Doug Evans is a fashion and marketing cultural expert with a wealth of business experience — from owning and operating two Atlanta-based boutiques, to being a former vice president and creative director in marketing for 8732/Rocawear.
Most recently, the serial entrepreneur has been immersed in the creation of Born to Skate, a streetwear brand that embodies the skate culture and embraces those individuals with the heart for the sport.
In 2011, Evans set out to create a clothing label to confront preconceived notions of fashion and break barriers by merging the worlds of graphic design and fashion.
Born to Skate Co. is best known for its culture-centric designs, impeccable detailing and colorful graphics in a clothing collection ranging from T-shirts and outerwear to headwear and accessories.
Rolling out spoke with Evans about his business experiences as a fashion designer.
When did designer DNA first present in your professional quest and vision?
When I was 8 years old, my mother requested that I be tested and placed into a gifted program for the arts in New Orleans. At that time, the arts programs were heavily integrated into the school system. It was their evaluation that launched my creative journey.
Who inspired you to pursue your dream of designing?
Inadvertently, my mother. Growing up, I would watch her cut patterns and sew. She made my sister’s and my clothing from scratch. If I needed pants, she would go to Hancock Fabrics, buy the pattern and materials and transform our dining room table into her personal design studio. I realized as I got older, she trained my eye for how clothes should be constructed and fitted.
Freshman mistakes are common when you are learning. What were two you made in your first collection?
I didn’t understand the business, how to make money. I thought it was cool, and I just wanted to make clothes. At the end of the day, you must be profitable. It has to make sense and cents. It’s a business.
I undervalued the importance of a great team. You can’t do everything, and you need to be able to trust those around you.
How does social media play a role in the design and marketing of fashion today?
It’s essential. This generation lives and breathes for social engagement. The platform allows you to make a direct connection to your consumers and learn more about them than ever before. Checking the pulse of your audience, getting direct feedback and insights before going to market is a beautiful concept to take advantage of.
What collaborations do you see happening in the future?
We are currently working on an exclusive release with giant fashion retailer and lifestyle brand DTLR, in the Miami market. I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with a brand I respect and admire and that truly believes in the culture and community.