Designer Justin Mensinger is the visionary behind his self-named clothing line that focuses on sustainability and acute craftsmanship.
After appearing on, and winning, season one of HBO’s The Hype, Mensinger has gone on to become a highly sought after designer and one of the prominent rising names in streetwear, fashion, and art.
Growing up in the Midwest, Mensinger was inspired to use his hands and resources that were available to him in order to create his unique, one of one pieces. His line consists up cycled fabrics and materials that become a wearable work of art.
Mensinger recently released two new collections and we sat down to talk with the designer about his inspiration behind these collections, as well as what else talented creative has up his sleeve in the coming months.
Check out the interview below and be sure to keep up with Justin Mensinger by following him on instagram @JustinMensinger.
Celeb Secrets: Hey Justin, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Can you share a little bit about yourself and what got you into the fashion industry?
Justin Mensinger: “My name is Justin Mensinger I am an artist and designer based in Los Angeles, originally from the Midwest. I started designing about 8 years ago at the age of 18. I grew up skateboarding and into music and dirt bikes. All of these things were focused on style and a lot of visual elements as well. These different subcultures got me interested in clothing and eventually led me into creating my own brand. Working at Goodwill in High school showed me how many clothing items are thrown away and end up in the landfill. I worked in college at RSVP Gallery in Chicago which showed me the high end luxury side of menswear & what many consider ‘streetwear.’ These two jobs along with my own side hustles having a brand, reselling vintage clothes, and doing photography all got me into the fashion industry.”
CS: What do you think sets your designs apart from other designers?
JM: “What sets me apart from other designers is the artistry and attention to detail in each of my pieces. I make sure to stay true to reusing materials and being sustainable when approaching my design and also focus on craftsmanship.”
CS: You were the winner of the first season of HBO’s The Hype. What was that experience like?
JM: “The Hype was a life changing experience for me and allowed me to get my story out to the world which I am extremely grateful for.”
CS: All of your work is up-cycled and it all feels to have such a personal touch to it. What was the inspiration behind this decision and how does it play a role in your actual design process?
JM: “I noticed many luxury brands and brands in general take so much time to make a new item looked distressed and vintage. This process of distressing and dying a new garment is so wasteful and pointless in my opinion. I see the actual aging and process behind a garment that has already been used as having more of a story behind it and also being sustainable. I think the world we live in has too much access and waste and I want to be apart of more sustainable practices that take the past and transform it into something beautiful for the future.”
CS: You recently dropped a new collection and shared on Instagram that you wanted to make something that was more accessible to customers. How was this drop different from previous ones? What was the inspiration behind this collection?
JM: “I recently dropped a new collection and before putting out my highest end pieces I dropped a capsule of upcycled sweatshirts that were more accessible. I wanted to reach the portion of my audience that supports my brand and vision but doesn’t have the luxury consumer budget. This drop was me creating something I wanted to wear on a daily basis that was simpler and less patchwork heavy. I like the look and feel of a beautiful sun faded garment and brought that inspiration into the initial drop.”
CS: You also recently dropped a set of 1 of 1’s. Can you tell us about those pieces and what inspired them?
JM: “The following day, I released my more complex 1 of 1 cut and sewn pieces which were inspired by my love for LA western Americana fashion and Japanese streetwear as well. I feel that the earth tone color palettes and textures were reminiscent of a simpler time in society more focused on quality and less on quantity.”
CS: What else do you have coming up that you want to share with our readers?
JM: “I have an upcoming art show in Chicago which will be up for a month starting June 23, 2023.”
CS: Lastly, we are Celeb Secrets, can you share a secret piece of advice for young designers who are trying to make a name for themselves?
JM: “To any upcoming designers trying to make a name for yourself know that this industry is an uphill battle against major players with marketing budget and distribution. Think of ways to differentiate yourself and brand while also not pigeonholing yourself into operating too small. Think lean and resourceful but also plan for ways to grow in the future and stay consistent even when it feels like nobody is watching, your time will come if you keep putting in the work.”