The best way to predict the future of fashion is to look at the new ideas being proposed by emerging brands and designers. Here, Aziel with his newly established fashion house “First Move” an up-and-coming brand offering a vision for the shape of menswear to come.

Ever wonder what Giorgio Armani, Betsey Johnson, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren, does it all the time? Work! Few other professions depend so much on keeping on top of fickle popular opinion and watching what competitors produce. The life of a designer is intimately linked to tastes and sensibilities that change at a moment’s notice, and he or she must be able to capitalize on or—even better—influence those opinions. Designers reflect society’s sensibilities through clothing design. “You have to know just about everything that’s been done before so that you can recognize it when it becomes popular again.” And, as we sit down and have an in-depth conversation with Aziel founder and creator of First Move he gives us an inside into his style, creativity, inspiration, and the influence his professional soccer career has on his sense of fashion, his artistry, and musical talents coupled with his Striker position with the St. Louis City Soccer team, and how combining all these spaces plays an intricate role to inspire AZ to create astounding art in fashion. We had the opportunity to sit down with Aziel in one of his favorite coffee shops, “Coffee Stamp” located in the beautiful Fox Park neighborhood, in St. Louis, MO where we talked everything fashion. 

AZ tell me a little bit about yourself how did you start with soccer and fashion, and your love for both?

Yeah, I started playing soccer when I was quite young, I was three years old when I kicked the ball for the first time. Like many younger siblings, I would go to my brother’s practices until I ultimately joined the team with him. We played for a team in Ironbound, a soccer hotbed in Newark, New Jersey. It was definitely like love at first touch, with the ball, that ability of just being free, and the joy of playing. I remember it like it was yesterday, but yeah, I just wanted to continue to play and see how far I could go. The full immersion into fashion would come later, but there were some early signs, even if it was dressing up for church. I’ll see so many photos of myself early on, wearing bow ties or a vest you know— and as I got older, and saw more, I just really dove into the fashion world.

How many years have you been in this space?

I’m fresh into the space, but I’m operating the way I always have, with faith in myself and the awareness to continue growing and learning. I really enjoy working on First Move because it feels natural for me to be in that creative space. Whether I’m with the homies, or back in Seattle or New York seeing friends and family, it’s just part of the vibe you know –that’s dope, that looks good, this goes with that, how about this? So while First Move has just featured in its first fashion show, I feel I’ve been building for this for some time just through my natural experiences.

So we loved what you put on the runway, tell the readers what your experience was like to hit the runway for the first time.

Being in my first fashion show was a great experience. Seeing all the designers and models was awesome, I just embraced all of it. I have to thank GENT and the Club (St Louis City) for allowing us to showcase our brands at the event. That’s one thing I appreciate about St Louis and this club, everyone works together, and, just, supports one another. It was a special feeling to see my creations on the runway. I feel that in living in different cultures and seeing so many things around the world, I have so much influence and experiences to pull from as I continue to move forward. This “first move” though, certainly felt like a full-circle moment.

Tell me about the different cultures you say you have several different cultures.

I lived in France for three years, in Toulouse, which is in the south. Traveling around the country for soccer though, I was able to see all the different lifestyles in each city. For example, going North to Paris, you get an entirely different experience than you’d find in Toulouse. But with each new place, whether it was Belgium or London, I was able to take a little from each experience and move forward. Even in the States, the differences between New Jersey/ New York, Seattle, and the Midwest— I’m grateful for everything I’ve seen and learned. Bringing it all together, with the desire to create something new from those experiences is what I want to do with “First Move”.

Being able to see different cultures and different styles influences and fabrics give you an idea to go with your line.

I certainly want to expand and continue evolving. It’s the same being an artist, so when I am drawing a piece, I’ll continue to revisit it to see if there’s new inspiration or an idea to build upon. First Move will continue to evolve as we pull from the different styles, fabrics, and concepts. There are so many great opportunities moving forward as new ideas are expressed through our artistic vision. We must remain ourselves while providing a fresh and unique look that builds connections with our fans.

Tell me about the “art “part of the artist and your concept of merging it with fashion.

My love for art started when I was young. I remember going to church with my family, I was about six years old. I would ask my mom for her notebook so I could draw. I would sketch the different architecture in the Church, or try to, and my abstract drawings would take off from there. Around the same time, my mom signed me up for art classes, so I could continue. If I wasn’t kicking a soccer ball I was probably in my room drawing— she still has all the drawings of what I did when I was younger. I think the common theme between my love for artistic expression and the principles of First Move is that we aren’t boxed into one concept. We are showing how it’s possible to pull from multiple ideas to express ourselves and our creativity.

DELUX Magazine
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