Four young men surround a dingy white table by a community pool in West Miramar, a city they smoothly refer to as “the Westside”. Casually dressed, the group’s laid back demeanor showcases their familiarity with the setup. Effortlessly charismatic, the group joked among themselves before taking a moment to silence their phones. They were ready to begin.
Developing streetwear brands at a young age, both Fast Life and Vintage Stereon have established a following that exceeds the boundaries of Miramar, Florida. Gaining inspiration from music, art and historical periods, they have continued to improve with every design, while taking the popularity that they have acquired to fuel their mission of revamping South Florida’s image.
In just a few years, Fast Life and Vintage Stereon have experienced both individual and collaborative success. To most, it may seem as though success transpired overnight however, the road was far from easy.
Beginning as a high school clique, Vintage Stereon did not take the group’s potential seriously until after graduation when they released their first collection entitled “Made In America”. However, the outcome was far from the American Dream.
Kevin Oboh, a native of the Bronx, New York and one of the founding members of Vintage Stereon, vividly remembers the hardships that the line faced in its beginning stages.
“People don’t understand before all the glitz and glamour and all of the [expletive] that you see now, we was selling shirts out of a trunk for years, we were in the streets, getting denied from stores all over,” he said.
A similar tale can be told for the humble beginnings of Fast Life.
Initially working mundane eight-hour days, Yvan Cenecharles, a South Florida native and the creator of Fast Life, attributes the line’s establishment to the birth of his daughter.
“… I had a child, I didn’t want to work the nine to five no more and that’s how Fast Life came about,” he said.
Despite the fact that Fast Life’s first collection was well received, looking back the members would describe themselves as “naïve”, especially when it came to finances, admitting that they completely overpaid for its production.
While their peers in the fashion industry will attest to the stigma that success breeds hate, this group of young entrepreneurs maintain a more lighthearted view of the negativity.
“I don’t call them all haters, I just call them non-believers,” Cenecharles said.
Brandon Morris, a member of Vintage Stereon, added, “I don’t really see the hate, to be honest.”
In between their individual endeavors, both clothing lines have struck gold more than once in their collaborative events “Westside Plague” its follow-up, “Westside Plague 2”.
While the original event was successful, it was its follow-up “Westside Plague 2” that the group found to be their biggest accomplishment.
Inspired by Wynwood, Miami, an up and coming art district, the second event was visually more art based. Taking a white wall, concrete floor art gallery, the group completely transformed the space resulting in an electric music event.
With this particular event, the group aimed to expose a new generation to this unexplored area of Miami, but more specifically hoped to instill an appreciation of art.
“We’re creating a new culture. Meshing fashion into music into art and everything into one,” Oboh said.
It is apparent that the group’s love of the arts flows into every aspect of their lines. Particularly, in the photography used to promote their clothing.
Not only is Brandon Morris a member of one of these budding clothing brands, he is also an upcoming photographer, responsible for many of Fast Life and Vintage Stereon’s unique editorials.
Swimming against the current of modern technology, Morris admitted that although he owns an eclectic collection of cameras, his Polaroid is by far the favorite, due to the “old school look” that it creates.
“I’m a student of the game, I like to start from the beginning and work my way up,” he said.
However, despite the numerous amount of praise he receives for his photography, Morris considers it just a hobby, for now.
“I don’t consider myself a photographer, I’m still learning,” he admitted.
Despite the amount of success both brands have acquired over the years maintaining their humility and authenticity is a top priority. In addition to their business relationship, the group believes it is their genuine friendship that will continue to drive their collaborative success.
“There’s no egos when it comes to us,” Oboh said.
Looking towards the future, both brands have colossal goals, including a five-year plan that consists of owning their own stores.
To some, it may seem as though this group of entrepreneurs are nothing more than a band of dreamers, but for them this is destiny mixed with determination.
Synder Cenecharles, a member of Fast Life and the younger brother of its creator said, “you have to still be willing to go cause the loses are gonna come.”
Oboh added, “It doesn’t matter about being rich or being famous, I feel like I was put on this earth to do this.”
While some may criticize the timing of their success, if you ask this group of entrepreneurs they will say that, “the Westside, is right on time.”
I'm a huge fan of Vintage Stereon and now I'm finally opening my own clothing store and would love to carry your brand. My store is called LTD LIFESTYLE and we're located in Austin, TX. No other stores here carry your line and we would to be the first. Do you sell wholesale? If so can you email me back the line sheet so we start doing business. Thanks,Alexander Blair LTD LIFESTYLE 4360 S Congress Ave. #104Austin, TX 78745Instagram @ltd_lifestyle
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