Anthony Hughes, creator of Genetic Dreams clothing, is a man with a vision. Through his brand Hughes strives to embrace a positive mindset in every way, fighting to redefine some of the negative stereotypes that surround streetwear. Hughes believes that with hard work and dedication any dream can become a reality, reflected through his personal motto of “Stay humble, stay focused, stay dreamin”. Hughes’s passion was evident throughout our interview as we discussed the message behind his brand, streetwear scene in Indianapolis, and future aspirations.
Christel Richard: Please describe the motive or message behind your brand.
Anthony Hughes: Genetic Dreams is all about positivity, living your dreams out, and being all you can be in whatever avenue in life
CR: What prompted you to share this idea through your business?
AH: I’m a big streetwear fan so I see a lot of the streetwear brands that are out to promote negativity and we wanted people to know that streetwear is not all based around negative images…We want to be able to show that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that for you to succeed in life, our clothing items are all based around positive thinking.
CR: What are some of the main challenges you face as an entrepreneur?
AH: Support. In Indianapolis I’ve come to find that people are not trend setters, they are trend followers. We were in the mall one day and we would see people pass The Makers store, which is relatively cheaper, and then go pay $120 for a Lacoste shirt. There’s this stereotype that it has to be this name brand. Support is one of the biggest things that we have had to overcome, but with that being said nothing easy is worth having, the feeling of success would not be the same.
CR: What is the biggest reward you experience as an entrepreneur?
AH: Last year at an expo I was walking around doing some promotion and somebody walks past me and they are wearing a Genetic Dreams shirt and I had no idea who they were. That was one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction and seeing that spoke volumes.
CR: What do you think Indianapolis can do to support more local brands?
AH: You have a lot of people nowadays that are trend followers not trend setters, and that is one of the biggest flaws of Indianapolis. Everything comes to the coasts first, LA, NY, Miami. Those places are pivotal points for fashion so by the time it comes to Indianapolis we are lost. I hate to say it like that but if people here don’t see it in a rap video they don’t wear it. I would like to see people step out on a limb more and support their people more. I was watching an interview with Lil Boosie the other day and he was speaking on why he left New Orleans. He said the people from your city are the people who hate you the most and that resonated with me. Everybody has their own idea of success and what “making it” is…stop hating and start supporting! I think that would do justice to not only street culture but in music, restaurants, etc.
A lot of people from your area don’t necessarily want to see you succeed. When we started we wanted all the success to come from here. But looking at it now I don’t know how true that statement stands. I love my city to death, my city has made me who I am, but I want to see my city be better. If we all work together then we can all make it a lot further then people all trying to be the first to make it.
CR: Describe the kind of person who would wear your product.
AH: Anybody that has a dream.
CR: Who is one person you’d love to see in your brand?
AH: Anybody that has a dream; a lot of people say that we don’t want heavy, African American, tall, short, etc. people wearing our clothes. Our clothing is for anybody that has a dream. Even if your dream is to wake up every morning and drive the ice cream truck, we still want you in our clothes.
CR: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
AH: Don’t sleep. It may sound crazy but it’s true. This is my motto: stay humble, stay focused, stay dreamin’. If you do those things and put in your work your dreams will come true. That separates the real from the fake. I work every day but how can you give somebody else 8 hours a day to build their dream but not give yourself the time to build your own dream? There are a million people out there making it but they are not sleeping. Those are the sacrifices and steps that I personally believe are the steps to success. While you’re sleeping you are not succeeding.
CR: How do you hope your brand will evolve in future years?
AH: I see our brand on the cover of Vogue. I was talking to another designer and I asked, where do you see yourself in 10 years and he said I just go with the flow. I think that means you have no vision. I believe our brand is good enough to be in Vogue, in Fashion Week, on all the runways. I see our brand as a major brand, we are a clothing brand and we present ourselves as such.