Almost a quarter of a decade in age, Lorenzo Diggins Jr., creator of The Essential Man, is stepping his brand up a notch with the launch of his Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The Essential Man began as a lifestyle blog but recently blossomed into something more.
Diggins has dabbled in music and played sports once upon a time but has always come back to fashion. He had a platform where people valued his opinion and thought it would be a great time to offer his own product, as he has always wanted to do. The blog called The Essential Man organically transitioned into his brand. “The Essential Man is a brand that can transcend time,” Diggins said.
You know that idea that in order to succeed, you must fail first. Last month, Diggins ended his Kickstarter campaign, which was not fully funded. Kickstarter is a website that helps creative professionals raise funds from their supporters to help them build their brands or execute projects. People that run Kickstarter campaigns set a goal for funds raised and a target date to raise that specific amount of money. If the goal is not reached, by even one dollar, the campaign is not funded. The money Diggins would have raised was going toward his Spring 2013 collection. He may not have gotten that money, but he is pressing forward to release his garments. It seems that if there is a will, there is a way. “It’s still going to happen,” said Diggins. I, for one, cannot wait to see the collection in real life.
Creating a collection takes work and time. For Diggins, the process used to take extra time. He used to over think but over the last few years, he has found himself acting on his first thought. “The process is much more simple.” Over thinking tends to complicate things. His passion, along with the support of some friends and family, is what has driven him to keep pushing to fulfill his dreams. Diggins believes people should pursue their passions and has some advice for those in the fashion field. “Make sure it’s something you really want to do,” he said. “Ask yourself what you’re doing it for.” There will be times where you may want to throw in the towel but knowing that you are pursuing your career because it is something you believe in will help ease the stress that comes with the journey. “[Your brand] may not pop as quick as you want it to but if you love it and it flops, you’ll bounce back.”
The Essential Man is bouncing back. His collection started with four essential items: a The Essential Man graphic t-shirt, camp hat, notebook, and tote. In Spring, Diggins’ release will incorporate other garments like ties and pocket-squares.
“When you’re not working…” I stated.
“I’m working,” Diggins replied. Outside of The Essential Man, Diggins does freelance work that fuels his creativity. “I made a promise to myself that I will never take another job unless it can benefit what I am trying to do in the long run.” Being a creative professional is something Diggins values. He also runs two writing series. The first, Q & A, is a look into the lives of other folks from the world of fashion. When Diggins first started blogging, he wanted to create original content. As he has moved forward, he plans on continuing that aspect of his brand. Q & A is an aspect of that platform. The other, Conversations with Girls, chronicles the opinions of girls, most of them hailing from Los Angeles. “A lot of the time beauty comes with negative. I wanted to show other sides of women.” The young women featured on the site definitely help Diggins accomplish that goal. Be sure to check out both of his series.
A lot of his time is spent trying to get better, but he does still try to insert some fun here and there. Over the years, though, Diggins’ definition of fun has transformed from “party” to “chilling in a café.” That suits him just fine, and seems fitting because he pictures the folks that wear The Essential Man brand to be “The Commons” and “The Mos Defs.” Can’t you imagine them hanging with Diggins at the coffee shop? But don’t think the neo-soul type of music is the only genre Diggins vibes to. On any given day, you can catch him listening to 2 Chains or Little Dragon.
I wonder what type of music will be on the track list for the The Essential Man store. In five years, The Essential Man will have a brick and mortar in the Los Angeles area. “I want to brand to be one that is able to produce whatever it is that me and my team come up with,” Diggins said. He is a designer but also sees himself as a creative person, in general. If he has an idea for a piece of furniture or any level of design, he wants to bring it to life.
“The Essential Man is a bran you have to grow with – it will consistently evolve.”
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