LargeUp: Tell us who you are, and how you got your start in fashion design?
Joshua Joseph: My name is Joshua Joseph, the owner and creator of Rebels to Dons. My first pieces came working with my dad.
LU: Who is your dad?
JJ: My dad goes by the name Opio. He’s a designer based out of Brooklyn who’s been designing for over 40 years for celebrities and local people living in New York and all around. He’s well known in the Rastafarian world.
LU: So you apprenticed under your father as a kid?
JJ: When I was 16 I came from Trinidad to New York and, after getting to meet him after all these years, his vision for me was to start doing what he’s doing. At first I didn’t understand what he was trying to get me to do. But as time passed I got to understand: He was trying to teach me the craft. From the time I made up my mind to learn the craft, that was it.
LU: And it was leather mainly you were working with?
JJ: When I started, I was messing up expensive leather. I’m sure I probably wasted over $5,000 in my dad’s workshop trying to create some nonsense, or I’d come up with an idea and think I have it but I don’t. It started with me playing with the material, trying to make little accessories. The first piece I ever made myself and designed was a leather and denim vest that came out of my dad’s workshop.