Justin P. Etienne, 21, Versatile Fashion Creative
Justin P. Etienne is a Production Management student, part - time “unsigned” model, fashion stylist, designer, and creative director. He’s originally from NYC. "Don't get discouraged. They can't take your originality and the love you put into your work away from you.”
Where do you pull inspiration from?
I also pull inspiration from my emotions, the sound of music and topics that stimulates the mind.
What are some of your goals for the near future?
I want to make sure I obtain my Bachelors Degree in Production Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology this May. School is the structure to everything I do right now. I want to utilize all the knowledge I have obtained and finally put it all to use.
By the end of 2018, I want to be able to call my Mom and tell her she doesn't have to work anymore. She is one of my biggest motivations. While paving my own lane within the industry, I plan on sharing my ideas and concepts with more people across the globe. I want people to understand my perception of fashion. Whether its through Creative Direction, Design, Styling, Music, etc.
Where would you want to travel?
I'm Haitian and French, so I have family who live in different parts of Haiti. I know I can learn a lot from others within my culture. I actually want to open up my own factory in Haiti in a few years. I’d like to do production for other brands, create new job opportunities, and enhance working conditions for my people.
What has been one of your favorite projects?
Modeling for the F/W 17 Global Converse Campaign/Commercial was an huge experience for me. Seeing the process of composing a Global Campaign opened my eyes to a lot. Shoutout to my bro Alan Michael Duval for casting me and the Converse team.
What words of advice would you give your high school or younger self?
It's cliché but I'd tell myself that nothing will get handed to you. You have to grasp any form of knowledge around you at all times. I'd also tell myself to stop worrying about things I have no control over.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve overcome as you’ve grown into who you are today?
My Grandmother passing away from cancer is probably something that will forever sit in my soul. Ironically, I learned how to use my emotions to my advantage and turn them into positive energy and share that positive energy with the world.
Another big challenge is just pushing myself through all the hardships in my both my life and in the world in general. It's definitely hard being a middle class individual with all of these expenses with the education system while trying to maintain and build my craft as well. I know some people on a personal level who don't have the time or funds to work on their craft because they have other priorities to take care of. It hurts to see that at times.
You had a recent situation where a large fast fashion retailer produced pieces that were strikingly similar to your "The Gleam Series" collection. Can you explain how that made you feel?
I was kind of annoyed only because I knew it was a concept that I developed for a while. All of my supporters and friends reminded me that I should look at it as a positive thing. My mentor explained that it meant that I was doing something right. From then I knew I had to really create things to where people know it's me as soon as they see it. My real supporters knew that I was the original creator of the concept and I feel like it gave them some motivation as well.