My full name is Stefan Marcus Keelan Williams; I am 21 years of age, born on the 17th of September. I'm a huge football fan, or soccer as its called in other countries and I'm a Barcelona supporter. I hail from a village in south Trinidad named Gasparilla , where i grew up in a small area by the name of Springlands. I grew up with my two parents and older brother. I've always had love things that stand out and things of quality, which is why some of my favourite brands are apple and Adidas. I tend to be happy most of the time as I try to spread happiness and love to all those around me. I try to keep my circle small, but I am a very friendly person. I am currently in my final year of my Business Information Technology degree at my university School of Accounting and Management. Through all of the hard work I am a normal young adult, I love to have a good time, and i love to live life to the fullest.
I am a self-thought designer, and I get most of my ideas and designs from things I would like to wear or clothing that I would like to see others wear when it comes to female clothing.
Everything that I design and sell is very personal; it could be inspired by something I read, see, or even hear.
I have never studied, fashion, or designing before, but I have lived it, and hands on experience are better than any!
Our readers would love to get to know you more Stefan. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I'm very down to earth; I love to laugh and have a good time. I have a clear vision for everything that I do. I love to help others, especially when it comes to advising on starting a business or life decisions as I've been through and done a lot for my age. One day I hope to become a motivational speaker.
Stefan, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
I want to be an Entrepreneur, and own multiple businesses, I also want my brand VI BLVCK to flourish and be sold and shipped worldwide. Also, I want to become a motivational future in the future. I started as a designer because of my love of Street wear fashion from a young age, and hip hop culture. I was a very heavy shopper for streetwear clothing , brands such as 10 deep, crooks and castles and entree were among my favorite brands, eventually after learning about how I could make my clothing brand in my country, I sought the information and decided to start my clothing brand, to portray everything that I love about urban wear and the culture in a country where it is not heavily practiced and introduce the locals to my passion.
Who is your inspiration in life Stefan? How do you keep inspired?
I am inspired to give back to my mother ten times what she has given to me over all these years of her sacrifice to make sure I always had what I needed to make it and succeed. I just want to make her proud and that my main inspiration. Outside of my personal life, there are some people who I look up to that I have never met.
My favourite entrepreneurs and motivation to be one myself are Steve Jobs, Greg Selkoe (founder of Karmaloop) and Jordan Belfort for the fact that he was self-made and despite all the bad things he did, he was a great entrepreneur and even better motivational speaker. I keep by consuming a lot of motivational content, listening to entrepreneurs in interviews speaking about their journey, inspiration from my closest friends and also self-inspiration knowing that I want to be successful and achieve the goals that I have set out for myself.
We all make mistakes Stefan; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Designer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
When I just started out, my money management and accounting were not the greatest, so many times my money was not re-invested into the business properly. Eventually when I decided to take full control over the making of the clothes and acquire a seamstress to make them from scratch, I realized that I was being overcharged, and the quality was not at the standard I was being charged for , but I was not straight forward and confronted the person about it, I just took my work elsewhere, which I think was not very professional and I think I would go back and handle that situation differently.
Stefan, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I treat all my clients the same; there is no preference, I try to maintain a high level of service throughout, and try to work along with customers instead of being a robot as the clothing brand deals with each customer on a very personal level.
Please tell us, Stefan, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
That would be for my first fashion show, preparing for that while also balancing all my assignments in school that was happening at that time , luckily I had people I could depend on at that time , and I learned to delegate work efficiently by knowing what their strengths were, easing the workload and allowing our first fashion show to be a success.
Stefan, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
A lot of the times people don't understand my vision and the fact that nothing happens over night and that you need to lay down a proper foundation to ensure that the building is secure and can go higher , and many of times I have to explain that to colleagues, that the first year is not about turning a profit but about ensuring quality to your customers, about getting feedback and about making sure things are done right.
Stefan, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment as a designer was recent, seeing someone I look up to, a local celebrity of sorts, 1st Klase, an international producer, watching him rock our "VI bandana" live on stage as he performed at a local party named Island Crashers. Remembering starting from about eight hats, to having an international recognised talent wearing your clothing at a performance was my proudest moment so far as a new designer.
Stefan, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
When I designed my first piece from scratch, gathering the material and everything for my tailor and explaining to him exactly how I wanted it and then distressing it myself was very exciting seeing me turning cloth into a brand piece was exciting. It was difficult to source the material, and for the tailor to understand my vision, but it ended up working out fantastic as can be seen in our recent Distressed Crop top hoodie release.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?
My advice to anyone getting into fashion and designing is to trust the process. Don't rush , take your time and understand exactly what you wanna create , who you are making clothes for , and where do you see your creation going in the future, ensure whatever you create has longevity and make sure that you love what you create, don't be afraid to start over, and most importantly, love what you do!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always open for working with other brands and creatives, once their ideals align with what we want to achieve here at VI BLVCK. Collaborations such as graphic designs, photographers, curators, or branding collaborations are all welcomed.
Curtis Henry (IG:profound_aphro)
Dhawan St. Bryce (IG:wade studio)