Outlandish Provokatör is a clothing brand created by Jashon Miller (Jay) in Niagara Falls NY. After being hired to create unique brand imagery for Outlandish in both Niagara Falls, and New York City, I wanted to know more about Jay, his passion for graphic design, fashion, and how it all came together. As we walked the cities together, I knew Outlandish Provokatör was more than just business for Jay...
Tell us a little about Outlandish Provocatör:
Well, Outlandish Provokatör actually started about 4 years ago. That is when I first got my idea for the initial design decided what I really wanted the brand to be. I wanted to create a lifestyle more than a brand itself. Outlandish Provokatör is a symbol saying you can be yourself.. you can go out here and have fun, and do things without worrying about people judging you. You can create your own career path.. and through these clothes I feel like I have the opportunity to show people that. You can set yourself apart and not be ashamed of it - you can be outlandish. Make yourself the example and not the follower. People can make it from absolutely nothing.
How did you come up with the name?
I sat down and thought about the message I wanted to tell. I always was a little carefree as a person and I have a wild imagination and I wanted an outrageous way of living. I learned it was okay to be myself from other people I looked up to.
So you are the original Outlandish Provokatör?
Yup - the original.
How did you start the business?
I went to college to gain more business sense, but my school actually closed down so I had to learn mostly everything on my own. I had to study the business, go places, network, and just always figure out what the next step was. I started with the designs. Graphic design work was always the thing that I liked to do most, but when I was in college I took a fashion merchandising class where I learned how to sew fabric together and work with different materials.
What made you want to do graphic design and fashion merchandising?
Because I didn’t… have. I grew up in a low income neighborhood with my cousins, my grandma, and my mom. We couldn’t afford all of the stuff that we wanted to wear. We loved to see clothes and the way other people wore them. I wanted that, but it wasn’t available to me. So I new one day that I wanted to make something that was also affordable for people who are just like me. Of course we have high end items, but I want to keep my focus on making my designs available to people who can’t afford the expensive designs.
So, how do you make the clothing you sell?
I actually make all of it here, by myself. I started off making designs on the computer and my phone. I print and cut every last one of them out myself by hand, but I recently just got a machine to help with that. And then I heat press all of the designs on myself. Whether it is an order of 50, 100, or more - I make every last one of them myself. These clothes are made with love! My heart goes into every design.
Tell me about the jeans and the vest you designed that we shot with in NYC:
I have been wanting to make a vest for a very long time. Sometimes I just sit down and think and visualize what I want to do. For the vest - my message is to protect who you are. It is not to promote violence - it’s to live free and be an Outlandish Provocatör. For the jeans I had a friend do the drawings and art as a collaboration. But the jeans actually tell a story. On the inside it tells where I am from, what I have been through, and certain places I have been to and seen. All of my travels are written inside of the jeans. As more happens I add to them and it continues to tell a story.
What is the future of Outlandish Provokatör?
I really want to touch people’s lives. I am not in it for myself or the money or anything - I want to make sure we can change peoples’ lives for the better like certain people did for me. This year in Niagara Falls I want to plan some back to school events for the kids to show them that people actually care about them. I want to be there to promote the idea of being different. Enjoy yourself and have fun - don’t try to change who you are.
What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs and designers?
If you are going to do it you have to put your heart into it. You have to love what you do. Keep grinding and going hard and don’t ever let up. It gets hard. It gets very hard. But you can’t quit - it will payoff if you keep a positive mindset. You can get there. This is 24/7 and you have to love it.
You can find all of Jay’s designs on the official Outlandish Provokatör Website and various social media platforms linked below: