Social Media is one of the most important tools of the new generation. It helps society create a virtual community where everyone has the opportunity to connect and interact with one another. Social media also plays a vital role in news and politics. Since much of the younger generation inhabits these platforms, it is easy to persuade opinions and inform individuals of what is occurring around them. Being someone who indulges in Fashion as much as possible, I took to the Fashion side of Instagram and Twitter and did my own investigation into new and developing designers/brands. One designer that caught my attention was Jake Romeo who is 18 years old and lives in Orlando. Mr. Romeo caught my eye because of his age for starters but also for his unique style. Romeo has a streetwear brand called "love is rage" that truly captivates two powerful emotions and combines them into one which is exhibited in his "knife through rose" logo. I reached out to Mr. Romeo through Instagram and asked for a phone interview to better understand him and his creativity. Follow Jake Romeo @jake.romeo on Instagram for updates with Love is Rage. Below is the transcript from that phone interview:
What made you want to start designing at such a young age?
"I've always loved clothing. Brands like Gucci and Raf really inspired me to put my own ideas into the world and make something that other people can enjoy. I started in high school around the age of 17 which is when I pushed out my first collection."
What do you love about fashion?
"I love how each person interprets it different. What might be one persons most fire fit, might be something another person despises. Fashion gives every single person an opportunity to express themselves and generally feel confident. With everything going on in the world, an individual can put on a good outfit and still feel positive which is important in a world full of negatives."
So "love is rage", tell me a little bit about what inspired the name?
"So everyone always thinks the name is negative towards love but its not really like that. I've experienced love before and its a deep and pure feeling. The rage part just comes from the intensity of love and how you'd do anything for love. Rage itself is another deep and pure feeling like no other. The name is more so based on similarities in intensity than negativity to be honest."
Who helped you start your brand?
"Absolutely no one. I used all the money I made from cleaning tables and put it into my brand and hoped for the best. I have never been one to accept handouts from anyone. I started with a box of 20 shirts that took months to move. To see my progress now where 20 shirts might go in less than an hour is really cool."
What are some of the biggest accomplishments you have experienced so far?
Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
" My role model is Ian Connor. He has done a lot for this generation and is known as the King of the Youth. I met him in Orlando a few months back which was dope as hell not gonna lie. I aspire to be in a similar position as him one day. Other inspirations would be Rocky, Raf, Gianni, and Virgil. My family and friends honestly inspire me the most to do what I love. I'll shoutout my friends later in the interview if I can"
What do you see in your future?
"A lot of diamonds. No but in all honesty, I hope to be as successful as possible and become a young icon in the fashion world. I plan on doing more Fashion Weeks and uncovering new collections one by one. I also plan on moving to NY or LA eventually to grow myself as an individual. I hope one day I can be looked at as a role model for kids my age to do what they love and not let age limit them."
What would be your one piece of advice to anyone else in your age range?
"Age is just a number that you should never allow to determine your amount of success. Always do what you love no matter what anyone else thinks. The most creative individuals are the youth. Young minds have the widest imaginations and with imagination comes possibility."
Where do you see the future of fashion going?
Any last words?
"Be yourself. Never let another individual tell you what to do no matter how much superiority they might think they have over you. We are each our own individual person with our own ideas and passions. It is important to always do what you love instead of doing what is cool to love if that makes sense."
"Huge shoutout to Alfonso Binet, he's like my brother to be honest. Go sub to him on YouTube at IcyFonso. On my mother he is the next big Youtuber. Also sub to Eman Perez, Emanuel is one of the realest people I know. As for my other friends, Nate Alicea is the next upcoming big model so go check him out at Nate_Alicea on Insta, i love that kid like a brother. Big shoutouts to Joey Avila for being real, Kyle Chung for always being there for me, Zoey for being a day one, Ramon Ripoll for believing in the brand since day one, and Nick Piazolla for all the positivity. The list goes on and thank you to everyone else who has supported me from Day 1 even if I didn't list you. I'd be no where without them."