Like Cardi B said, “Whatever you do sis, keep it cute sis”. That includes your time in the gym, the club, or even at the grocery store, keep that cute too. Luckily, Ace Lifestyle Apparel: a fitness clothing brand turned lifestyle brand is here to help keep that narrative going. The black owned business prides itself in being the best and helping their customers feeling their best. I had a the opportunity to chat it up with the brand owner Oscar Jon Manuh. We spoke about how the brand keeps its authenticity, especially in today’s social media age where it’s easy to mirror others. Peep our conversation below.
Esther : Tell me about Ace Lifestyle the clothing brand, what inspired it?
Oscar : A close friend and mutual acquaintance wanted to collaborate on a new venture. The idea was something we were passionate about, yet something that the public could enjoy, and fashion was the happy medium.
Esther : How did the name Ace Lifestyle come to you
Oscar: Well, I think the idea was to avoid being clichè, yet authentic. So when the term Ace came out, it’s normally referring to the best of something. The logo had already been made, so it just seemed to fit.
Esther: What makes Ace stand out from other brands?
Oscar: Easily, the versatility. Often times, a lot of brands get stuck in their niche, yet Ace has been shown to appeal to so many people in different avenues. We’ve seen Ace in the gym,to formal settings, to a night out. From the logo to the clothing, it can fit any occasion, depending on when you’re wearing it.
Esther: What’s your absolute favorite thing about owning Ace?
Oscar: I love the ability to work for myself, but the same time working to please others. No company is successful without its customer, so to know you’re making something that others are going to eventually wear is one of the most humbling things ever.
Esther : In your own words describe your brand
Oscar: Living the best you. Again, while avoiding clichè, it’s authentic and straight to the point.
Esther : What challenges have you faced since the inception of your brand and how did you overcome them?
Oscar: I would say authenticity. In the beginning, it was hard not to look at other brands and see what they were doing, to almost mirror trends. It took a bit of a self examination to say that, while inspiration may arise, we’re our own trend. Also the perception of success. We had a good start, but social media at times made other brands seem like they were light years ahead when they hadn’t started too long prior. That took a bit of soul searching to realize, we’re all running a different race and our pace wasn’t anyone else’s.
Esther: Tell me a bit about your creative process? How do you come up with your designs?
Oscar: To be honest, it all depends on my settings. I think the number one thing is always asking; “where and when can I wear this, and why?” I think being able to find inspiration with everyday surroundings and the aesthetics of life plays a big factor. It’s been as simple of seeing a unique sign while walking, or I love the 80s, so if you’ve seen a bit of what we have, a lot of retro and synth designs have been made, to pay homage.
Esther: What are some of your favorite designs you’ve worked on?
Oscar: There was a collection that was made; the Hustle Collection, which completely was something different than we’ve done before. We wanted to appeal to the hypebeast crowd, so we worked with a few customers to hear their point of view and it was such a positive creative disturbance that really opened a new avenue.
Esther : We know summer time is when things pop off. Do you have any special plans for Ace this summer?
Oscar: Consistency to bring you the best product we have. I think you’ll like our summer release.
Esther: What plans do you have for Ace this year? Any special drops we should be looking out for?
Oscar: We have a few special things planned, always be on the lookout; we want you to be pleasantly surprised.
Esther: What do you want the audience to know about Ace lifestyle?
Oscar: Without you, we’re just a business that stores. You are what makes us a community and a brand, and we’re grateful. We’re always listening, and striving for more.