INTERVIEW: A Conversation With Damon Dash & Local 172 Pops Up In Charleston
Charleston Fashion Week with McKenzie Eddy & Damon Dash
Charleston Fashion Week® (CFW) attracts a number of big names from the fashion world but in all honesty, who would have ever thought it would hold court for a music mogul like Damon Dash? It did and even further managed to spark a greater interest for him in the Holy City which has been on his radar for sometime. Over the past few years his focus has expanded beyond what most would attribute to his legacy, rap, and now he is the steam behind a collaborative movement that presents music, art, fashion and multi-media as one, under the name DD172. A new rumor has surfaced since CFW that Dash plans to set up shop right here in the Lowcountry and it's proving to be true with the private beach party he hosted this weekend leading up to Thursday's Local 172 Pop Up shop hosted by Visualive and JLINSNIDER. Last week I took the opportunity to chat with Dash to find out why Charleston and why now. Here are a number of in-depth statements I took away from our conversation giving you a peek inside the renaissance mind of Damon Dash:
"This is what my friends say about Charleston, all of them, 'I love Charleston, I'm going to retire there'. I feel like why do people want to wait to live a good life when their older. Why wait? That should be the trick... to live a really good life and kind of monetize having fun. So I think that also can happen in Charleston. So I want it to be the new New York. "
AL: Is that why you are setting up shop here?
"100%. It just makes sense. Kind of like when McKenzie (Eddy) and Raquel (M. Horn) came into my life, they became somewhat of my muses. They are from Hilton Head but they lived in Charleston. They have the lay of the land. When I come out there I already know exactly where to go and I'm already built in. There is an outlet already set up. It's not like I have to tell people in Fashion that they would have to set things up. There's already a Fashion Week. There's already a desire and a demographic and there is an opinion leader out there (in Charleston)."
"I feel like Charleston is the New York of the South. Like Hong Kong is the doorway to the rest of China and America is the door way to the rest of the world. This is the reason why I want to set up shop."
DD172 & Visualive BBQ Beach Party
On Charleston Fashion Week...
"I was really impressed with the event. I was impressed with the infrastructure and execution. I see the videos and the editing. Your moving a little quicker than some people in New York. A lot quicker. I completely see what you are trying to do and it falls in place with what I'm doing."
On his new television network...
"I'm also launching my television network and I thought 'You know what would be ill is if I gave it to the South before I gave it to New York.' So I'm going to do my launch officially for my new television network in Charleston."
On his art movement...
"Charleston is a good address. I have a gallery in Hong Kong, a gallery in Charleston which I'm opening up now, New York on the Lower East Side and Harlem. These are places that I really love, it's a good perception and I like every bit of it. It's actually a no-brainer."
On Local 172 Pop Up Shop...
"I'm bringing a lot of vintage clothing lines. We have stores in our galleries in New York. A vintage store called Local 172. So we will be bringing all of that good New York vintage at a good price point. And we are going to bring some art. Raquel is going to do an art exhibit and she is from the South so I thought it was fitting. Mckenzie is going to perform, she is the president of my record company and also an artist. So the story is good that they are bringing it home. Also putting Ben Fagan in business. We had a show for him in New York, we have made records and videos and all of that. So they are also trying to bring artist that are in Charleston that deserve to be seen by everyone else and giving them a platform as well which I think is admirable. I like that a lot."
More on music...
"I'm also about to get my country music on for a little while. Like, why not? I already did rap, I don't really need to do that no more. I did the rock and roll thing- The Black Keys. That was easy. That was a breeze and I'm not trying to be cocky but it's just that it inspired me. So now I'm like let me see if I can crack some country music. It's going to be fun. Like a metropolitan cowboy... like a new kind of country. We call it 'young country'. So it's like people from Charleston and the South will have the ability to have producers from the North, like New York and filmmakers, and the platforms to perform in NY and see what happens when that goes down. I'm also going to bring the newest stuff. Like the rawest coolest stuff from New York I'm definitely bringing to Charleston. To me, it's like if you perform in NY you have to perform in Charleston."
Live music with McKenzie Eddy, Kat CHR, Rachel Kate and Ben Fagan
In a nutshell and in his own words when all is said and done, Dash just wants to "flavor Charleston up a little more."
Don't miss your chance to get in on the action this Thursday, April 19th from 7 - 11pm at JLINSNIDER hosted by DD172 and Visualive. Local 172 has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out NY and Vogue Magazine and will deliver vintage, art and music! Admission is free!