Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2017. This week, meet fashion designer Colin Jared, the Founder/Designer and Managing Member of Multi-Colored-Animal. Multi-Colored-Animal (MCA) is all about repurposed style, creating custom headbands for unique people.
Hometown: Grew up in Denver, CO / attended college (Missouri State University) and law school (University of Missouri) in Missouri / moved to Arizona in 2003 / Scottsdale is “home.”
First fashion job: Starting Multi-Colored-Animal is my first fashion job – I went into it with literally zero fashion industry experience. The opportunity to receive knowledgeable guidance and insight from the experts at Phoenix Fashion Week via the Emerging Designer Bootcamp is such a blessing!
MCA creates one-of-a-kind headbands repurposed from t-shirts for people seeking to stand out from the crowd with unique style. We also produce custom headbands featuring logos/imagery for brands seeking maximized promotional power. Applying the concept of repurposing to fashion, with innovative yet simple design elements, MCA has pushed the boundaries of originality to create custom headbands that are different, exciting and cool. When someone wears an MCA headband, they’re rocking a one-of-one piece of functional fashion setting them apart from literally everyone else in the world. Headband listings on the website include pre-production photos of the t-shirts they were repurposed from, providing interesting context for each piece, and a filter system for narrowing the gallery based on size, color and subject matter of the featured imagery. Shifting focus to MCA’s custom headband line, the pool of potential clients is virtually unlimited – literally anyone with a brand, business, organization or event to promote. MCA’s custom headbands, which can be ordered wholesale, draw far more attention than typical branded apparel by offering a dynamic new look with memorable promotional impact.
The MCA acronym also represents Music, Creativity and Art. The brand actively supports these avenues by participating in music festivals and artisan events, and we’re building a network of local creative people/businesses aimed at facilitating collaborative and co-promotional relationships and opportunities via the “Profiles” page on our website. When a group of owls come together, it’s known as a Parliament – the brand is building an “MCA Parliament” via our customer and profile networks.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion: I play basketball, had been wearing bandanas folded up as headbands for years, and started cutting up t-shirts from my personal collection and repurposing them into headbands featuring the pre-existing graphics. The idea didn’t start out as a business venture – I was just making headbands for myself. When people took interest, I saw potential, which led to development of high quality repurposed headbands and MCA as a brand. Upon realizing that lots of people wanted to purchase and wear MCA headbands, my passion for fashion was ignited and it’s been an incredible experience chasing this dream! MCA’s website went live and sales commenced in March of 2016 with our pop-up shop at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. We continued participating in music festivals and artisan events during 2016 and 2017, fulfilled and continue to secure new wholesale-custom orders from other brands, and are in the process of establishing retail outlets (the first of which is City Royals Menswear Shop, in Old Town Scottsdale). We’re also in the process of developing a national team of commissioned brand reps to generate new opportunities locally in Arizona and across the country, with a particular focus on college campuses and cities with art/artisan communities, live music scenes, and nightlife. Building MCA makes me incredibly happy, to the point that I’ve put a successful career as a divorce attorney on hold to focus on its development – I’m all in!
Person who has impacted your life the most: My parents, Roy and Barb, have impacted my life the most – they’ve been the most loving and supportive parents anyone could ever hope for! Big shout out to Roy and Barb – I love you both so much!!
Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: Creating an entirely new niche style of headbands from scratch. The journey that has occurred – from cutting up the first t-shirt and safety-pinning it together as a prototype repurposed headband, to being selected by Phoenix Fashion Week to participate in the Emerging Designer Bootcamp and compete for “Accessory Designer of the Year” – has been a surreal experience!
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Having enough guts to put the security of a successful attorney career on hold to dive into a completely new industry and focus on developing MCA. I’m going all-in to chase this dream!
A Designer who inspires you: Dapper Dan is a fashion designer in New York City, who, from 1982-1992, owned/operated a boutique in Harlem creating street-wear fashion repurposed from luxury-designer materials (e.g., Gucci, LV, MCM, etc.). Dapper Dan created his own niche fashion lane from scratch, which resonates with my vision for MCA. He was ultimately sued by the luxury brands, albeit with his design-styles having since been incorporated by those same brands! Dapper Dan’s inspiring story is featured in CNN’s 2015 fashion documentary “Fresh Dressed” – it’s a must see for anyone interested in the history of popular fashion.
Favorite quote: “I am doing this” – Nick Woodman, Founder/CEO of Go-Pro
Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Pick a focused lane and kill it – be the best at designing and producing one thing. Within your focused lane, design pieces that you want to wear. Find ways to differentiate your pieces from competitors in your lane – be special.
Favorite piece you have ever designed: With MCA headbands being one-of-a-kind, this question is nearly impossible to answer! Here are some recent favorites:
For more information about Multi-Colored-Animal and to shop online, visit mcaovo.com.
If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2017, you can purchase tickets here: bit.ly/PHXFW2017FABAZ. Use promo code FABAZ for a $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).