the TruMan. two words. many facets of being.
So many things i can say about this divine person I am blessed to call my friend & bidness patna, but one of the main things that's always spoken for itself with him is his style + fashion.
I wanted to use my platform to just stamp my friend in infinity by highlighting his path with fashion & where he is now...
Below, you will experience a conglomerate of mixed media from the photoshoot that sparked my request to interview him, to videos, flicks and voice memos from our in-person blog interview.
Fashion Blog Interview
Subject: francis, the TruMan
Location: The Place
1030 am 01.10.24
For my readers that prefer visuals with their listening experience, this video + voiceover interview is for you...
For those that prefer to read, this is for you...
Q: How long have you been a full time creative?
A: I've been self-employed since February of last year after we rapped on young Rock. Yeah, I just been reflecting on this month. I'm like, nigga, you've been. You've been handling business on your own earns for a year now. Congratulate yourself type shit. Yeah. And it's like every day last year was like, well, I say every week and every month when I would have enough money to pay the rent, I'm like, I guess this is working. I guess this is my new norm because I sleep wanted to go back to the bar. Just because it's a cool work environment and it's down the street, and it's some connects up there, especially with crosstown arts. Just being in proximity helps. Yeah. So I was just letting Altthea know, like, look, I'm free, and I know it's just you in the shop, and I know I'm gonna need to employ or hire help in my shit too, because it's a lot.
Q: What is something you take pride in with your business?
A: Between garments that need to be fixed, like little tears or zipper needs to be put on, or like, the button fell off, you know what I'm saying? That's a part of my business. Like quality clothes. I don't want to just sell you some shit. And it's like, fucked up. You know what I'm saying?
Q: What services/experiences do you offer?
A: So that'll be part of my services. Doing alterations, custom pieces, and it's like, damn. When I have the shop open and say it's like multiple clients are here at the same time, it'll help to have somebody serving the tea or like, closing people out type shit, you know what I'm saying? When people pick their selections, it's like, now this has to be closing bag. I might not have time to be doing every customer because I'm working on some other shit, you know what I'm saying? And I'm really grateful for that
Q: What pace works for you & reflects your work ethic?
A: A nigga been real quiet, bruh. I feel like I got my head down and I've been cloaked with tunnel vision Focus. Like, a nigga don't even be getting out for real... like, it's literally something to do every day.
Q: What have you learned from being a working creative?
A: I'm like, bro, you was putting in like 8,10 hours days working on Young Rock Monday through Friday, and you was getting paid well, too. It's like, bro, you can definitely translate that same consistency and duration to my own shit. And it's fun. Now that I'm like, lowkey locked in, it's like, I have a lot to do, which is kind of fun.
Q: What was it like working on NBC's show 'Young Rock'?
A: I'll have to make like a documentary, but like, that's a very pivotal part of my career. I made my lil recap for Young Rock. Just getting different videos and pics of being in the warehouse, grabbing niggas lunch. Or like, when I was working for set day, they had a fat ass warehouse with all the furniture for it, and I'm driving, and I'm, like, recording because it's like fool, this is stupid, stupid vintage pieces everywhere. And so Young Rock really kind of put me up, because of Young Rock. I'm self-employed right now, literally, because they was throwing so much shit away. I got a gang of hangers from them folks, a rack from them folks, the little price tagging gun I got from them folks. Mirrors, like fool, when I tell you they was throwing so much shit away. I got, like, four, five mirrors from the folks. A nice lamp, nigga, plant, because when I say they was throwing everything away, everything. And then on top of that, I hit about 18 mo licks with the clothes, because they had a room with, like, eight racks in it, and it was like, this is a donation room, take what you want, everything else getting donated, and I'm just like...I literally filled up two bags, and we talking about, like, NBC money. Like, these niggas is spending plenty on food, vintage Christian Dior, like, you know what I'm saying?
Q: What is it like to have access to your, and when I say your, 'Fits by Francis' & 'ESNCE98, what is it like to have access to your styling and fashion catalog?
A: I'm starting to really surrender to my industry or, like, my lane, you know what I'm saying? This shopping experience is: you gotta book to shop. You know what I'm saying? I got my little calendar link, you know what I'm saying? And then I'm really going to start retailing local brands that I fuck with, because I love Richie The Artist shit. My goal is to low key, work out a lot of the inventory I have now and replace it with local brands that I personally fuck with. That camo shroom t shirt from you, Two, three folks done tried to buy it off me. I can't let this go. So I want it to be like his shit, but it'll be like an exclusive drop, because that's all he do anyway. Like an exclusive colorway that's only available type of shit. Say you got some JHANE music merch, and you make you sell it online, but if you want the specialty version, you got to go to fits by francis. And I've always raved about the ocean. I got a reversible bucket from her that niggas stay trying to buy. This is my personal. But I see the advantage. Like, I see the opportunity. If I just hit you up and you serve me like a collection, I'll retail that shit for you. Shit, do the promo and shit. Just cut me, you know what I'm saying? Just cut me a little bit of the sales, or I might just have, like, a housing fee, and that's how I get paid. And then all the money from your product will go to you. So I want to Richie shit, her shit, Pile Of Threads, I bought a main embroidery shirt from her. Somebody bought that off of me, you know, so it's kind of like selection. I see what people are gravitating towards, and that's less work on me, and I throw it in my shop.
Q: What was it like shooting with Morning Thyme?
A: The photo shoot, that shit felt like a fucking breath of fresh air because I hadn't done any work or any promotional work. If it's my friends since last night, bitch, I just have to remind myself, like, you still here? You ain't going to be like different ladies, real life. It kind of felt like you're trying to tell you. It just felt really good to take advantage of that love special. She had $100 film job. I was like, actually, this is perfect. Rare and quality. Because I've been talking about having a shop open. I was like, well, holiday season, niggas need gifts for their love. I'm really happy that shit came out. I'm probably going, I'm happy clean. It was really kind of like organic use direction. This ain't something that I like. This is my portfolio. Right. It's really based on the season. It's cold right now. This shoot, I was very intent on everybody having houseware. Like something that you would wear comfortable, like pjs type shit. So that kind of direct. And I also wanted to show junks that I have for sale. Like savage joggers, christian deal, like that puffy white jumps on you too. It's crazy. My mom.
Q: Any plans for the photos?
A: Because I was gonna shop to make the blue book. Yeah, like a real junk. Because it was just a promo shoot. I'm going to just make one to have in house. But I know, like going forward, I could probably sell.
Q: When was your first ever Lookbook?
A: First ever lookbook. Three looks, three models, lexic house. And like I had a whole like promo campaign for that drops in two weeks. I had a little website at the time when I dropped it, maybe was getting some hits on that.
Q: How do you know when something is ready for a Lookbook?
A: Some products are for promotional purposes only. Like, I'm not making this visual. Yeah, branding. Just so people, how do you document your brand? Essence 98. Like they document the shit. Because 2310 years later, somebody gonna be watching this at night. Somebody gonna be like, damn, Francis was making lookbook. We never know. I'm just thinking about my brand. I'm a campaign for that. I'm a drop, just straight visual. I'll probably come out because I ain't, I'm probably not gonna start selling them. John, this summer, like spring, they're still, I got this knocked out. Yeah.
Q: How do you document for your brand, 'Esence98'
A: Like document the shit. Because 2, 3,10 years later, somebody gonna be watching this & somebody gonna be like, damn, Francis was making lookbooks. We've never known...I'm just thinking about my brand. Imma campaign for that. Imma drop, just straight visuals. I'm probably not gonna start selling them junts till like this summer, like spring.
Q: What helps you stay creatively inspired?
A: Shit really helps me clean up because before the photo shoot, I was like, bruh, you got to get your dressing room cleaned up, cause like before the photoshoot everything was everywhere; and I realized personally, I have to trick myself into getting things done. Being on somebody else time, I was like, just book a photographer, & now you have a real deadline instead of just saying imma do something. That should just feel really good to have that discernment and awareness around completing tasks, the tricks behind completing tasks, even on some kitchen shit, like, a nigga might not even clean the kitchen until it's time to cook. I got to see what I'm doing.
Q: Any upcoming plans or new events?
A: Niggas is blessed, bro. Everything is really starting to unfold for me. I want to do another cozy, conglomerate kind of vibe. I can really pull that hoe off here, if I'm being honest. Like have Kee doing massages in my room. And if the weather is good, it's like a 1-stop shop for all of your fashion needs.
Q: Where do you see yourself next?
A: I see myself kind of cutting out my own lane with this shit. Being the fashion scene or being a category, or subgenre niche. Cause niggas don't know, bruh. Niggas don't know. Whenever you shop with me and you put that shit on outside, niggas gone ask or niggas gone compliment, turn their head. Eye catching. Conversation starter.
Q: What does your fashion style say about you?
A: Dress like what you do. like, oh, that's the host in the room. He got the outfit on. Microphone in his hand. He's the host. You don't have to ask... or just on some out and about, I'll have like a book & somebody'll say, "oh do you do poetry? You look like a poet." You know what, we was talking about that on the OG Millennial podcast with PhatMak and Shae because she was asking about duality, because everybody in the room do some stuff, and she was like, 'so how does your poetry & your fashion connect?" I was like, "it's really the same. The way you put on fashion. How are you fashioning yourself? It's like if you start to describe or explain an outfit from head to toe, it's going to sound like poetry. The texture blending with... Shae chimed in was like, "it's a whole visual experience." I remember when I did the Black Fist Series at Black Lodge and I had the rice hat on, it's like, I'm coming up here to serve yall, so let me look the part, you know what I'm saying? Or even whenever I have my little graduation hat, it looks very professor scholarly, you know, saying so that drives home, because once again, poetry. The outfit could go with the piece.
Art Bully + her niece
Sumo The Artist
SHOT BY: PhotoByMorningThyme
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