Public Housing & Hard Garments
is a clothing brand based out of Los Angeles that's collaborating with your favorite music artists and putting out some of the hardest garments on the market. We spoke with the founder Savvy about his experience starting to sell clothing eight years ago to starting Section8 and now having dropped numerous hit collections while working with artists new and old that range from Trippie Redd and Lil Pump to YG and Nipsey Hussle. In addition, we also spoke about what collections we should expect to see next, his advice for other brand owners, and his plans to continue growing and evolving Section8 into a brand that's here to stay.
Where are you from?
Savvy: I’m from Riverside, California. It’s a suburb area outside of LA.
Why do you go by the name Savvy?
Savvy: If people don’t know, Savvy stands for knowledge. That’s how I came up with the name Savvy since I feel like I’m learning every day. If someone tells you they know everything they’re lying.
When did you start Section8?
Savvy: I started Section8 two years ago in my trap house when I was growing weed at the time. I was doing clothes before then as well for Zumiez under a different brand. But I got out of that because the clothing game was a little different back then. You needed more money to handle those stores so I got out of the game since I didn’t really like it. At the time I had a trap house with 100 plants where rappers and my underground homies would pull up. But after a while I started getting bored of it and wanted to get back into something that I truly loved which was clothes. The only reason I stopped doing clothing in the first place was because I was getting screwed over since I was only 18.
How did you come up with the name?
Savvy: Originally it was supposed to be called Public Housing. I was trying to think of a dope name and came up with Public Housing since it was all trap house vibes. My big homie came around 1-2 weeks later and we were talking about the brand and he mentioned Section 8 as a reference to public housing and we thought that was way harder. After that we thought of the 8 ball as the logo and it all came together. The name was inspired by the underground mentality I had at the time that was influenced by the way I was living and the rappers that were around me. If it wasn’t for Eddy Baker I wouldn’t really know this underground scene. I was born on YG and Nipsey Hussle but he opened my mind up to a whole new music scene.
What made you want to start a clothing brand?
Savvy: I was never really good at school, the only thing I liked going for was getting dressed in the morning. I was the kid with the brand new streetwear shirt every day, that fresh Hundreds back when it was popping, Diamond, everything streetwear. I always wore Jordans too. When I turned 18 my friends were going to good schools so I tried to do college for two weeks, but it made me depressed because everyone was talking about other people's accomplishments. One day I was at my homies house and I went on this website that was selling fake Pink Dolphin, Supreme, and Gucci. I thought it was a legit wholesale website so I bought some stuff and went to school and made $500 selling it the first day. That’s what got me into the clothing game. I was bringing so much money home that my dad asked if I was selling drugs and I had to tell him that I was just selling clothes. I’m 26 now but I was 18 at the time and had four different people selling my clothes at four different high schools around me. I was making good money doing that and then my homie said that we should start a brand together. I was looking up to Ian Connor at the time so I tried to do that type of style and it flopped. I lost a lot of money and I didn’t design any of it since I didn’t know how to use Photoshop at the time. My friend gave up and I was thinking I was going to have to go back to school. I only had $300 left so I decided to make one more run, and I made this sick ass sublimation shirt with an all-over print. Instagram came out around this time and everyone started using it. I was the only one selling clothes on there and YG and DJ Mustard saw it and hit me up. At the time it was a dream come true and it made me believe that I really could work with anybody. The piece was awesome and I drove all the way to LA to give it to DJ Mustard who wore it at the BET awards that year. It was really a domino effect after that, YG hit me up and said he loved my work and asked for a shirt so I started working with him. However, back in the day if someone saw you making unique stuff big brands would knock it off. I was doing customs for people and big brands saw it was the next wave and took the idea. I decided to switch it up so when I turned 19 I was the first person to put sublimation on socks and it took off with Zumiez and all these other big brands starting to hit me up. These days someone can buy your stuff pre-order and you can make it really quickly, however back in the day it was much harder. A big brand would hit me up and say they needed $10k worth of socks so I had to find an investor. Finding an investor in fashion is like how rappers sign to a label. The checks were cool but they should’ve been better. I got my socks into 500 stores and after that I started making these Iron Maiden tees that I would bleach and those started to take off too so I had to get another investor. After that everything was dying down and I got depressed again because I didn’t want to do these clothes if I needed outside help every time since I didn’t have enough bread to do it myself. I was making everyone else money but not making myself the money I deserved, so that’s when I started doing the trap house. I did that for a year and with that money I was going to move to LA. I was 23 at the time, and pretty much the last two months I was there I missed making clothes. I could tell the online market was starting to grow crazy and people were gravitating towards that so I thought it was a good time to start again. I moved to LA and it started to pick up being around Trippie Redd and XXX with my friends. We’ve worked with YG, Mustard, Snoop, Migos, Cardi B before she was famous, The Game, and Nipsey Hussle. With the new generation we’ve worked with Smokepurpp, Pump, Trippie, Slime Sito, and so many others. But I’ve been there when people grow too fast and disappear so I’m taking my time and making sure everything is right.
Where did you get the idea for your Halloween camo collection?
Savvy: With October coming up I wanted to give people some new style with camo. I did a forest collection three months ago since I was tired of doing black shirts all the time. Every drop I have one piece on it that always stands out as my favorite and on that collection it was definitely the army jackets. Those are fire because I’m screen printing all four pockets with every logo that we've come out with. For each of my collections I try to do something different in our own style since I want everyone to experience Section8.
What are your favorite drops you’ve done so far?
Savvy: I like the Cerberus three headed dog collection. But Cerberus, Bondage, and Hit A Lick are probably my favorites. I’m making part two of those collections now with much higher quality than it was last year. I always want to keep improving.
Do you design all your garments yourself or do you work with other designers?
Savvy: I work with other designers. The earlier collections were all done by me but when you run a clothing brand you need to start hiring people eventually because you have to run the business. I try to work with designers with a dope style but I’m hands on with everything. If I find a designer that has a style I like I’m almost always there telling him to flip this, add an 8 ball there, or take this out. We go back and forth to make it perfect. The person that made the Section8 logo is ArcherOne who's one of my OG homies, he’s a designer for Nipsey Hussle’s brand The Marathon. He’s been in the the clothing game for a long time, and I still bounce stuff off of him because you need to have your OG’s telling you what’s good and what’s not.
Who are your favorite designers that you’ve worked with?
Savvy: Blazzy. We just linked up three months ago, I met him and we started working. Nascar came out really well and he definitely helped a lot on that. But other designers I usually just find on the internet.
How do you go about finding new designers?
Savvy: I feel like Instagram is a resume in a way. People use it for other dumb stuff but I use it as a storefront. I look at their page and see if it’s dope. Every artist has a different style, and sometimes you can get two designers to work together and put their styles together. Sometimes I’ll even get in there and work on a design with them as well.
Talk about your upcoming “Bondage Collection Season 2.” What should we expect to see from that collection?
Savvy: I’m really excited for that. We’re going to do a bubble puffer jacket that fits the bondage theme. A couple days ago I was exploring factories and vibing to think of something dope, and I came up with an idea for a turtleneck. I’m putting a lock hanging from the neck with an 8 ball engraved and then it’ll say “Section” on the turtleneck. I wore it out and got so many compliments. There’s only going to be 100 of those dropping. Another one I’m going to have is a shirt with a big Section8 puff print, and then on the bottom it’s going to have a gag ball in the form of an 8 ball. I haven’t designed it yet so the hard part is just finding someone that’s going to make it look fire. Nigel and I are going to do a dope photoshoot for the drop. He pretty much styles the shoot, I'll give him what I come up with and he'll add the accessories and bring the whole aesthetic to life.
What made you want to make a season 2?
Savvy: I just want to upgrade everything. I want to make garments that people’s kids are going to want to have once it becomes old school. I used to go to my uncle’s closet and throw on an old school Jordan jersey and I’d be the freshest kid at school. I want my pieces to last forever.
When is it releasing?
Savvy: November 28th. I always do my drops on Thursday at 9PM. So it’s not going to be on Black Friday but the day before.
Who or what inspires you?
Savvy: I don’t know, I think of what would be dope and it really just comes from my head. After I think of something I always do my research on it. For Cerberus I did my research on it and watched documentaries to understand it and the proper terms. I’m not just going to put something out there that I don’t know about, I’m going to sit my ass down for a month and learn about it and see if we can make it come to life. Every day is a learning lesson.
How did people react to the white Section8 Air Force’s that dropped this past summer?
Savvy: The white ones sold out in 10 minutes and the black ones we did recently sold out in 30 minutes. People buy white Air Force’s without any prints so I knew they would do better, the black ones are for hood dudes.
Were those the first shoes you made?
Savvy: Yeah, those were my first Air Force’s.
I know you also dropped Section8 slides, are there any other shoes you want to experiment with in the future?
Savvy: I want to do more slides since I’m a big slides guy. I definitely want to add some buckles and leather and different colorways to see how they come out. Like I said, I’m here to stay and I’m going to be creating for the rest of my life so I’m going to do everything in the book sooner or later. I base all my drops off of how I want to dress. The only reason I dropped the camo collection was because I wanted an army jacket. I put something out because I want it.
One of your most iconic pieces is your spiked hoodies. Where did the initial idea for those hoodies come from?
Savvy: When I initially ordered the spikes I didn’t know where to put them so I was trying them on the sleeves and all different places. My friends older brother used to dress really hardcore when it wasn’t the cool thing to do. I had the idea to put them on the hood because of him, he always had crazy hair and wore tight pants so it made sense. But I put it on the hood and out of the eight different things we tried it looked the best. When I put them on the hood I knew we had to get it to Trippie Redd. Either Chris King or someone else invited me over and I dropped it off when he was sleeping. I didn’t know if he was going to like it but he went home to his moms for Thanksgiving or Christmas and had it on the whole time acting a fool on Instagram. He didn’t tag us or anything but people were asking where it came from and that’s naturally where people found our page. It’s dope because these kids show me their whole closet and it’s full of Section8. Kids are spending $5k throughout the year on my drops which is so crazy. I was probably one of those kids with Jordans but it’s cool that they really rock with the brand and want to be a part of the movement.
Are there any other garments or accessories you want to experiment with in the future?
Savvy: The next drop is going to be exciting. I’m doing an airbrush drop that’s all about tagging. If you’re really into the tagging scene you’re going to love it. I have cousins that are doing that stuff, they have a metal pen with a little tip that’s sharp and lets them carve their name on elevators or wherever they are. I’m going to drop one of those with Section8 on it. People are going to cause havoc with those and put out what they have to say. I’m probably going to do a giveaway for whoever tags the dopest thing with it or whoever is the most ignorant, we’ll see. We’re also going to do stencils, and then I want to drop a spray can. Hopefully I can get a spray can collab.
How did you originally get Trippie wearing Section8?
Savvy: It’s crazy because I didn’t know who Trippie was at first. I knew Pump and Peep when I started and then I moved to LA and a couple of my homies were making beats and working around that scene. There was one song that I heard from him that I knew and I realized he’s a dope artist. Both our logos are 8 balls so we got him wearing the plain logo tees first.
You also have relationships with a number of other artists including Lil Pump, Ski Mask, Skies, and Tracy. How do you go about building relationships with music artists?
Savvy: I don’t tell any artists about my stuff, they either hit me in the DM’s or I bump into them and they hear what I do. If they decide to wear Section8 it’s for a reason. They could be buying Gucci but they pick my brand and that’s dope. I’m not trying to take this from zero to a million right now, I’m trying to grow gradually. I’m trying to do free underground Section8 concerts with artists we do a collab with. I did one with Nascar and it was sick. If you’re part of Section8 I want you to experience underground shows with it because it’s a really dope scene.
How did Section8 x No Jumper happen?
Savvy: I think it was just meant to happen because of Eddy Baker and all the mutual friends we have. It really happened naturally through friends, I didn’t ask but it turned out well. I want to do a No Jumper pop-up in Australia or something if we ever do a collab again.
What makes you want to work with another designer, brand or music artist in general?
Savvy: For artists I really have to like their music. I had people offer to pay me $15k for a collab and I always decline. That’s quick money and I’m not here for quick money, I’m here to last. So I just have to vibe with them and see how I’m feeling. I have a collab coming soon with someone I’ve always wanted to work with, I bump his music on the daily.
Are there any other brands, designers or music artists you want to work with in the future?
Savvy: I already did Ransom, Half Evil and No Jumper, so at the moment no. There’s a couple brands that I think are dope but I have to wait until they pass the stage where they’re ready because I’ve seen a lot of brands come and go. I’ve already been in the game for 7-8 years so I want to be strategic about who I work with. When someone gets a collab it’s because we vibe like crazy, they’re a dope person and their brand is cool. It always has to be my quality though. But I do want a dope ass sneaker collab in the future, Jordan would be crazy.
What should we expect to see next from Section8?
Savvy: We have Bondage season 2 and we have another Hit A Lick collection. There’s also another Cerberus collection and we have the airbrush collection which is a new one. We’re going to do the airbrush collection and then a straight 8 ball collection. I’m going to be adding new collections as well with new topics and new looks that are in our style.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to make it as a designer or brand owner these days?
Savvy: I’d ask them how much they love what they're doing. If they love what they’re doing then they will still be doing it. There's been times that I’ve been so broke and still doing this. I’ve always loved the feeling of someone wearing my clothing or buying it. You see it on the street and nobody can take that feeling away from me. But for everyone doing clothes, just take a breather. Everything you’re going through, all the pain and suffering, we all went through. Just take it easy and don’t worry about getting it popping too quick. People want to get popping so fast, just take it easy and learn the game. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be and the ones that are meant to be around are going to suffer until they make it.
What do you want Section8 to be at the end of the day?
Savvy: I don’t want to necessarily make it like a Gucci brand since I want to do it in my own style and have a streetwear side. But I’m going to throw a piece in that deserves that designer look sometimes. You dress the streetwear look but sometimes you step out to a scene with a nice ass bubble jacket and you’re going to get so many looks. But I really just want it to last a long time and always upgrade the quality and keep evolving. The perfect example is Virgil; he’s almost 40 and he’s made it to where he is because he took baby steps to get there. He started on Tumblr and using Champion pieces for Pyrex. He started in the grassroots of the culture and slowly graduated up, and now he’s doing Louis Vuitton. I want to give a shoutout to the person who put me on to the underground scene, Eddy Baker. Eddy Baker and Raider Klan started all this shit, we wouldn’t be here without them. He’s from my city and a mutual friend introduced me to him. He’s really dope, hanging out with him and loving the music he showed me was really inspirational. I wouldn’t be in this type of scene if it wasn’t for him. Also shoutout to the homies on my team, Staxx, ArcherOne, Kill Nigel, and Mickey Lacoste. Without them I wouldn't be able to bring my drops to life.
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