If you’re from Philadelphia and into streetwear fashion, then you’ve most likely heard of Purple Planes Co.! Purple Planes is a statewide company that is soon on its way to be known nationwide due to the increase in demand for their apparel. Purple Planes has hosted two huge fashion shows in Philadelphia the past two years in a row that not only did big time celebrities like Wiz Khalifa and Will Smith show up to, but all proceeds raised in the fashion show went directly to a non-profit organization that helped put the fashion show together!
How is this line different than any other line that’s out there? Well, after researching the company and speaking to the CEO and founder (Daba Kora), I’ve discovered the meaning behind Purple Planes and realized that their inspirational story is one that must be told and shared to appreciate the brand more.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Daba: During my freshmen year at Penn State, I thought to myself what was the point in spending money to purchase clothes from other people when I knew my style was rather chic and that I could create my own line. I started the clothing line in October 2010 with the intention that these clothes were made just for me. Soon, other students and friends were asking where did I purchase my shirt from and I told them I made it myself. I then started having requests from different people that asked if I could make a shirt for them too and soon my company began to build on it’s own.
Is it a struggle to maintain being a full-time student along being the CEO/designer of your clothing company?
Daba: It is very difficult to maintain my academics while running a business, I can honestly say that sometimes I tend to think school isn’t as important as building my brand. I always have to remind myself that even though I am running a business, it had always been my dream to get a degree and I do not wish to give up on anything I set my mind to just because it may “seem hard”.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Daba: The first piece of clothing I designed was a t-shirt with a purple plane on it, literally. I used an iron and transferred the design on to a t-shirt. It was horrible. I still laugh about it now because I have friends of mine that still wear the hoodie and/or shirt but I realized how much I have grown since I first started this and it makes me grateful.
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
Daba: It takes four weeks to come up with a solid design for a new upcoming collection, once we have a design we construct colors and pieces of clothing. Once we have a layout then we submit to our manufacture to produce the product. The entire process takes a little over two months.
Since the launch of Purple Planes Co., what do you feel has been your most accomplished moment?
Daba: Since Purple Planes launched, I can say our most accomplished moment was the launch of our website on Sept 27,2012 which made us an official online retailer. This is an accomplishment because I never wanted to sell my clothes, originally I thought it would be something I’d make just for me.
What matters to you most as a designer?
Daba: I only have one reason for all the designs I make, every design I makeup is made with a story behind it, and should help the consumer tell a story also. For instance, I use to have the biggest fear of planes and never thought I’d see the day in which I’d use it as a means of transportation. I had to eventually overcome that fear due to a family gathering that was mandatory for me to attend. The entire time on my way to the airport and even on the plane I thought I was going to pass out from a panic attack, but once the plane landed safely I feel so relieved that I was able to go through it and realized it really wasn’t bad at all. Planes were my biggest fear, and once I overcame that fear I felt as though I was invincible and that I could accomplish anything. When I started my line, I took something I love (the color purple) and combined it with something something I feared and came up with the name Purple Planes.
What is your main source of inspiration?
Daba: My main source of inspiration is story telling, everyone has a story to tell. The person that’s in front of you or the person that just walked by you, we ALL have a story to tell. It is my vision that with my line, we want our clothing to help display our customer’s stories. Kind of like, why do you wear Purple Planes? “I wear Purple Planes because I overcame this, and this is my story”.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Daba: I want all aspiring designers to do it for themselves, not for the money or the fame. When you make this into something you love you will never feel stressed. Just believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
To visit Purple Planes website go to www.purpleplanesco.com
About the Author
Delilah Cruz is a full time student at The Pennsylvania State University working towards her College of Communications, Media Studies degree. While going to school full-time, she is also currently completing two internships. She serves as an Account Associate for The Dream Agency Public Relations Company and as a Marketing Virtual Intern for Braathe Enterprises. As if that’s not enough, Delilah has taken on a new project in which she is founder and CEO of her up and coming non-profit org, A Dream Dedicated to Change. The organization is geared towards the empowerment of youth around the world. Follow her on Twitter: @Lechayim517 or visit her personal website.