Name: Shameer L. Horton
Hometown: Trenton, NJ
Occupation: College Student at Rider University
How would you define success?
I would define success as a person feeling satisfied in whatever career they choose to be in. In my opinion, everyone is put on earth for a specific reason. Once you realize that purpose and fulfill it, you are successful. I believe my purpose is to lead young people and inspire all. I have started this mission by creating a business that is nationally recognized and will give back to communities the way I have always done on a personal level.
What is your favorite fashion memory?
My favorite fashion memory will have to be my first time in a fashion show. The show was hosted by Epiphany 34 Productions at Club BLVD in New York. I received the call when I was on vacation in Disney world, I only had about 2 weeks to prepare. I hustled around the city to make a few more pieces and I had to go to The College of New York for model casting twice. It was such a rush that at the end of the show I was completely astounded. I couldn’t even attend the after party. I just wanted to go home and recollect.
What attracted you to this industry?
I’ve always been into fashion my entire life. I’ve always kept up with the trends and styles since the age of 9. But the need for new style and new leaders brought me to where I am today. It seems as though we are always looking at the same celebs and designers for new trends. I personally got bored with the same stuff. So I said to myself “why not be the change I want to see in fashion?”
What has been your experience in the fashion industry?
My experience has been mind blowing. I’ve met so many different kinds of people. From millionaires to rising stars. I’ve went from NY to LA. From spreading my word on the streets. To kicking back on yachts. The best part about it is, this is only the beginning!
What items do you currently see in stores that you think are really great?
My personal favorite item that should have been the style for years is the skinny jeans. Don’t get me wrong, not skin-tight jeans, jeans that fit but still have a little slack in them. They look so much better than over-sized baggy jeans. Plus they bring out your sneakers.
Which designers do you wear a lot of? Which is your favorite?
I wear a lot of clothing from Express Men and H&M for the most part. My personal favorite will have to be Louis Vuitton.
Have you ever worked with another designer?
I have worked with Jon L of Certified Skateboards, I have worked with Guy Wood of 5001 Flavors, I have plans of working with Shaka King of ShakaKing Men’s Wear.
If you had a choice of all the designers in the world, who would you prefer to work with? Why?
I would have to say Nigo of Bathing Ape. When he first hit the scene the passion he had was seen in his clothing and the promotion of it. From his website to the shows he has been in. He hit the ground running, which is what I plan to do.
Do you think New York is still the place to foster a career in fashion?
Of course! New York is the fashion capital of the world in my opinion. Everything blows up and looks better in New York? Why? I honestly wish I had an answer to that. New York has just been appointed the fashion capital. Los Angeles is another place to foster a career in fashion. But if I had to choose o would say New York.
Are there any person qualities you developed early in life to help you with your craft today?
My ambition is my best quality. I have been through a lot growing up in the rough streets of Trenton, New Jersey. From being robbed at gun point, to watching as all my friends succumb to the street life full of gang activity and drug abuse. My family and I moved from house to house each year trying to escape that life, but it surrounded us. Watching my family go through this has given me the drive to want to get them out of the situation, rather than quit like the rest of my friends did. My ambition escapes me sometimes, growing up I would stay up long nights drawing in my sketch pad. Drawing basketball jersey’s and shoes and wondering how I could get my talents recognized. This is what brought me to where I am today.
Have you studied fashion design or did it come naturally to you?
A little of both. When I first started I was always into fashion and being able to sketch was a natural talent. I combined my two interest together and began to draw my own designs. Once I got older and more into the business aspect I started to study fashion. I would buy a bundle of magazines and compare designs, styles, prices, materials, etc. I would look up fashion show videos and reviews to see what the people liked and disliked. Anything that had to do with fashion I indulged myself in.
Was there ever another career path for you?
I always wanted to play professional basketball. But once I grew up and realized how typical it was for young black men to want to play sports I got uninterested. I don’t like to follow the status-quo. I like to do things differently. I prefer to stand out than blend in. What are your short term and long term fashion goals?
My short term goal is to get an investor who will see the potential the company has like I do. My long term goal is to go global.
How would you describe Aztro designs?
ACCO’s designs are one of a kind. They consist of 3 different aspects. 1) high-end fashion 2) urban fashion 3) a space theme. All these are mixed into one to create Aztro. The space theme symbolized a step towards the future. The high-end/urban mix symbolizes the fact that even though I, like many other, am from “the hood” I can still keep up with the big shots in fashion without forgetting where I came from.
Who is your target audience?
When I first started I wanted to attract young people only. After my last show and photo shoot I noticed that I have been attracting more and more adults.
Is your personal style similar?
My personal style is very similar to Aztro. My saying is “I will not sell anything that I will not wear myself.”
Is there any celebrity whose style you admire or would like to emulate?
In my opinion Chris Brown has the best style of all young stars. A lot of his outfits I take ideas from. It’s always colorful and is never too much. He doesn’t try to over-do his outfits, like me. I sometimes see him in a white tee with some nice jeans and shoes with matching jewelry, that’s casual to me. I also see him in piped-out blazers and amazing jackets with regular jeans to bring out his tops. Everything always evens out.
What are some major trends you see happening in fashion today?
The most major trend is the skinny jeans. Everybody wants to show off their curves and hot shoes so the skinny jeans can satisfy both these needs.
What are some trends you see fading?
It’s sad to say, but I see the Jordan shoe trend fading fast. It’s ok for younger people to wear them. But when I see grown men and women wearing them it disgusts me. People are starting to dabble in new shoe brands, like I am starting to like this new shoe out of Japan called Onitsuka Tiger.
What inspires your designs?
My desire to lead and get my family out of Trenton, New Jersey. Most people say the fame and fortune. But a friend of mine once told me “fame comes and goes, but intelligence is forever.” I take my education very seriously and I take that same ambition and use it in fashion. Seeing the same clothing on people is another inspiration. I know people are tired of buying the same brands all the time. It’s time to bring a new brand to the table, and the best part about it is how young I am. So I have plenty of time to change styles and hatch new ideas for the future.
How do you find inspiration before you design a collection?
I usually visit my mother, or my father’s grave. I talk to them and tell them what ever is on my mind so that when I sit to conjure up new ideas I have a clear conscience.
Any advice for other young designers today?
No matter what anybody tells you, you are closer to your success than you think. God will purposely put you through hell, just so when you get to heaven it feels that much better.
Watch me as I rise to the top.