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Meet Deshawn Evans and Antwain Hayden of Gentry Garb in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deshawn Evans and Antwain Hayden.

Deshawn and Antwain, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
(Deshawn) The idea of our business was formed in 2012, when our investment in a friend’s mansion party didn’t go as planned and the people we assumed we were in business with, ran off with all of the profits that was supposed to be split among us. As we were overwhelmed with confusion, anger and thoughts of how can we make up for the money we just lost, which was our LAST… I decided Bigg (Antwain Hayden) and I should take a more creative route and design clothes and sell them out of my mothers living room in Compton.

Ironically, I used to buy handmade t-shirts from Bigg in high school back in 2004. I would put a fit together and lay it across my bed then call Bigg and tell him I need a t-shirt to match the colors I was wearing and he would deliver every time! Which is why I wasn’t surprised that the faux leopard sleeved hoody he wore to the party in 2012 was one of his own creations, which ended up being our first of few and most popular designs at that time.

About six months into our business, I realized that we needed a good lump sum of capital to make a few moves that’ll grow our business. Although my salary from working full time at Conoco Phillips oil refinery in Wilmington, Ca would suffice but we needed the cash asap! I was left with no choice but to make a sacrifice and return this beautiful pink Patrick diamond chain I recently purchased from Ben Baller for $8500. After the labor cost, I was handed $5000 cash and used it to mass-produce the few styles we had available to supply Tradition which was located in the Beverly center and owned by Jason Gaines who gave us our first real shot in retail.

Shortly after, business EXPLODED! Having our clothes sold in the Beverly center was extremely beneficial since that’s where all the celebrities were shopping for high-end designer brands but were in need of something different. We needed to start taking our brand much more serious so we took it upon ourselves to model our own clothes since none of the models we came across fit our brand or needs at the time and hired our good friend and photographer Damion Lowe to bring our visions to life and he’s been shooting for us every since.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
(Antwain) No our road here hasn’t been smooth at all, we’ve had ups and downs with our business just how any other business striving to be successful might encounter. Me and my business partner Mr. Evans always try and come up with new ideas to keep our brand and storefront exciting. Fashion is constantly changing all the time so it’s our creativity and passion to stay true to ourselves and goals with this brand, but not limiting ourselves to new styles and what hasn’t been done yet from Gentry Garb.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gentry Garb – what should we know?
(Deshawn) Well, here at Gentry Garb we provide men all over the world with uniquely designed, hand-cut and sewn luxury streetwear from shirts, denim, outerwear to accessories and small leather goods. Not only do we specialize in distinctive joggers, denim and outwear which we are notoriously known for but our deep passion, ingenuity and ability to effortlessly connect to the streets and give each client a one of a kind, relatable and life long experience once they meet us.

The things that I’m most proud of as a brand when I look back up until now are how we incorporated our street hustle with our business. The goal is for business to always be booming but that’s not always the case, sometimes it’s slow and you often times will need to figure out how to generate income without spending money or making new products to do so.

Honestly, our story of how we grew up in the streets of Compton, Carson and East LA to rise above the statistics that we faced has a huge social and global impact on all people regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, gender or race. That’s an effect that a lot of brands in our class don’t have. Having the power to encourage and inspire people with similar or even different backgrounds to look at themselves in brighter light and aspire to be great means a lot more than just selling clothes, its deeper than clothes for us.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jason Gaines who gave us our first shot in retail inside the Beverly center.

Future Plans: What are your plans for the future? What are you looking forward to or planning for – any big changes?
Our future goals are to continue to provide excellent customer service! I believe what has kept us most successful with our brand is being honest and sincere with every customer that shops with us. We will continue to expand coming up with new ways to make fashion exciting from a luxury streetwear perspective. Women’s clothing and kids’ clothing will be a market we show our talents at next. Be sure to stay tuned for what we have in store for the future we appreciate everything and everyone who continue to support!

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