on a weekend because I was bored. My first C.vision creation wasn’t even with software, it was straight from my phone.
JW: What do you enjoy most about running your brand?
CM: The reactions. The people that buy my apparel or C.visions love it. They’re always happy. I never had someone that didn’t follow up with me and let me know how dope my creation was, I give them what they want. Another thing I enjoy the most is the wait. Again Highrise and now C.visions are both just samples of a vision. So when I’m maturing and envisioning, I don’t sell or showcase anything, I need that time. A lot of people don’t understand why I do that, they hate it. They think I’m “slacking” they want apparel. Although whenever I come back, it’s always a little stronger and better than before. I care about the future of the brand more than the present of the money. If I feel I need to put a pause on everything, I will. The vision for Highrise is huge.