As the founder and designer of the Chicago brand, Chicago Playground, Rodnell Harris gears up to debut his SS15 Collection: ‘The College Experience’ Presentation Show this Sunday, May 31st (check flyer information below) and RowASeat1 had the opportunity to catch up with Sir CPG and talk fashion, favorite Chicago designers/brands and what inspired him to become a designer.
Check out the exclusive interview below and tell us your thoughts of their signature varsity jackets… Our RowASeat1 Team loves them!
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Rodnell Harris of Chicago Playground: The love I have for fashion started back in 2006, when I was introduced to the fashion industry by way of getting involved and invited to take part in several local fashion shows with a former brand I once had; onto showcasing my talents at Atlanta International Fashion week.
RowASeat1: What sparked your interest to become a designer?
RH: What sparked my interest to become a designer was a spirit that came over me to seek out a brand that carried longevity and substance behind its cause. Therefore, I put interest into becoming a designer based upon my intuition of wanting to create something that carried a valuable meaning.
RowASeat1: In 5 words describe you as a designer.
RowASeat1: Tell me about Chicago Playground and these awesome varsity jackets.
RH: Chicago Playground is a collegiate-inspired apparel brand that specializes in its custom traditional varsity/letterman jackets… Its inspiration comes from individual’s talent and experiences that allows him or her to achieve.
We too are bringing awareness of the Chicago Playground brand in a way where it becomes an ode to the City of Chicago and where those of the Arts can come to build upon the foundation set for generations to come.
RowASeat1: As a designer from Chicago, what’s your take on the fashion scene?
RH: The fashion scene in Chicago is based upon trends and what we know as “waves,” but it’s good to see many talented artists here from Chicago taking the initiative to do something creative.
Now the thing is the UNITY in which we’re lacking in the city. And that’s where we at Chicago Playground are trying to bridge that gap and become more in-tuned with ones talent to help build up the city where many can look to us as a first-class city within the fashion industry.
RowASeat1: Name your top 5 designers or fashion houses. Why?
RH: 1. The Brooklyn Circus
2. Pharrell Williams
3. Kanye West
4. DJ Sean Mac (Casket)
5. Fashion Geek
These brands and fashion influencers all stand for the individuality approach of custom styles. They show what it is to have longevity and a sense of creativity behind your craft!
RowASeat1: Thus far, how has Chicago Playground been perceived in Chicago? As the brains behind the brand, what do you think can be done to help CPG reach that level of success?
RH: Chicago Playground has gained much respect, and much of that is based on the consistency we’ve shown over the years behind our quality products. Brand awareness has been everything leading up to this point. We believe all the steps we’ve taken this far has been within the written destiny for CPG.
As far as what can be done to get us to the next level, honestly I believe we’re in a good space right now with taking this brand on its journey behind the light of The Most High by staying consistent and true to the craft.
RowASeat1: In your words, what does it take to obtain a successful clothing line?
RH: Basically it takes a sense of direction and understanding that there are sacrifices and priorities that take place amongst being in a successful environment when one thinks of having a clothing brand or any kind of business. You have to believe in what it is you’re putting out and have substance behind it. Surrounding yourself by ” like-minded” people helps with the synchronicity of creative energy as well. But most importantly, learn Thy-Self and stay consistent behind your craft.
RowASeat1: Where do you see CPG in the next 3 years?
RH: In three years, I see CPG as a ‘household name’ for the City of Chicago with many adventures and collaborations to come!
RowASeat1: Every designer should know…
RH: Every designer should know when it comes to designing a brand or concept: always consider the substance behind your craft. Know that it takes more than just you to create one-master piece.
Seek out to connect with the ‘like-minds,’ those people who believe in your vision.
Finally, always give thanks and ask The Most High God for clarity and understanding!
For more information on how to add Chicago Playground to your wardrobe, please log on to www.cpg1963.com. Be sure to follow CPG via Social Media – Instagram: @chicagoplayground, Facebook: Chicago Playground and Twitter: @chiplayground.