"My mission with Filthy Genius is to give people that extra boost of confidence they need to go after their dreams and make things happen."
- Aaron Adams
Behind the Drip
Fashion has held such an impact on urban culture from the very beginning. From the videos to runways or just day to day functions, what you wear has always managed to set the tone for your image. Entrepreneur and fashion extraordinaire, Aaron Adams, shares these same views and when he created Filthy Genius he hoped that others would feel the same.
Who are you and where are you based?
Aaron: My name is Aaron Adams and I'm the creator of Filthy Genius. I grew up, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, in Garfield Heights, where the brand originated from.
Where did Filthy Genius come into play?
Aaron: Filthy Genius came about when I graduated high school. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know where to start so I went to college and majored in business. During my freshman year, I realized that I was not learning the skills I needed to start my own business, so I started to branch out on my own and learn through experience and adopt a “learn by doing” style approach to building my brand. I wanted to choose a business that I would enjoy being a part of. I always found myself online looking at clothing or at the mall or a thrift store and really took pride in my appearance. Shortly after, I noticed people were always complimenting me on my style. That’s when I realized street-wear was a passion of mine, so I decided to start a clothing brand.
What do you consider is your best piece? And do you favor Spring and Summer more or Fall and Winter?
Aaron: Wow, that’s a hard question for me because I really like a lot of my pieces. And If I don’t really like a piece I don’t release it. I would say my best piece is the ‘Filthy Vest’. That’s a piece that really makes you stand out, it’s a real head turner. Many artists also love the Filthy Vest for their music videos and at shows. It was released at a time when wearing an army vest was not very popular. When you wear a Filthy Vest you’re going to be the center of attention so what you do with that attention is up to you. Fall is my favorite season because it’s not too hot or too cold. You can wear an outfit and really show it off, not cover it up by a coat or jacket.
Was the plan always to have your own clothing line? If not, where do you think your heart lied prior?
Aaron: No, my plan was not always to have a clothing line, but my plan was always to be an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to own my own business. I have always been in love with hip hop culture, I love rap music, and I love fashion. I always watched rap videos, I grew up rapping all the time, and watching music artist interviews. So I guess it’s no surprise that rappers are the target audience for my brand. It’s crazy for me to think about how I used to be at home in the living room as a kid watching these rap videos on MTV and admiring it so much. And now I’m actually on the set of music videos and shows styling artists and really having an influence on the culture. At the start, I didn’t really have goals for the brand and I didn’t have a clear vision, I just came up with a name and I tried to make shirts that I would wear. Now it just comes natural to me.
Who are your top three fashion influences?
Aaron: I would say my top 3 fashion influences are Nigo, SpaceGhostPurp, A$AP Rocky, and Kanye. Nigo is the guy who designs for Bathing Ape and Billionaire boys club. Those were my two favorite brands growing up. Without his influence there would probably never be a Filthy Genius. I have to put SpaceGhostPurp and A$AP Rocky together because they introduced me to wearing all black all the time and they influenced how I dress in a huge way. And number three I would say Kanye West he is just an OG when it comes to fashion and hip hop. I also love how he does a lot of things at a high level, he’s a high-level rapper, a high-level producer, a high-level clothing designer. His talent and business achievements really inspired me and gave me the confidence to branch out and not limit myself to one avenue of success.
If you could give a item or two to three people in the industry who would it be and why?
Aaron: First, would be Rihanna. I love Rihanna and my dream is to see her in some Filthy. I like her attitude, her style, and her popularity. She is my ideal female to represent the brand. She would look so good in one of my pieces.Second, I would say Kanye. I want to see what kind of fit he would put together. If Kanye wears your brand that’s like the best fashion co-sign you can have in my opinion.Third, is a toss up between Lil Uzi Vert or Jay-Z. Jay-Z is super iconic and I always see him on blogs with Beyoncé. I want to see him wearing a Filthy Genius tee in one of those pics. Jay-Z fits the mold of everything this brand stands for. I say Lil Uzi because He is one of my favorite artist right now and He has been killing it with the fit pics on Instagram lately.
What items would you like to introduce to your brand?
Aaron: Track suits. I like Adidas track suits. I want to put out some really good Filthy Genius track suits. I think people would really enjoy those.
What is your mission or what influence do you hope to cast on the world with your brand?
Aaron: My mission with Filthy Genius is to give people that extra boost of confidence they need to go after their dreams and make things happen. When you look good you feel good and I think that is why a lot of rappers gravitate towards this brand. When it’s time to do a show or shoot a music video you need a lot of confidence to be an artist and put your art into the world. The very first shirt I made, a very popular artist at my school by the name of ‘Rosco no E’ wore it in a music video and that really gave me the confidence to keep going with the brand. Pretty soon students all over the school were wearing Filthy Genius. And that’s the same feeling I want people to feel when they wear the brand.
If you could start a business outside of the lane that you're branding yourself in what would it be?
Aaron: If I could start a business outside of the lane I’m currently I would start a business selling or renting exotic cars. I like nice fast cars and I would love to be able to be in that environment all day and I could see it being a very lucrative business with great opportunities for networking and growth.
What fashion week do you hope to be apart of one day? Whether it's Miami Fashion Week, Milan, New York, Paris you name it.
Aaron: New York Fashion week for sure. Just because I have seen so many of the biggest brands featured in the runway shows and I would enjoy being a part of that.
Where do you see the Filthy Genius brand within the next 5 years?
Aaron: In the next 5 years, I see Filthy Genius being one of the top brands in hip hop culture. This will be a very iconic brand nationwide. I want to make a mark in hip hop history.
What's next for you?
Aaron: Music Showcases. Music artists show me so much love and give me a platform to showcase my brand. I wouldn’t even have this vision if it wasn’t for music artists. I am going to return the favor and give those artists a platform to showcase their brands and help them grow as well.
For more on Aaron, tune into his social media and check out FilthyGenius.store for updates on exclusive gear.
Instagram: @000Retro and @Filthy_Genius