What were you up to in your senior year of high school? Soon-to-be 18 years old, Kajuanee founded bold streetwear brand, Overseer Productions, in April of this year with a group of his teenage friends. A fashion designer and business owner, the Thomas Jefferson High School student is spending the first semester of his senior year prepping his line for the highly anticipated Denver Fashion Week this November.
We sat down with Kajuanee to get an inside look at how he got started in fashion, what Overseer means and what it’s like to design his own clothing.
303 Magazine: How did you end up here in Denver?
Kajuanee: We moved here when I was in seventh grade from Philadelphia. I’m about to graduate from high school this year.
303: What drew you to fashion?
K: Social media. At the time I moved out here, I was out of school for three weeks, and I was just at home cooling. I was playing games on my phone and on Instagram. I found Ian Conner on Instagram and was going through his shit. He was really cool, and I thought this kid dressed outrageously. Ever since then, I just started buying newer clothes. Then, I thought why buy other people’s clothes when I can just start making my own.
303: How did Overseer Productions get its start?
K: It started as something called Youth during our freshman year. It was cool and it worked, but I didn’t want that to be the dream. So we changed the name to Overseer. At first, I was only making t-shirts. Now, I just make a little bit of everything. T-shirts turned into rigs. Rigs turned into hoodies. Hoodies turned into sweatpants, which turned into ski masks, headbands, goggles, overalls and lingerie. We’re making it all because, why not?
303: Why is it called Overseer?
K: Overseer? It’s a lifestyle. It’s a concept. Let’s say that everyone has that nine to five job. You do that every day for someone else on their schedule, and you build someone else’s dream. When you put on Overseer, it’s grind time. Let me wake up, and let’s go get some revenue and build our future. In the future, you have full control of your time and money. Let’s say money’s not even in the equation. What would your life look like? You’d oversee everything. There’s no checking in with your boss, see if I can go to Texas over the weekend. You do as you please when you got bread in your pocket. Just oversee life. Control your future. It’s simple.
303: How would you characterize Overseer’s brand?
K: You can’t characterize it. Let’s just call it a tropical season. Every time I make something, I just call it tropical because it stands out. It’s colorful, and it’s bright. When people make stuff, they always start off with basic colors, but I wanted to do the opposite. I started off with neon bright oranges, pinks, greens and yellows, and it caught a lot of people’s attention. One day, I’ll have some dark emo colors and the next have some childish boxes or flames. Whatever I see in my head or envision, I’ll make it. If it’s good, you’ll see it. If it’s not good, then a different design.
303: Where do you draw your fashion inspiration from?
K: ASAP Mob, Ian Conner, Lucas Abbot and top models. Mainly just ASAP Mob, Rocky, Ferg, etc. They are goals.
303: Are you preparing for DFW? What are you looking forward to about the show?
K: Yeah, every day. We’re looking for triumphant moments. Having people walk out on that runway, and looking back at it and thinking, “I made that.” With lights, photography and all the tapes, it’s exciting. We’re only seven months old, and we’ve got big hopes.
303: Will you maybe consider studying fashion in the future?
K: I don’t think so. I think if you go to school for it, they’re gonna teach you some stuff, but they’re going to hold back a lot of it. I don’t think I’ll further pursue it, but I think I’ll just do it as a hobby. Then the hobby will just become serious. I want this to be a day-to-day hobby that’s fun. It’s not work. You just live your best life. It feels way better seeing someone wear it than the money you get out of it. I give models a lot of free gear to make it. I see them make crazy outfits with it. Like I made that, and you made that look good with Louis [Vuitton]? That feels better than, “Let me get 30 dollars in my pocket.”
All photography by MJ Kampe.