Imagine starting a clothing line and six months later some pieces you passed along to a celebrity stylist randomly ends up on Chris Brown… what are the chances of that, right?
Honestly, this has been the norm for Q. Hudson, the creative force behind the stylishly cult brand, HIGH END JUNKIE. Three years in the fashion game and the power of ‘Word of Mouth’ couldn’t be more rewarding for the self-proclaimed ‘female in boy clothes.’ This Chicago Kid is slowly becoming the secret weapon of style by keeping some of your favorite celebrities dripping in her brand, High End Junkie.
The following #HEJunkies can be seen all over Social Media rockin’ some of HEJ’s exclusive and classic pieces: The Game, Blac Chyna, Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Champion Iman Shumpert, Nick Cannon, Dej Loaf and Chicago artists: TINK, Da Brat, Josh K., Actress Tae Heckard, Siya (Sisterhood of Hip Hop) and the list grows daily.
Q. Hudson is the prime example of the motivational, yet popular IG hashtag #DoWhatYouLove and she’s doing just that. Which is why Row A Seat 1 had to bring you this exclusive 1:1 interview with Chicago Style Maven BeBe Jones x Q. Hudson… Are you ready? Tell us what you think!
Row A Seat 1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Q. Hudson: As long as I can remember I’ve been in love with fashion. Even as a shorty when my moms would buy us thrift store joints, I’d go home & cut sleeves, distress denim, air brush jackets & all kind of stuff — just added my own flavor. I learned to sew early cuz moms is a seamstress, so I’d hand stitch buttons & patches on used clothes to make them better. I had older cousins that dressed fly, and wore shit like leather hockey jerseys (wait til you see my Fall collection), and “Jodeci Boots,” so I tried to mimic their style with what I had because I knew moms wasn’t buying the name brand stuff.
At 16, I started working in retail for Carson Pirie Scott and I would spend my entire check coppin’ Guess, Tommy Hilfiger & Girbaud, but I would still add my own twist to it. From there, I moved on to Niketown (at the age of 19) and got a discount at Cole Haan so I was flexing in college. (Laughs)
Row A Seat 1: “Q. Hudson, who does not consider herself a fashion designer, but merely a visual artist using a new canvas.” Such a humble moment coming from a humble person… Explain your full meaning behind this quote.
Q. Hudson: Man it’s real. I have no formal fashion education. I’ve worked in fashion and retail management for over 10 years, so I acquired a lot of knowledge through experience. Like buyer knowledge, inventory control, marketing, merchandising – all that. But I never attended one fashion design class, ever. I’ve just always been a very visual person & I love expression through style. I am also a self-proclaimed visual artist with a huge emphasis on abstract painting – but now the new canvases are apparel & accessories.
Row A Seat 1: Which designers have inspired you to create?
Q. Hudson: So many. I love ALL unorthodox designers (artists). I live for folks like: Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen & Jeremy Scott – but also designers from the Crib (Chicago) like: Sheila Rashid & Ron Louis that are raw designers who create waves through risk taking & bomb aesthetics.
Row A Seat 1: I love seeing your SnapChats when you’re in the lab… Who can we hear on your playlist while you’re creating?
Q. Hudson: I vibe out to some trippy joints sometime, but overall I enjoy a mellow flow when I’m painting like: Jill, Tribe, Roots or Erykah. Sometimes it’s Gospel or it’s Trap Music (is that a new genre)? Lol. But, mostly like I said it’s really chill.
Row A Seat 1: Since 2013, High End Junkie has reached great peaks of style. Share the first celebrity or major HEJ request you received.
Q. Hudson: First major celeb was Chris Brown (that’s crazy right). #Blessed. I was about 6 months in – and randomly linked up with his stylist EJ King. I told him I had some pieces that I thought would be dope for CB & he was like ok send me some samples. I sent a light package because I was not sure he would even look at it – and I kid you not, next thing I know Chris is doing a highly publicized tour announcement/mini concert with Trey Songs in my fucking shirt! It was all over the blogs and magazines. It was on his page, his labels page, BET, MTV every-fucking-where B. No BS. It happen and it happen FAST.
Row A Seat 1: Chicago Fashion is…
Q. Hudson: Hmmm… I feel Chicago fashion is interesting. There are so many fashionable people here, and super dope brands. I mean you have some original Chicago fashion staples, like the ‘buck50’ hat, that’s been adopted all around the world.
There are some SUPER dope fashion brands in Chicago like: PRSVR, Sir & Madame, Leaders 1354, Fashion Geek & so many others that are world renown brands. Although as far as actual collectives & powerhouses – Chicago doesn’t traditionally have as many as NY & Cali, but we definitely have an insurmountable level of style and fashion influencers.
Row A Seat 1: Q, how will High End Junkie impact the fashion industry?
Q. Hudson: High End Junkie will impact the fashion industry through bold risks & usage of non-traditional colors and fabrics. We will continue to evoke individuality.
The main goal is to continue to be driven by exclusivity, and release pieces that you won’t find on 100 other people. Ultimately High End Junkie will become a major fashion house, and break barriers. By barriers I mean being mentioned in the same sentence with brands sold in Barney’s or Neiman’s. It’s crazy to even think that big, being as though I’m one of very few African-American Openly – Lesbian “Designers,” in a Caucasian-male dominated industry.
But I see it being bigger than anyone – even I – expected.
Be sure to follow Chicago Brand High End Junkie for news on upcoming pop-up shops, new collections and HEJ celebrity street style here: @highendjunkie on all Social Media outlets; shop the brand here.