LVL XIII CEO Antonio Brown talks growing luxury shoe empire and impacting Atlanta

Photo source: Antonio Brown
Photo source: Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown always had an interest in fashion, and specifically, shoes. As a young man with a love for luxury sneakers and the drive to make something of himself, he branched out from corporate America’s clutches and started his own business, LVL XIII Brands, Inc. As the CEO, Brown has gone from selling one-of-a-kind sneakers to offering various styles of footwear and apparel.

Rolling out spoke with Brown to pick his brain about how he rose from corporate life to being a well-known Atlanta businessman.

Where are you from?
I was born in New York City, raised in Houston, TX and then left at 21 years old to Washington, D.C. where I resided for five years before moving to New York for three years, and now I’ve been in ATL for the last two years.

Did you go to school for fashion? Where?
I did not go to school for fashion but it’s something I’ve always had a passion for and interest in, though.  After investing three years into a company and going through a corporate buy out, I decided to leave corporate America for good and invest my money into myself and start LVL XIII (Level 13).  Always having a passion for luxury sneakers and being a collector myself, one day I made the decision to do it myself.  I went and put in the search engine, “How to start a luxury shoe brand,” and from there, the Universe started conspiring in my favor and bringing the people I needed in my life in order to make this happen.  Now, we’re not just a luxury sneaker brand, we are branching into apparel, oxfords, loafers, sandals and unisex styles.

How long have you been in business?
I’ve been in business for over two years, first launching in New York before I transitioned my offices to Atlanta, GA.

Why did you decide to host a brunch/day party and nightclub mixer every 1st and 3rd Saturday in Atlanta?
As a CEO, I pride myself in continuing to push the boundaries and perception of what something can be, and for me, there was a need in Atlanta for events targeted towards industry and affluent like-minded individuals.  It gives these individuals an opportunity to come together, network and build together as a community.  What better way to do this then over brunch and listening to great music?  For me, it’s about building long-term relationships and creating dynamic projects together through this outlet of food, music and entertainment.

How did you become so well-connected?
I always tell people, when you’re a good person with good energy, you always attract good people.  For me, I try to treat everyone with respect and how I want to be treated.  I am a man about my business, and people in the city of Atlanta have come to realize that about me, so naturally people like to work with me and be associated with me.

When you were a child is this what you dreamt you’d do when you grew up?
When I was a child, I dreamed of inspiring the world some kind of way.  I always had a passion for the music industry but never knew that fashion would be the catalyst to build my empire on and accomplish my dreams as a child.  For me, it’s about showing the world that if you put actions behind your thoughts or dreams and believe in it more than anyone could want it or believe in it for you, that the Universe will take notice and begin conspiring in your favor to give you exactly what it is you want.  There’s so many dreamers out here, but there are even far less dreamers that actually put actions behind their dreams, and that’s unfortunate.  That’s the difference between a successful person and a person that only dreams about success.

If you weren’t into fashion and entertainment, what else would you be doing?
My true passion has always lied in the music industry, being able to mold and develop artist into superstars.  That’s my gift.  That’s where I know I will excel greater than any other business.  So if I wasn’t in the fashion or entertainment industry, I would definitely be running my own independent record label, turning independent artist into superstars.

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