With their innovated and respected street wear line, 90MS founders Malik and Salim are on to something very special and are prepared to take over Houston one launch at a time. Kehlani, YesJulz, Stalley, Tinashae, Made in Tokyo and others of the like have been witnessed boasting their designs, so we wanted to get inside the heads of these guys! Buckle up because their ride is an interesting one!
Meet the Men
90: Malik. Salim. We’re brothers. We’re the Osei’s. (Starts laughing)
M: But yeah we’re brothers from Cypress. Both went to school in Cypress, both went to school at UH. We like fashion, we’re into sports specifically basketball, and we’re just regular dudes. We’re also African and Jamaican–moms from Jamaica and dad from Ghana.
S: Yup, yup
M: Um, the 90 came from us being born in the 90’s and the M is for my name Malik, S for Salim. We wanted something short. When we were first making hats, we wanted to make the name stand out and be something that would actually fit and not be too long. And then we just stuck with it. So y’all are wearing us and y’all don’t even know.
The Birth of 90MS
M: Well, we both always had these ideas in our head and we needed a tangible platform to be able to put them on, so whether it be hats or clothes, we needed somewhere to get our ideas out. We always had creative thoughts, and I just knew when I graduated college I needed something else to do other than a 9-5 regular job!
We started off with hats because hats were the easiest. People buy like 30 hats for $150, and it was easy to do with college money. We had jobs, but not super sustainable jobs so it was easy to start there.
S: Yeah! There were these hats called “40 Ounce” hats at the time we started, and we would buy em’ every time. I mean EVERY time they dropped we were buying, but then we realized we could easily make them ourselves… know what I’m saying?
The Graduation from Hats to Clothing
M: I think we’ve always had the confidence to make clothing, but it was more about the means to get it done. Meaning there’s a lot of steps to make clothes. You gotta design it, you gotta find someone to make a sample, then you gotta find a warehouse willing to deal with you and make it, because they’re not just going to make 10 pairs. The minimum quantities are usually 50 or 100 pairs so you have to find someone willing to make exactly what you want! It takes a minute to source all of that, because you gotta travel to LA, New York, and overseas. So that was that, and really you can only do so much with hats.
S: The first piece of clothing we made was our hoodie. It kinda was our muse, our jumpstart, our vision! We did that with minimal resources.
M: Um, I don’t really have a muse a far as anybody in fashion. I respect other designers, but I don’t feel like anybody inspires me. Basically, we just try to think of what we need in our closet and try to create that (items a person is always gonna need). Sweatpants might be a wave right now, like everybody is wearing running pants, and we feel you’re always gonna need that. They’ve been around so many years! You’re always gonna need a hoodie and tees. The sizing and the fit kinda switches up, but the basic principles stay the same, so we make clothing that’s with the culture and fashionable but at the same time, items you will have forever! Also, we’re not gonna make stuff we won’t wear.
S: Agreed, and I wouldn’t say we were inspired, but the way we we’re brought up influenced how we operate with fashion. We were growing up with our cousin Bradley, and he would always stress that we can’t be weak! He would always stay on us. He instilled in us not to come weak, that’s why we put stuff out periodically because we’re not in a rush to put out subpar gear.
90MS: National attention!
M: Yeah, just to get the brand out there, to influencers, getting more stylists to it, because that’s the real link to getting your brand well known, so we’ve been trying to focus on that. Also, we’re trying to drop a complete line by Fall 2018.
Vans or Converse?
M: My feet are too long for converse.
Would you rather get advice from Kanye or Jay Z?
M: Uhhh, I would say 2001 Jay.
Last question, would you rather run at 100mph or fly as 10mph?
M: I rather fly at 10mph fasho. Running at 100 mph you’re going to run into something and you’re going to be dead. You can’t harnest that kinda power… your legs are going to be outta, your knees are gonna be outta.
C: Knees will be brittle!
C: Okay boys, we’re done, it’s done, thank you for taking this time out. It’s a wrap!
Interview edited by CommonPolished