Bosses Who Lead & Inspire: Q&A With Sheron Barber As I was scrolling through my feed on Instagram I discovered a guy name Sheron Barber! I loved his movement without even knowing him I could see his story through his social media, or so I thought! After doing my interview with him I learned he grew up in the poorest city in the country and that didn’t stop him from making his own destiny! and not being a product of society. Check out the full Q & A below. Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from, what’s your passion, etc. A: My name is Sheron Barber, I’m a creator. I’m from Camden, NJ (One of the most dangerous and poorest cities in the country) I grew up in a household with 5 brothers and sisters and our household income was $8,500 per year). My passion is in design. I just like to push the creative envelope. What artist said this? “The city never sleeps, it’s full of villains and creeps. That’s where I learned to do my hustle, had to scuffle with freaks.” A post shared by Sheron Barber (@sheronbarber) on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:22pm PST Q: How did you get into designing bags? A: I’ve always designed clothing, as a teenager I couldn’t afford the things I wanted so I’d make things or alter existing pieces. At 17 I started a line of t shirts, but I wasn’t able to express myself enough through just screen printing, so in 2010 I began to teach myself cut and sew. In 2013 I was blessed enough to have some celebs like Chris Brown and Drake wear my things. But I realized that people don’t keep Shirts and Pants forever. I felt like if I was gonna have celebs wearing my pieces I wanted it to be pieces that they would have for a lifetime. A nice bag lasts a lifetime. Q: Did you expect the hip hop community to take on the trend so fast? A:Honestly I didn’t expect the Hip Hop community to latch on to my designs so fast. A good friend of mines is a stylist by the name of Char. She invited me to a video shoot. I had literally just finished designing my DR14 Stealth Bag a few hours prior. As soon as she saw it she put it on and walked on set of the Migos video shoot for Stir Fry, a record they have featuring Pharrell on Culture II. The bag immediately grabbed the attention of Quavo and Offset. They both bought one that night. After they wore the vest it granted the exposure the designs needed to take off. I appreciate hip hop, I am hip hop. I’m a complete product of hip hop so I feel blessed to be embraced by the Culture. Q: Who’s worn your bags/accessories? A: The first person to wear the bag and make it popular was actually a stylist by the name of Char who’s very influential. Also, Quavo, Smoke Purpp, Rihanna, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Young Thug, Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Pro Skater Boo Johnson. Tons of people have gravitated to my designs, I’m just naming a few entertainers that come to mind. Q: How long have you been designing for? A: I’ve been designing and “engineering” all my life. I got into cut and sew in 2010 and began designing bags in 2013. A: When buying a bag what are the main things someone should look for? Q: When buying a bag I think the main thing people should look for are quality and construction. I’m not a fan of “hype” or fast fashion. A nice bag is an investment and should last a lifetime. Look at the materials used, think about how the bag will weather or wear down after time. That’s where the character of the piece lies. Q: How can a person match a bag to their personality and lifestyle? A: A good Bag should have character and personality. It should fit seamlessly into a persons lifestyle. I enjoy practical and functional designs. Carrying or wearing a bag should be easy. It should carry the things you deem important and it should match the aesthetic of the individual. MEN don’t let society tell you what type of bag is or isn’t right for you. A lot of negative stigmatism has been attached to men carrying bags in recent years. But the truth is in history men carried bags before women did. Men would leave the house all day to hunt or work and it would be necessary for them to carry the tools they needed while out in the world. Women had less of a use for a bag because they were home more. Samurais, warriors, soldiers, people all cultures all carry bags. So with that said be an individual and find something that’s comfortable for you. A big part of my goal is to eliminate all of those gender related barriers. More and more men are living in metropolitan areas and are traveling on foot and have a need to carry their possessions and we don’t wanna be limited to a back pack or a briefcase. Q: What’s next for your brand? A: Currently I’m creatively directing two brands; DR14 which is a full line of men’s apparel which focuses on tactical functionality but with practical applications for everyday use. Secondly, Divine Right which is a bespoke luxury luggage and leather goods line. Q: Anything else you’d like the readers to know? A: Lastly I just want to say to any aspiring artist, designers or anyone else. Everything we see around us; whether it’s a car, some gloves, a Street sign or a streetlight, it began as an idea in the mind of an artist! It’s up to that individual to get that idea out of their head and into the world. It’s our divine responsibility as entireties on this planet to push humanity forward and to challenge what’s already here and find ways to make things better for us and for future generations. No idea is too big or too small. Believe in yourself and push boundaries. Peace and Love.