Topping the class, Jalil Peraza is the T-shirt designing Texan teen packing out the wardrobe of some of the world’s most famous and fashionable folk.
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Nestled deep amongst a tribe of internet-trained youngsters hyped-up on fashion, bursting with ambition and full to the brim with talent, at just 18-years-old Jalil is in danger of maxing out the character limit on his Wikipedia entry before he can even toast to his own success. Scouted by music maestro and bourgeoning fashionista Kanye West as one-to-watch, Jalil was recruited to Yeezy’s ever-expanding team of creative consultants in his mid-teens. Starting out in the Louis Vuitton don’s pack of wardrobe consultants on the ‘Rosewood Movement’ before hitting with the Major Leaguers as one of the Donda creative directors, Jalil lends the voice of youth to the well-primed pack who are enlisted to offer input on Mr West’s much-scrutinised creative manifesto.
With no formal fashion training, JP has used the cornucopian world wide web as his playground and his well-clothed crowd of pals as his mannequins. Fixing his fresh and beady eyes on perfecting his tees, he makes obvious reference to Kanye’s demigod and poster boy of the rap pack, Riccardo Tisci, in his output, keeping things simple and making bold graphical statements the focal point of his pieces. Backs are emblazoned with crucifixes, pockets detailed with leopard print and sleeves capped with stars and stripes. Already establishing a young and distinct voice in streetwear, Jalil is a 21st century American Dreamer and as his garms take centre stage, cladding Jay-Z and Kanye in front of packed out arenas for the Watch the Throne Tour, he better get some kip ‘cos part one of his fantasy already seems to be coming true. After i-D online shot Jalil at fellow Donda’ers Been Trill party in London, we asked him some questions about his where’s, his why’s and his what next’s!
Where do you live? I just became a NY city native. Define your style… Minimal. Pyrex. Can you tell us about your creative relationship with Kanye? I stand as one of the Creative Art Directors for Donda. As well as Personal Intern for Mr. West. Describe the Rosewood Movement in 5 words? I got 6 words for you, “We on some new shit now”. What’s your favourite Kanye track? Probably ‘I wonder’, it’s hard to say though they’re all classics to me. Tell us about the background to your collection of T-shirts and how they’ve ended-up on Jay-Z’s back? I’m aiming at a new aesthetic with the new Jalil Peraza brand, more minimal, abstract pieces. Jay saw me wearing the shirt and him and Kanye were like, “We each want a few of those, these tees are too fresh.” So after delivering them I found Jay wearing them throughout the tour, the shirt made its debut at Watch The Throne, Vancouver. What role has the Internet played in the development of your own brand? Social media has been my primary marketing tool in advertising and spreading awareness of my brand. Tell us about your new short ‘Beauty Trapped in the Dark’ (see left)… The concept was given to me by director Simon Davis. Once the treatment was written, myself and my art directors worked to build on the storyline and added necessary visuals to capture the Jalil Peraza brand in a more cinematic way. The overall purpose of producing the film wasn’t to show people I could act but that I’m a visual artist more than anything. What’s next? Follow jalilperaza.com to see.
Text: Sean Baker
Images courtesy Jalil Peraza (from blog.jalilperaza.com)