What a time to be alive in the world of fashion. These last five years can best be described as “unconventionally appealing.” Designers are combining the vintage with the present, the Western with the Eastern and lastly, the feminine with the masculine. The fashion industry is burning in the most beautiful of ways. During adolescence, my passion for fashion was present internally, but not externally. I was less inclined to experiment with clothing. If it wasn’t for the guidance from icons like Kim Jones, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Jeremy Scott, Virgil Abloh, Tom Sachs and even A$AP Bari, men’s fashion wouldn’t be as prolific.
Being a part of the melting pot of New York, I have been exposed to some unique styles. When I look back, I have adopted many of those different looks into my own aesthetic, making them my very own. That right there kids, is the beauty of fashion; incorporating the things you appreciate into your own attire. It sometimes takes time, but it’s all worth it when you walk out of your house feeling your best. Growing up on the Island, I have seen one brand that has really taken off on its own. From slapping stickers in bathrooms in bars, hot moms wearing t-shirts and old heads wearing hats, the brand that comes to mind is Lay Low Apparel.
Jason Price is the President and Founder of Lay Low Clothing Company. He’s been a leader in merchandising since the early days and has been creating a wave in metropolitan areas. I decided to reach out and pick his brain from one entrepreneur to another.
Hamilton: Where you from?
Jason: “Long Island, New York.”
H: When did you start appreciating fashion?
J: “Honestly, I got into fashion pretty late in the game. I kind of worked backwards; I jumped into making clothes before I really knew too much about the industry.”
H: When did you decide to create your own brand?
J: “I would say around 2012. I got the idea to start a brand. Originally it was just a way to make a couple dollars on the side, but pretty early on realized that I wanted it to be a long-term project.”
H: What’s the significance of the brand’s name “Lay Low”?
J: “I went back and forth with like 3-4 names before I settled on Lay Low. I really felt like it represented who I am, very laid back and hate to be the center of attention. In almost any scenario, I’d rather be in the background.”
H: Was there any other names you were considering?
J: “There were a few but the only other name I can remember considering was Underachiever.”
H: What’s the vision, mission and end goal of Lay Low?
J: “If you asked me this question when I first started I probably would have said something along the lines of “Lay Low is the next Supreme” or BS like that. I don’t really have a mission or end goal. Right now I’m just enjoying making clothes that I think are dope.”
H: Was there any struggle when executing the brand?
J: “I would say my biggest struggle was just having a lack of information. I got burned by so many manufactures and wasted so much unnecessary funds just trying to figure out where and how to start.”
H: What are some of the biggest accolades you and the brand have achieved?
J: “My biggest accolades are more personal ones than anything. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my clothes worn by celebrities that I genuinely fuck with. And they’re wearing it because they actually like it, not because I’m paying them.”
H: Can you name drop?
J: “Some influential people that have worn Lay Low are Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo (Eleven and Dustin from Stranger Things), Grammy-nominated Producer Boi-1da, and a bunch of MLB and NHL players just to name a few.”
H: What can you share with others who are trying to get into fashion?
J: “This sounds pretty obvious but always get a sample made before you mass produce something. Depending on where you get it each sample can be $75-$150 each and that sucks to spend when you’re first starting out. It’s way better than receiving 100 shirts that came out like shit.”
H: How big is your team?
J: “On paper its just me. I have a bunch of people who help me out though. Whether its managing social media or just bouncing design ideas off someone, there’s a lot of different moving pieces that come together to make this work.”
H: What/who inspires you to create?
J: “There’s definitely a bunch of people that inspire me. Recently the two biggest have been Ronnie Fieg from Kith; just because of his attention to detail and Austin Babbitt with Asspizza, because of how raw his style of designing is.”
H: Are there any other apparel companies that spark your interest?
J: “I’m really fucking with this new company called Anxiety. They’re based out of Long Island as well. Their clothes are just so different from anything else I see out.”
H: Besides fashion, what other projects are you working on?
J: “Within the last year or so I got heavy into making music, specifically hip-hop that’s more lyrically focused than a lot of the rap that’s out right now. I dropped a 12-track album in September called Yours Truly. Getting a lot of good feedback from it so well see where it goes!”
H: What was the inspiration behind your newest drop?
J: “This collection is the first time that I actually designed the pieces themselves rather than just printing designs on blank garments. I decided every detail of the clothing from the shape of the front pocket on the hoodies to the flight tags on the bomber jacket. I really just wanted our products to be your favorite to wear no matter what else is in your closet.”
H: What can people expect from next?
J: “Just more dope clothes and music. I don’t really plan things out, I just let them happen.”
H: Any last words?
J: “Go buy some of my shit. No, I’m joking! It’s 2018 go find something you actually enjoy doing and make it a career. There are too many ways to make money now to be stuck doing something you hate.”
My conversation with my friend Jason was much needed. This guy moves in silence and lets his actions speak louder than his words. Take notes. The homie is humble, honest and multifaceted. Head over and cop some Lay Low for you and your lady and crack that Yours Truly.
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SoundCloud: Jason Price