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Talking to the guys from Gloryus is like a flashback to all of those times when you and your friends had late night conversations about genius business ideas or cool projects that you wanted to pursue.

You probably never did those things you talked about — but they did. Three friends from Chicago’s west side followed their creative muse and started Gloryus, a streetwear brand.  

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The Gloryus guys — Tyrease Bowie, Jonathan Robinson and Brandon Carr — decided to start their clothing line by making and selling t-shirts. Now four years into building their company and stumbling a bit through the journey, they are moving forward with their classic streetwear aesthetic representing the city of Chicago. And they want big things. Big for Gloryus means stores across Chicago, the nation and one day the world. But for now, they are starting with staying true to the city and living up to their name.

 

CUSP Magazine was able to speak with Jonathan Robinson and Brandon Carr about their brand — how it began, what inspired its creation and expectations moving forward.

Q&A – CUSP Magazine & Gloryus

CUSP Magazine: How long have you been designing, and how did you start Gloryus?

Jonathan Robinson: It started maybe in high school. Sophomore year in high school. We were buying a lot of stuff from everyone else, and we started thinking that it would be cool if we had our own brand. So we started curating designs, but it took us a while to understand how it goes and creating a brand and manufacturing stuff. We actually started making clothes in 2011. We started with t-shirts, just plain t-shirt designs. We picked up the pace last year around July or August. We really just started figuring out how to get things made and where to get wholesale items and stuff like that.  

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CM: You said you were shopping and buying stuff, but you decided to make your own things.  When you started, what sorts of things did you want to make?

 

Brandon Carr: We started off with clever phrases and images and just printing them on tees.  But now we are transitioning into more of a brand and bringing our own touch.

 

JR: I would say at the beginning we thought, “man we’re going to make our own sweatshirts.”  We were thinking cut and sew. We just ran into it and kinda bumped our heads and realized that this stuff cost money and [takes] patience. So you really have to learn and know how to get things at a good price and get people to work with you. We had lofty dreams at first, and then we realized that you have to pace yourself and work your way into the game. So we started through t-shirts and then hats, we do some hats. And we do random stuff now. We make whatever we feel like is cool.

CM: I was looking at your emblem. What does it mean?

BC: It’s a trophy with a bolt. It shows power and glory and that you won. It’s just a powerful moment, and that’s what it represents: strength and perseverance and winning.

CM: What role do each of you play?

JR: Well we all curate designs, and overall I do a lot of graphic design work and website work.  But we all basically do everything.

BC: I help with marketing and public relations. Tyrease is an instrumental person with design, so he does marketing as well.  

JR: Tyrease is more of the front guy, I would say. He is kinda the face. Well not the face, but he is out there connecting with people. A lot of our work is done behind the scenes I would say.

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CM: And all of you are from Chicago?

BC: Born and raised.

CM: How would you say that growing up here has influenced the look of your brand?

BC: I would say it’s when you are going to school and may not have a lot of money to buy clothes, but you still want to look different. You don’t want to look the same every week, so you know you have to just use what you got and just style out.

JR: Yes. We want to create pieces that you can wear every day and you can swap out and wear with other things that you love and want to wear every day. I think a great inspiration is the weather. It’s so inclimate, so you need long sleeves and you need thick t-shirts and layers. And just growing up and seeing our environments and how people dressed.

BC: Everybody’s got their own style. You want to be an individual with what you got.  

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CM: What is your style inspiration?  What do you look at before you design something?

JR: I wouldn’t say that I look at anything. But personally, the brands that I love, and I see, and I say I want to be like them are Supreme, Bape, LRG and just major streetwear brands — people who have established themselves and been here for years and are still here.

BC: Right. To piggyback off of what he said, I like those brands as well. And just observing everybody out here, because everybody has their own way of dressing. So I get a lot of inspiration from that too.

Johnathan – “We want to create pieces that you can wear every day and you can swap out and wear with other things that you love and want to wear every day. I think a great inspiration is the weather. It’s so inclimate, so you need long sleeves and you need thick t-shirts and layers. And just growing up and seeing our environments and how people dressed.”

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CM:  How would you say Gloryus Brand is different from those brands?

JR: I think we’re specifically repping Chicago. I don’t think Chicago has ever had a Supreme or a BAPE or a major brand. I think it just makes us different because Chicago has a different perspective than an L.A. or New York. I think Chicago has kind of been overlooked, and I think that’s how we represent.

CM: What music inspires you?

BC: Of course rap and hip-hop.  

JR: Kanye.

BC: I listen to all types of rap. I like hip-hop. I like concious music. I like trap music. I like all of that, and I get inspiration from it all.

JR: Chief Keef. Anything. Everything means something to someone, so I feel like we can get inspiration from anywhere.

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CM: So what do you see in the future for Gloryus Brand?

BC: Eventually we are going to concentrate more on cut and sew designs and just experiment with different methods of customizing clothes.  

JR: We also plan on having more subdivisions of our brands, and eventually we want to have a brick and mortar shop in Chicago. [We want] several shops in Chicago and eventually worldwide hopefully.

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CM: In an ideal world, where would you open the first shop?

BC: I like Hyde Park or Madison and Pulaski.  

JR: I like Wicker, really anywhere in Chicago. Anywhere that we grew up and have been around. This is our old stomping grounds, so really anywhere in Chicago and … [I’ll be] happy. That’s the goal. Chicago.

 

CM: How have people reacted so far to the brand?

JR: The support has been continuously growing. I think people are excited to see a brand rep Chicago in a cool way. It’s not corny and it’s not touristy. It’s cool clothing that represents Chicago and also represents everyone who loves streetwear.

g2 CM: Do you have anything interesting coming up?

BC: Stay tuned for our winter release.

JR: We’re definitely dropping a winter release some time next month. It will be bomber jackets, flannels and hoodies. Winter is coming up, and hopefully we can have this pop-up shop on Black Friday.

 

You could almost describe their energy as giddy — they were so excited about the future of Gloryus. During the photoshoot, as I watched these guys obsess over every nuanced wrinkle in their clothes, I further understood the energy that drives this brand. These guys are pushing forward to win, and I have a feeling we will see them do that.

 

For more information on Gloryus, visit their website and follow them on both Instagram and Facebook.

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Rosalyn Wells
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