Digital Issue: Owen Rogers

Digital Issue No. 1

This article is taken from our Digital Issue No.1

You know what they say; fortune favors the bold. And bold could definitely be used as one of the best words to describe Atlanta-based artist and brand owner Owen Rogers’ design style. A devout consultant and budding mentor for young entrepreneurs, Rogers has solidified himself as one of the most refreshing young clothing designers around. From taking his first steps as a creative shooting photos to engineering some of the coolest clothes you can find in todays market, Rogers and his personal brand Homesick have each come a long way over time. And the best part is, they’re truly just getting started. 

It’s only been four years, but to most, 2018 seems like a lifetime ago. It was also the year that we saw a huge spike in the development of streetwear startups. It’s a fast-fashion world, but it’s always refreshing to see someone going against the grain and telling a story their own way with their clothes. On May 26th, 2018, Homesick officially launched. Shortly after releasing their “Millionaire Moms Club” rhinestone tee shirts, a clever play on Billionaire Boys Club. Later going on a run with a series of incredible formula jackets and hoodies. And since then, Rogers has continued to innovate and satisfy his customers with expert creative direction, quality blanks, functionality and a fun contemporary take on cut-and-sew. 

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From New York to Atlanta, if you’ve been lucky enough to visit a Homesick pop-up shop, you’ve probably had one of the best experiences of your life. Often featuring live music and free food, it’s always a warm and welcome time among friends at a Homesick event. As the brand continues to grow and shape itself, many celebrities and influencers have taken notice including Lil Yachty, Ski Mask The Slump God, Cole Bennett, and Nessly, among many others. And more often than not, you’ll catch a sweater or a fire cut-and-sew piece from Homesick in a music video. 

As much as he loves clothes himself, Owen Rogers knows that access to resources as a budding designer is paramount. That’s why he began an Onlyfans account to share his knowledge with others, while taking you step by step on how to make something from literally nothing. A bold move, but for some, Owen is doing God’s work while being one of the first Onlyfans creators to use the app in a much different respect. Between his creativity, attitude and ambition, Owen Rogers is poised to become something much bigger and important to art than only a clothing designer, and we here at Casual Fridays can’t wait to see what’s next for Owen and Homesick, because fortune always favors the bold. 

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Q: How long did you live in New York, and when did you move to Atlanta?

I was born in New York in East Williamsburg, then my family moved to Rhode Island in 2000, I moved back when I started college in 2016 and I moved to Atlanta 2020 after I had finished.

Q: What do you miss the most about New York? 

I miss being able to walk out of my front door and immediately have things to do, places to go, food to eat and friends to see within walking distance.

Q: Where did you get the idea to start an Onlyfans account for design? How is it going?

Well I had originally made a youtube video in 2019 showing people how to find manufacturers on Alibaba and it got a ton of views, more than all of my social media combined have followers, so I figured people must really need this. I made that video because at the time I was just learning how to do everything properly and nobody really wanted to help out or point me in the right direction fully, id get half-ass instructions here and there but never something that fully held my hand through it, so that’s what I wanted to do for people. I chose Onlyfans because they are really good at reaching out to small creators and embracing their community.

Q: Do you still enjoy taking photos? What are some memorable events you brought your camera to? 

I don’t really take photos much, sometimes I’ll buy a disposable camera though just for private memories, and with my iPhone I’ll take photos of cool things I see that inspire me in design or that just look very strange and post them on one of my private instagram accounts with no followers just to look at later for inspiration. So I guess the spirit is still there.

Q: What are some of your main inspirations in life to be the best version of Owen Rogers possible? 

One time somebody came into my instagram live on a burner account and commented in all caps “STOP MAKING SCREEN PRINTED SHIT, DO MORE CUT AND SEW IT WILL TAKE YOU FURTHER” a lot of times, at first I was like damn they’re hating, fuck them, and then as time passed I always thought of that comment, and now everything I make is original cut and sew stuff and I’m thankful for that comment. My girlfriend also motivated me to become a much more well rounded and professional human.

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Q: Do you have many influences as far as fashion design? 

I’d say probably Jeremy Scott just for his absurdity and fearlessness, but these days I don’t really pay attention to runway shows much or see much that aligns enough to inspire me. 

Q: How has the transition from New York to Atlanta been? Did you have difficulty adjusting? 

It’s definitely different, I’ve got a lot less friends here so I’ve been having to find ways to get myself out of the house more even if it’s by myself. But I like it, it’s less chaotic, you have more time to breathe and take things in.

Q: As some advice for young designers, what are some of the main things you would focus on before taking that leap into launching a brand? 

I’d say focus on finding who you really are, no inspirations or influences, no trend forecasting, just you, what you like, this isn’t a recipe for immediate success necessarily though. I see so many designs that look exactly like everything else out there with no soul in it, no spirit, just trendy graphic design themes, anime girls, skulls, vintage-feel tees, etc, you have to show people why they should like you long term, and not just until the wave crashes.

Q: Should we expect more Homesick pop-ups anytime soon? Any ideas where? 

I’d definitely like to, I might plan one soon but I’m not 100% on it yet, I want to be able to go all out and not just do it just to do it, because I’ve had that chance a few times where it’s just a corner in an existing store with just me in there, I want to be able to build the whole store like a set and create a real scenery but that’s a hand-full for sure.

Q: What is the foundation of Homesick based upon? What are some of your biggest inspirations for the brand? 

At first I’d say I was just getting all the obscure ideas out of my head that I’d get sitting on the toilet and such, inspired a lot by misinterpretations of things and then wondering “Hmmm, I wonder if that has been done.” Now I’d say it’s much more well rounded and consistent, it feels like all the pieces I’ve made recently could live in the same world. These days I’m heavily inspired by automotive design, movies (usually 80’s / 90’s) , exaggerations, space age design, and subtle absurdity. 

Q: Is there anyone in particular you’d like to collaborate with on a collection or a few pieces maybe? 

I’d really want to do a McDonald’s happy meal toy design, or design a car for a car company, but as far as clothing design I’d really love to work with Billy Hill, Heron Preston, Stüssy, and Ye

Q: What should we expect from Homesick in the near future

I have my first collection ever coming out soon, I’m not sure when this interview will come out but it’s on the way to me as we speak, very excited for that, it’s military themed I guess you could say.

Q: How many shirts did you run for your “white tee shirt” series? What were their functionalities? 

I made three but the stand out was definitely the oversized pocket tee, people still ask for those, I wanted to make a shirt with a giant pocket and then settled on the dimensions of my laptop for a size reference. I also did the “flying squirrel” tee which had ripstop nylon yellow wings under the sleeves like a skydiving wing suit, and the “convertible” t shirt which I had made with 3 head holes, the new ones on each sleeve of the t shirt so it could convert into a tank top.

Q: What do you enjoy doing with your free time outside of art and design?

Lately I’ve been wrenching on my car, an E39 5 series, trying to get it flawless, I like a good challenge.

Q: Do you have any comfort films? Do you draw inspiration from cinema in general? 

My comfort film would have to be The Place Beyond the Pines, I’ll probably watch that tonight now that I’m reminded. I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from 80’s and 70’s movies, most of the time when I watch them I catch myself pausing and taking pictures of the screen to use as references.

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Q: It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost 4 years since the genesis of Homesick. What do you envision the brand turning into in another 4? 

I’d love to get it into some stores like Dover Street Market, maybe open a store of my own, I’d love to have runway shows one day very soon, I just want to keep getting my ideas out regardless, I guess only time will tell.

Q: As you continue your journey as a designer, do you have any end goals you’d like to meet eventually? Bucket list items

There’s this weird looking club building down the street from me in downtown Atlanta and I’d really love to turn it into a store one day, I’d also love to become a creative director for a fashion house one day, something like Marc Jacobs. I’d also love to design a car or at least have my own edition of an existing model

Q: What would you tell your 16 year old self today? 

I’d tell him to not be too prideful, and be more open minded, and to keep doing exactly what he’s doing, even if it wasn’t the greatest decision.

Q: Who are some members of your team that help you out the most? 

Well as of now the team is just me, I do all design, art direction, and a little of everything else, Nessly who does marketing, gifting, and puts things together and Nick of ZG Management who does investment, marketing, and the shipping fulfillment, and then there’s Robin (Thyrobin) who does all my photos, inspires me a lot, and I’m also trying to get a women’s line designed by her going.

Q: What do you love the most about Atlanta? 

It’s gotta be the food, and also the fact that I can be in a city one second and then go 30 minutes away and be in a more calm and rural environment.

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