Jason Derulo has made his mark in the world with his music, songwriting and dancing. Now, he has entered the realm of fashion, with his new men’s clothing line, LVL XIII. Pronounced level thirteen, Derulo and designer Antonio Brown have come together to inspire the future of luxury with a unique fashion line that is the perfect balance of high fashion and streetwear. Rolling out caught up with Derulo and Brown to learn more about the origin and concept of LVL XIII, and how Derulo’s music roots play a part in it.
Where did the vision and inspiration of LVL XIII come from?
Jason Derulo: It came from experimenting with the materials and interest we have. Like, what does my bathroom look like? What materials do I use in my bedroom? Just kind of bringing our interest into what the line is, and not just going from scratch.
Talk about the fusion of streetwear and high fashion.
JD: I think it was important to stay true to who we are. We are consumers of high fashion material. It was pretty easy to add the street element because we like that kind of clothing. Merging the two is the perfect blend. When I’m shopping, I [am] constantly looking for the nice balance between looking too dressy and looking too dressed down. What do you want to wear to a club when you want to be super fly but you don’t want to be in dress shoes or look like you’re going to a formal event? But you still want to be upscale. I think this line falls right in that space. Where you want to be a cut above but not too high fashion, where it’s not relatable.
Recently, you said you want to have 100 businesses by 2019. Explain that.
JD: For me, right now it’s been amazing because I’ve just been investing my money and my time into things I am passionate about. Though I want 100 businesses, it’s not a numbers game. I’m really just putting my time and energy into things I think are incredible, and both things I’m interested in myself. [Like] a gym I would want to go to, [the] food I would want to eat, a protein shake I would want to drink, a vodka I would want to drink. Investing in those kinds of things takes the pressure away from me because at the end of the day at least I can use them.
How did technology and social media play a part in the creation of the line?
JD: Social media is a part of everything that we’re doing. I’m not the biggest social media head on the planet, so I’m not going to sit here and act like I know everything about social media. But you have to get your product out to the people and people are online all the time. You just have to have a social media element to whatever brand you’re trying to do.
Why is design so important to life?
Antonio Brown: I think it’s so important to life because clothing has the ability to instill confidence and inspire people. That’s what we do through the brand and through the craftsmanship of the clothes that we create together. We design them to inspire people and to make them feel good and lift their spirits.
You’re from Miramar, Florida, and of Haitian descent. How did that influence your music?
JD: Musically, I guess you can’t escape your influences. It creeps itself into places where I didn’t necessarily intend it to. My accent will pop out of nowhere. A groove will pop out of nowhere. Or a rhythm will pop out of nowhere just because I was raised a certain way. I was raised in an ultra Haitian household and an ultra Haitian family. It’s not like my parents were super Americanized. My parents spoke Creole and French to me. I only learned French first, then I learned English later on. It’s a big part of my life, so, therefore, it just creeps into my music.
At what point in your youth did you realize music would be a part of your life?
JD: When I was 4 years old. I knew very early on what I wanted to do. I had a couple hiccups and phases where I thought I was going to be a basketball player. I thought I was going to be a doctor. But those things came and went very [quickly].
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned working in the music industry?
JD: The greatest lesson that I’ve learned is to be yourself. When I was coming out into this industry, I was very young. I was trying to find my way. When you’re young and trying to make it by any means necessary, you get lost in the sauce and I definitely did. At the end of the day, if you just remind yourself, it just makes life a lot easier. It makes life a lot more fun. [Now], I’m very comfortable in my skin.
LVL XIII is available now, exclusively at Bloomingdale’s.