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Don Bleek’s Exclusive Interview With Joyrich’s Head Designer/Creative Director David Melgar

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Don Bleek and David Melgar

NYFW has been a marathon for me. I’ve been to various events and shows. Today Sunday (September 8), is the halfway mark of New York Fashion Week, there are also several big shows scheduled for today including: DKNY, Diane von Furstenberg, Band of Outsiders, Derek Lam, Zac Posen and Ralph Rucci. Newer fashion brands such as Hood by Air, Public School and Edun are also presenting their Spring 2014 collections.

I kicked off NYFW by attending Los Angeles-based fashion brand Joyrich’s Pop-Up Shop in the Soho section of Manhattan. While there, I have seen some interesting looks emerge, for example: Joyrich’s floral varsity jackets, logo sweaters, Mickey Mouse tees, race car tanks, Betty Boop sweaters & hoodies, Bart Simpson varsity jackets and hoodies, graffiti backpacks and lots of hats & bags from the brand’s FW13-2014 collection.

I also had a sit-down interview with Joyrich’s Head Designer/Creative Director David Melgar’s about getting his first start in the fashion industry, designing for the brand, celebs including Rihanna & Wiz Khalifa wearing pieces from the collection, his future plans and much below. Read the interview below:

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How would you describe Joyrich’s FW13-2014 line?

It’s very inspired by Paris. It’s a lot of L.A. and Hip-Hop mixed together but it has a high-end ecstatic to it. I don’t want to say streetwear, but it’s something different from what’s out right now. It’s a mixture of funk, Hip-Hop, pop art and vintage.

How long have you been designing for Joyrich?

I came in about 4/5 years ago. When I first came in, we worked out of a house, now we have 13 stores globally. Our flagship store is in L.A.

How do you come up with all the different types of designs?

I really don’t know to be honest with you. I get inspire but random stuff then I would just design something.

Wiz Khalifa and Rihanna wears Joyrich quite frankly, are there any other celebrities that you would like to see wearing pieces from the brand?

Honestly, I welcome anybody who loves the brand. We do have support like Rihanna and Wiz and it is amazing to me. When I was first designing, I was like, “I really hope some people likes it” and to know that these people I like, I look up to likes it, it’s a big honor to me.

How did you get your start in the fashion industry?

I started interning for various designers, just started putting myself out there. I was interning any and everywhere I can. I was also meeting different types of people.

You been in the fashion industry for quite some time now, what’s next for David Melgar, where do you see yourself five years from now? What’s your ultimate goal?

To take Joyrich to the next level, to build it and whatever the good lord has plan for me, we’ll just kind of map it out. We’re having fun right now, so it’s no plans to change anything.

Who or what are some of your style influencers?

I’m influenced by just walking down the street here in Soho, in L.A., in Tokyo, and just seeing people, just people watching. I’m not a creep but I like to people watch.

Special thanks to Joyrich’s PR/Marketing Assistant Art for putting this interview together. Be sure to visit Joyrich’s online shop.

Interview by Don Bleek

Photos Credits: Don Bleek

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Don Bleek Wears A Joyrich ‘Rich’ Camo Tee-Shirt & The Matching Joyrich Camo NYC Cap In Pink/Turquoise

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Last week, I attended the “The Return of Mike & Ike” movie trailer at Tribeca Cinemas in Manhattan, NY (read recap here). For the event, I wore a $48 Joyrich ‘Rich’ Camo Tee-Shirt with the matching $57 Joyrich Camo NYC Cap in Pink/Turquoise. This white tee-shirt features ‘Rich‘ written in camo pink which is also the same exact color that is featured throughout the hat. ‘N.Y.C. Joyrich‘ is also written in silver on the front of the hat, the brim and back strap features turquoise python. Do you like the shirt and cap that I am wearing?

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Photos Credit: Don Bleek | JoyRich

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Celebs Fashion: Bow Wow & Don Bleek Wears Zanerobe Drawstring Pants

D'USSE Cognac + JAY-Z Host The Official Barclays Concert After Party At The 40/40 Club

Last year, rapper turned TV host Bow Wow attended Jay-Z’s concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Bow was spotted backstage at the concert and in the Barclay’s VIP D’USSE Riser. For the event, he styled in $120 Zanerobe ‘Sureshot’ Slim Tapered Camo Pants and a black Slowbuck hoodie paired with Air Jordan 6 “Golden Moments”.

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A couple of weeks ago, I attended HelloBeautiful.com’s “She Talks” series featuring music exec-turned-tv producer Mona Scott-Young. The event was held at Mist Harlem on 116th Street, hosted by urban entertainment blog Hello Beautiful. For the event, I wore a H&M denim shirt layered over a grey tee-shirt and $129 Zanerobe ‘Sureshot’ Chino Green Floral Pants.

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Don Bleek & Mona Scott Young

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Photos Credit: Johnny Nunez viaGetty | Necole Bitchie | Don Bleek

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Don Bleek, Yandy Smith, Lore’l, Stevie J & Joseline Hernandez Attend LHHATL ‘Press Reception’ At Manhattan’s Stage 48

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Don Bleek & Yandy Smith

Last night, I attended the New York ‘Press Reception’ for Season 2 of VH1/Monami Entertainment’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, which was presented by Myx Fusion, a fruit-infused moscato. The event was spearheaded by 135th Street Agency and over 200 bloggers, journalists, tastemakers and socialites gathered inside of Stage 48, located in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood for a sneak peek of the premiere episode, followed by a Q&A which was moderated by executive production Mona Scott Young. Cast members including K. Michelle, Mimi Faust, Erica Dixon, Stevin J & Joseline Hernandez were in attendance. Yandy Smith and Lore’l of LHHNY and the cast of VH1’s The Gossip Game also showed up to last night’s event. For the occasion, I went with a casual look! I wore a $30 Zara Tee-Shirt with Faux Leather Stripe and $60 Zara Plain Trousers paired with Balenciaga Violet Monochromes High Sneakers which are from the upscale fashion house Spring/Summer 2013 Collection. Read my full recap here!

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Lore’l & Don Bleek

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Stevin J & Don Bleek

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Joseline Hernandez & Don Bleek

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Meek Mill Is The True Meaning Of A Dreamchaser By Don Bleek

Maybach Music Group (MMG)/Warner Bros recording artist Robert Williams better known by his stage name Meek Mill is one of the hottest MC’s in the game. Last February, he was voted as the #7 hottest MC on MTV’s annual ‘Hottest MC’s In The Game’ list. He defines dreamchaser which is someone who chases their dreams and turn them into reality. That is exactly what Meek did!

Before signing a major record deal, Meek started his career by rapping on local DVD’s and mixtapes in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area. As a teenager, Meek and a few of his childhood friends formed a rap group called ‘BloodHoundz’ and they released a series of mixtapes including 2008’s ‘Flamers’, 2009’s ‘Flamer 2: Hottest In The City’ and ‘Flamers 2.5: The Preview ’and 2010’s ‘Flamers 3: The Wait Is Over’. Because of the success of those mixtapes, Meek Mill was introduced to Grand Hustle’s rapper/CEO T.I. by his former manager Charlie Mack. T.I., eventually signed Meek to his label. Unfortunately, Meek and T.I. both caught two separate legal cases which ended in both of them doing time in prison; therefore the business agreement did not translate. However, during his short time at Grand Hustle, Meek released his ‘Mr. Philadelphia’ mixtape in August 2010.

His music is an inspiration to a lot of young Black and Latino males including myself because most of his fans were raised in the projects and inner cities just like he was and we faced some of the same struggles that he rap about in his music. Whenever I listen to Meek’s music, I hear the passion, hunger, pain, struggles and success in his voice and lyrics.

He is just a 25-year-old young man from the streets of Philly who chased his dreams and turned them into reality.  In February 2011, it was announced that Meek signed a new record deal with Rick Ross’ MMG imprint. He released his debut single “Tupac Back” later that year. The track appeared on the group’s ‘Self Made Vol. 1’ compilation. In 2012, MMG released ‘Self Made Vol. 2’. Under the MMG imprint, Meek also released his 2011’s ‘Dreamchasers’ and 2012’s ‘Dreamchasers 2’ mixtapes which received over three million views/downloads in three days. This past spring/summer 2012, Meek was featured on Drake’s ‘Club Paradise’ tour alongside Waka Flocka, 2 Chainz and French Montana. In August, he wrapped up his own 25-date ‘Dreamchasers’ tour which sold out in most cities. Yesterday (October 30), Meek released his debut album, ‘Dreams & Nightmares’. The lead singles “Amen” Ft. Drake and “Burn” Ft. Big Sean are in heavy rotation. I’m so proud of Meek’s success and he will forever be a “dreamchaser”. Please go buy Meek’s album! It is worth the $12.

Update: According to HDD, Meek Mill is projected to debut at #1 on the Billboard top 200 with between 175k-200k units sold in the first week. Congrats, homie!

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Out & About: Don Bleek Spotted At Hot 97’s ‘Night Out’

Skip and Don Bleek (in the picture above).

This past Tuesday (July 31), I attended New York’s Hot 97 ‘Night Out’ at the Beekman Beer Garden Club in Manhattan (at the South Street Seaport). The invite only event was sponsored by Ciroc. DJ Mister Cee, DJ Enuff and DJ Camillo were on the 1’2 and 2’s. I had a great time with my college friend Skip who came to NYC from North Carolina. We danced, ate some good food and had a drink or two. Celebrity blogger Miss Info, Def Jam’s Sean Pecas, and radio personality K. Foxx were also in attendance. Peep the pics below:

Check out the full photo album over at Hot 97.

Pictures via Hot 97

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From The Streets To The Boardroom: Don Bleek Writes Letter To His IDOL Jay-Z

In my opinion, Shawn Corey Carter (Jay-Z) epitomizes the meaning of a Black male from the projects and inner cities. Strength, power, education, success, wealth and tenacity, Jay-Z represents all of that.

My idol made it out of the streets in Marcy Project’s (Brooklyn, New York) to performing on global stages around the world and now he is having meetings in the boardroom.

I’m so grateful for what Jay-Z is doing for people who grew up similar to how he did. He is a husband, father, rapper, CEO, entrepreneur, role model and much more. I’m also more than excited to grow up in a world with great people like Jay-Z. He proved that you can come from nothing and still become something.

Jay-Z, please continue to be inspirational, be motivational, be courage, be brave, be strong, be you, and be generous.”

-Love Don Bleek

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Fashion Me Dope: Jay-Z’s Childhood Friend Emory Jones Rocking A ‘Dolo Clothing’ Shirt & New Balance 999 “South Beach”

Musically, the world was introduced to Jay-Z’s childhood friend Emory Jones on Jay’s song “Do U Wanna Ride?” off Kingdom Come. The two grew up together in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects. Today, Emory is working as an executive assistant at Roc Apparel Group. Whenever, I am able to attend the New Jersey Nets game (I live about 15 minutes from the Prudential Center where the Nets play at), I sometimes see Emory and Jay-Z there, sitting court side. Emory is also the mind behind his South Beach flavored New Balance 999. “Jones and Pimp My Kicks came together to restart the South Beach theme, focusing on contrasting grey, black and aqua blue with pink laces and stitching as well as a touch of speckling on the midsole. This shoe is Part One of the PMK x Emory Jones Private Stock Collection,”-said CounterKicks. At the release/preview party Jones was rocking a Dolo Clothing tee-shirt with a pair of his New Balance 999 “South Beach”. Be sure to visit Dolo online shop over at DoloClothing.Com. Peep the pictures below:

Via CounterKicks.Com

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The Man Behind Tyga’s “Rack City”: Don Bleek Speaks To Los Angeles’ Music Producer & DJ, DJ Mustard

A day after wrapping up Tyga’s ‘Careless World’ tour, I (Don Bleek) got the chance to speak to West coast DJ and music producer DJ Mustard. The South Central L.A. native is the man behind Tyga’s “Rack City”, which is now almost double platinum and YG Ft. Tyga & Nipsey Hussle’s “B***hes Ain’t Shit.” He is keeping busy by producing new tracks for Bow Wow, Meek Mill and Red Café as well as working on his mixtape, Mustard On The Beat. During our phoner, DJ Mustard talked about getting his start as a DJ and producer, craziest tour experiences, which was the shooting in Omaha, bringing the West coast back with dance & fun music and much more.

During our phoner, DJ Mustard talked about getting his start as a DJ and producer, craziest tour experiences, which was the shooting in Omaha, bringing the West coast back with dance & fun music and much more.

I hear your name a lot, how did you start DJing?

Well, I started DJing at the age of 11. My uncle DJ Tee is a DJ as well and he left me at a party. I didn’t know what to do. I just started playing songs and after that, I started DJing.

So you just finished DJing on Tyga’s ‘Careless World’ tour, correct?

Actually, I finished it up on Tuesday (April 17). I just got back to L.A.

You basically been all over, what is your favorite city and why?

Milwaukee, because it was so turnt up there. People were screaming everywhere.  They had the most energy out of all the cities we had been too.

What have been the craziest experiences you’ve had so far while on tour?

The shooting after the Tyga concert in Omaha, Nebraska. It happened so fast, we never expected something like that to happen because we don’t promote violence. That was the craziest thing that ever happened on the road. Thank god everybody was okay.

How do you prepare for a show?

I just listen to music, relax and chill. Just try to put myself in the right move. It doesn’t take too much.

Didn’t you start off as YG’s DJ?

Yeah, I did and I am still his DJ.

I read somewhere that YG is one of your best friends, and you guys recently did that 4Hunnid Degreez mixtape together, how did that collabo come about?

I started making beats for YG; he was one the first people to do my beats. I started with him, so for us to do a mixtape was easy. We created this dancing sound. I feel like we owed it to the streets and we’re not stopping.

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Don Bleek Interviews G-Unit’s 1st Femcee: Precious Paris Talks About How She Linked Up With 50 Cent, Female Rappers, Mixtape & More

50 Cent’s protégé Precious Paris recently released her debut mixtape, entitled From Paris With Love. The 11-track disc has guest appearances from 50 Cent, Kidd Kidd, Twane and Shaun White and boasts production from Havoc, Rahki, T-Minus and more. I caught up with G-Unit’s first femcee at the label’s office in NYC. While there, this Southside Jamaica Queens native and I talked about how she linked up with her boss, mixtape, female rappers & much more.

You rose to fame in 2011, after being featured on 50 Cent’s track “Queens”. In the past, what other projects did you worked on with 50?

We worked on “Kitty Cat” on the T.O.S. album and LL Cool J’s “Feel My Heartbeat” from his Exit 13 album.

In the past, you worked with producers Midi Maffia and Danngerous LLC, Who also happened to give 50 your demo. A week later, 50 called you into his office; do you recall that first meeting and how was it?

I was a nervous racked. I think water was dripping from my palms, I was really stiff and I didn’t move or say a lot. It was my first industry meeting.

How was 50 Cent’s personality?

It was the same as it is today and the same it was back in the days when he was living in Southside.

50 did not initially sign you to G-Unit after the 1st meeting, did that motivated you to work harder?

Yes, of course because I knew deep down inside that he would come back.

So, after the first meeting, how long did it take for 50 to call you back?

It took a couple of years.

How did you feel when 50 finally called you back and told you he wants to sign you?

I played it cool. I said, “Okay, I’ll call you back when I can.” Then I hung up the phone and jumped up and down. “I think my head hit the ceiling.”

Wow, you told 50 Cent that you will call him back?

Yeah and he waited for my call. I was at work.

When did you officially sign to G-unit Records?

September 2011, this was the happiest moment of my life.

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