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Next Gen Fashion

NOJEWLS is a designer based out of Houston, Texas that's bringing next-gen fashion to the underground streetwear scene. We spoke with Jewl about his experience coming up with the initial idea for his LED's last year to now releasing multiple garments and accessories that incorporate his futuristic concepts. In addition, we also spoke with Jewl about his passion for jewelry, what we should expect to see next, and his plans to continue pushing the envelope with new creative concepts.

Where are you from?

Jewl: I’m from Houston, Texas.

Have you been there your whole life?

Jewl: Yeah I’ve been in Houston my whole life.

When did you start designing under the name nojewls?

Jewl: I started nojewls in August of last year. I started working on the clothes and @wishforglory would make VHS videos for my releases. We work on videos for pretty much everything that comes out. So I started last year but I really began taking it more seriously this year. We’ve been giving everything to the community by throwing events and dropping clothes.

How did you come up with the name?

Jewl: @wishforglory helped me come up with the name. It’s a long story, but I went to jail for a little while and when I got out we came up with the name. Originally I wanted to make jewelry. I only ended up making a couple jewelry pieces but I kept going with the name and started making clothes. I’m still planning on dropping more jewelry stuff soon since that’s my real passion.

What made you want to start making clothing?

Jewl: I first started during sophomore year of high school. I dropped an embroidered shirt with a lightning bolt on it that I thought was pretty cool at the time. I only made like 20 shirts, but I enjoyed doing it so I kept going with it. Once I got out of jail I came up with the LED idea and made it come to life. I plan to keep going with that and see where I can take it.

Was fashion always big for you growing up?

Jewl: Definitely. I started making my own clothing because I always liked shoes, and I was a big fan of Supreme and Bape. I really liked Bape so that’s what got me into fashion. All the collaborations they’re doing and all the artists they have wearing Bape really caught my attention and it became a dream of mine to do that with my own brand. I used to buy Supreme all the time too when it dropped and I’d resell it. That’s what got me interested in fashion and the scene that comes with it.

How did you come up with the initial idea for your LED shirts?

Jewl: Glory and I were talking about it and I told him that I wanted to make something that was unique and futuristic. Supreme box logos were popping at the time so I thought it would be cool to make my own piece with a light-up box logo. I decided to take that concept and put my own spin on it. The the only thing I've seen that's similar to my idea was a 2000’s era LED belt that Midnight Studios made 5-10 years ago. But I didn’t even know about that until this year when someone told me.

How did people react when they first saw those?

Jewl: When I first dropped it a lot of people showed love and thought it was really unique. People started paying attention in December when I dropped the blue LED’s. At that time I was trying to get my name out there so it definitely helped. A lot of people had purchased from the first drop, and a lot of people in the underground started to know me from the LED’s which was great.

Where did you get the idea to put the LED’s on hats?

Jewl: I was working on my LED hats for a while, but then a video came out on Twitter of a guy at a bus stop wearing an LED hat that went viral. I was supposed to drop the hat before the shirts but I didn’t end up putting it out until after I saw that video. I regret not dropping the hat before that video because it could’ve been my hat that went viral.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Jewl: There’s this one film artist named Kareem Kourouma that makes 1/1 clothes who’s really been inspiring me lately. He used to work with a lot of artists like Lil Yachty and others. I saw him in high school when he started dropping and I really liked his work. Now that I’m close with him it’s crazy because he used to be someone I followed in high school.

You’ve also put LED's on dog collars and belts. What made you want to get into accessories?

Jewl: The dog collar was originally supposed to be a choker for the ladies. But at the time I couldn’t really see myself making women's clothing and accessories so I decided to change it up. I noticed a lot of people like dogs so I thought changing the choker to a dog collar would be interesting since nobody’s really done that. All the LED’s I have on my hats and shirts have a hard panel that isn’t flexible so I had to change it up to work as a dog collar. It was a quick drop that wasn’t really planned out since I usually do VHS commercials for all my releases, but it got a lot of love. I appreciate everyone that supported it.

Do you see tech being a big part of fashion in the future?

Jewl: Yes. Virgil is the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and they’ve been adding little LED screens to some of their pieces. Chanel did an LED thing too which was really crazy. I don’t want to say that was my idea, but I’m on the same page that big designers are on with that concept. Chanel used LED’s in a similar concept that Lil Uzi wore at Rolling Loud. They’ve been doing LED shoes and LED bags, so the whole fashion industry is changing to be more futuristic from what I’ve been seeing. I’m trying to bring those futuristic concepts to the underground scene.

What’s your favorite piece you’ve made to date?

Jewl: The cargo pants that I made in February of this year. I like those because the LED was on the waist and looks really cool. Whenever I throw parties I always wear those pants.

Are you planning on dropping jewelry soon?

Jewl: Yeah, I want to work on grills. I know it’s a process to get there since I’ve been studying how to do it on Youtube. Youtube can really show you how to do stuff that you can’t learn anywhere else. From the videos I’ve watched I learned you need to buy clay and molds in order to make it happen. I really want to do that but for now I want to drop more LED pieces and keep throwing events. I’m saving up because I have to buy 100% silver for anything I drop, I don’t like .925 since I want to work with actual silver. That’s my plan.

Are there any other mediums, garments or accessories you want to experiment with?

Jewl: I haven’t told anyone about this, but I’ve recently been working on making some lit up eyelashes for girls. When I was working on the choker for women I wanted to drop something else as well, and I noticed on social media girls are wearing fake eyelashes so I thought that would be a good idea. I’m working on the wiring for the eyelashes and I really feel like I can make it happen. I’ll drop the prototype in a few weeks, but that’s my next move that I’m working on.

Are there any other designers or brands you want to work with in the future?

Jewl: There aren’t really any locally that I want to work with, but there are some big brands. My favorite brand is Bape and I’d also like to work with Louis Vuitton at some point. That’s hopefully going to happen in the future if I get the chance.

What should we expect to see next from nojewls?

Jewl: Just more shows and clothing while I work on the grills and eyelashes. I'm also going to be starting my shirt printing business soon as well.

What do you want to be known for at the end of the day?

Jewl: I don’t want to be known for just the LED things, I want to be known for making jewelry and all the other creative ideas I have. I don’t have a brand name, so it’s really just me. I’ll continue doing what I’m doing now, but when I start branching out I’ll really make a name for myself.

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