BS: Did you find any difficulty in finding the design in which would be the signature of Guy Feler Collection? How do you suggest other designers who are new in the industry to do the same?
Feler Dereus: I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to create. For years I designed sketched and formulated in my mind what I wanted to create if I ever had opportunity to start my own collection. My suggestion to new designers is to create a narrative that inspires and excites them. Something about their brand that they want to share with the world.
BS: What shows have your collection been featured in? Can we look forward to any in the near future? When? Where?
Feler Dereus: We’ve collaborated with other designers and participated in Fashion Week NYC. Our collection has also been featured in various print media publications including Ebony, Essence & Men’s Vogue. My focus right now is two fold…using my boutique as the backdrop for what I’ll be creating through my collection. Feler Boutique is home for the Guy Feler Collection as well as a home for other designers, particularly those of color. We also hold events centered around cultural and artistic expression as we prepare for our Fall ’11 collection.
BS: What market is your collection targeted for? Will you broaden your target in the near future?
Feler Dereus: Our focus is developing and cultivating the style of the African American Male; however, I am a style architect who designs clothing that appeals to men from all walks of life.
BS: Did you find any difficulty in your steps towards entrepreneurship? What were they? What have you learned most importantly?
Feler Dereus: There are always difficulties and challenges towards building any business. For us, as artists, the major challenges were not having formal business training; therefore, a lot of mistakes were made in the beginning with over production, management of our showroom, marketing expenses and brand building. Most importantly we’ve learned to move at our own pace, learn from our mistakes, and stay committed to our vision.
BS: As a Black entrepreneur, what responsibilities do you believe fellow entrepreneurs in the Black community hold?
Feler Dereus: First and foremost we have a responsibility to ourselves and our vision, to be successful and as great as we can in our particular fields. Black entrepreneurs should absolutely be willing to support one another in the ways that we can. We often don’t have the capital and resources that those from other communities have when embarking upon starting and maintaining a business, so we often have to rely upon the strength of our communities and relationships to build our brands and support our work. Each of us should be willing to do what we can, when and where we can.
BS: How long do you intend in being in the fashion industry?
Feler Dereus: I don’t consider myself in the fashion industry. I am on a journey to create a story. One which I intend to build for the rest of my life. Creating a positive image of the black male is something I’ll always be committed to doing.
BS: What should we expect next from Feler J. Dureus?
Feler Dereus: We have launched our STYLE IS Campaign on the Feler Style Tumblr page (http://felerstyle.tumblr.com). This is just one component of our Fashion and Film Campaign that is the avenue through which our narrative is communicated into print and visual media. We’re also working on the Guy Feler Fall 2011 Collection to be housed at Feler Boutique, other retail stores and offered online at (http://www.felerboutique.com