Dorian Mays is a creative with a purpose. To showcase what Indy is all about, Mays and friends created Indy Arts Collective, an event taking place on April 8th and featuring musicians, artists, fashion designers, and other local creatives. The event is centered on raising funds for Redemption Outreach Service, an organization dear to Mays’ heart. PATTERN chatted with Mays to discuss the inspiration behind the event, what attendees should expect, and what’s new with his clothing line.
Jenna Drake: What gave you the idea to do this event?
DM: Indy Arts Collective Came about when I first started Shuē. I wanted people to know who I was as a brand. I was in the same place as other brands like Daily Process, Millennium Gear, and Templar Clothing. We all came up with the idea to put on a event to show Indianapolis that we’re here. We successfully executed that idea to the point where we’re doing it again. The second year is around the corner, and we’re already planning the third. We’re also looking to do an Indy Arts Collective Block Party coming up in July as well.
JD: What’s different this year from last year?
DM: This year we’re adding a couple of dance numbers, spoken word, and an acoustic set performed by a former radio host on Hot 96.3, Brian James. The Knot Brothers will be putting on a little show as well as an art gala for the first hour of the event. Last year felt more basic. We didn’t have as many vendors coming through. This year we want to make the main focus on the vendors and artists to showcase their products. That is why we made a whole hour dedicated to just them. No fashion, no music. They have the floor. We are making this a multimedia event. We have an after party following the event which should be awesome.
JD: I see that you have a VIP lounge this time around. What is included in that?
DM: We had VIP seating last year, but this year we wanted to add something different. We wanted to give the people who are coming to the first hour of the art gala… a little pampering. There will be beverages and wines. We are also bringing in a sous chef, Keith Mays, who works at the Renaissance. There will be a lot of components that contribute to making the VIP experience worth it.
JD: Give a shout out to some of the local designers, musicians, spoken word performers, and dancers being featured at the event.
DM: For starters I want to give a shout out to our partner KOMÄFI, our host, Edge Haines, The Knot Brothers, Orange Beanie, 3van 6rey, Popular Outcast, Brian James, DJ Top Speed, and everyone that helped make this event possible. Definitely a huge thank you to Grove Haus and my business partner Erin. Greg from Daily Process has been a driving force with this. And also, Derin Graham from Millennium Gear who has also helped with some funding.
JD:Can you talk a little bit about the after party?
DM: The after party is going to be lit. We’ve got John Stamps and Sirius Blvck headlining, along with Fazle, 3van 6rey, Jeremiah Stokes, Mula Kkhan, and Reject Mafia. It will be a 21+ event, so we’ll have drinks for everybody.
JD: What do you want people to take away from this event?
DM: I want them to know that there is something special about this city. We are on the list as an up-and-ccoming city for the arts, and we want to show the people of Indianapolis how true that statement is. We want to show our audience that we are here to stay.
JD: What are some accomplishments you achieved that you never saw coming?
DM: I never thought I’d put on a fashion show. As a college dropout who was told that graphic design is a waste of time, I single handedly helped a company grow and started my own brand. I’ve been working with RAW artists, and they want me to do a fashion show out in Denver and Los Angeles. I have the best support system and they always push me to do my best.
JD: Talk about the Redemption Outreach Service. What attracted you to partner with them?
DM: Redemption Outreach is an organization that helps inner city youth and the homeless. They help them get back on their feet and give them essentials to help turn around their life. I wanted to partner with them because I’m a firm believer in karma and putting good vibes into the universe. I have always been passionate about giving back. My dream is to take Shuē and Indy Arts Collective and build something greater. I want to go as far as building a community for the less fortunate and help them get on their feet. I really believe in them.
DM: Since our last chat we dropped another collection, Autumn Vibes. We did a showcase at the Old National Center with Raw Artists. We traveled to Nashville for a couple shows. Now we are debuting our spring collection at the fashion show which I’m super excited for. We’re doing a whole revamp of the website. There is possibly a retail opportunity coming soon. We have our clothes at 20 Past 4 now, but we’re hopefully opening a new retail store with some of our partners soon.
JD: You talked about ‘good vibes’ being the theme around your brand, is that still something important to you?
DM: Absolutely. Shuē comes from the term feng shui, which means taking out bad energy and putting good energy back in. The belief of putting good vibes out is really important to me, and I’m attracted to people who have the same mindset as me. I have this collective group of people who are all about business, and expanding, and being progressive.
JD: Any new themes you’ve thought about introducing into your brand?
DM: This year I am solely doing oriental, neo-Tokyo style. I made the joke of taking anime and putting a B.E.T. spin on it. [laughs] I’ve studied and really enjoy Oriental culture, and I wanted to take that culture and mesh well with my clothing. That’s what I’m doing this year, so be on the lookout.