Meet Sushiii, a Dallas based creative director who designs clothes under her namesake brand, SushiiiMilk. “I discover something new about myself everyday. I’m a 20 something year old artist/creative/weirdo. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where I feel like I got most of my creative influence mostly by having a really supportive mother and father that gave me the freedom to express who I am or was as an individual. They never stopped me from any passion or outlet that interested me,” she says.
I got the opportunity to chat with Sushii about her early beginnings, how she got into the fashion industry, and pain points as a creative. Check out our Q&A below.
As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? If you’re not doing that, what do you think happened?
Naturally I was a black sheep, I wanted to do something that made me cool and different. I was like a super alternative kid, loved tattoos and body modification. I was actually pretty fascinated by it. I dabbled in a lot of dead end jobs and finally took the chance and apprenticed under Sergio @boldstrokestudios in Oak Cliff. I would still be tattooing but due to an injury I can no longer tattoo for long periods of time. I do pop ups here and there for friends and family, though. Just tiny baby tattoos. I love leaving a little mark of me on them.
When did you know that you wanted to be in the design and fashion industry?
I have a really great friend/business partner who pushed me to move towards fashion. I was always complimented on my eclectic style so it just made sense to start making my own designs. It was kind of a very fast process and easy transition so I just hit the ground and ran with it. I can’t say I’m really into the actual “fashion industry” I just like to make cool shit that I would wear.
Photo by: @vayjr
What was your blueprint to creating your brands?
The blueprint really essentially is my mind, it’s filled constantly with new ideas. I’m also influenced mostly from anime (Ghost in the Shell, Outlaw Star, Sword Art Online, etc.) other than that I would say the youth, street wear of the world, and a vintage aesthetic.
Tell us about your company what differentiates you from your competitors?
I really don’t like thinking of other designers as competition. There’s enough in the pot for everyone. I strive to constantly push to do better for myself. Authenticity and just well designed clothes are what I strive to push out and there’s clearly a lot of that in this industry.
How did you realize there was a need for your company? And what problem do you feel that your company solves in its industry?
Is there really a need for fashion besides expressing yourself and individuality? I just wanted to put dope wear on people with out having to be uncomfortable. I really enjoy couture and high fashion but I feel like cozy is the way to go…you know like a “low key stunt.” Super informal just like myself.
What’s been the most exciting customer testimonial you’ve ever received?
The fact that I have high profile clients wanting to wear my stuff just completely fathoms me! I’m like wait what?? lil ole me? You like my stuff??? That’s crazy.
Photo by: @allyanaraniel
As much as we love success stories, can you tell us some of your pain points as an entrepreneur and how you overcame them?
I’m really sensitive to criticism because I put so much work and thought into the designs. I think most artists and designers are very sensitive about their shit. It’s like creating something just out of an idea in your mind and welcoming the world into what’s going on in your head. When someone doesn’t like it, it’s hard to hear. I just have to remind myself that not every single person is going to like everything I put out, it’s just unrealistic to think that. I’m still in the beginning stages of putting my stuff out there so I haven’t learned how to not let it effect me. I’m getting there though.
We believe the power of a #COSIGN is real. Can you tell us how a #COSIGN has impacted your business. Whether it’s been through word of mouth? An influencer #COSIGN or celebrity #COSIGN?
COSIGN is a staple of the community. There aren’t many platforms in Dallas that really showcase different talents. It’s cool that creative people in every aspect of the word are recognized.
What’s your end goal?
I’ve never thought about an end goal. I really just want constant growth and change and I’m not really sure were that is going to take me. Who knows at this point.
Tell us about Eye Scream Wasted. How did this come into fruition?
My best friend Candice and I were approached by the creator of Ice Cream Wasted. She wanted to incorporate an event for her product that was super immersive and create an experience for Dallas- which is right up our alley. She loved Candice’s creative outlook on creating experiences and she fell in love with a hoodie design of mine, so after one meeting we all knew we could do great things. It’s an installation that a team of women conceptualized and I couldn’t be more proud.
Last but not least, who do you #COSIGN and why?
MY MOST LOVED AND TALENTED FEMALE POWER HOUSE FRIENDS:
Fellow Creative: @candicalycia
Designer/Makeup Artist: @gaby_gaubert
Makeup Artist: @Aime_Mua
Life Coach: @jenn_creates
Beauty Instructor: @Marissa_makeup