StayCool x DDrey
SPOTLIGHT: StayCool NYC and DDrey Designs
Boston University boasts students with diverse passions. However, two students have used their passions beyond the books and a cubicle at Mugar Library. Dorian Dreyfuss, a sophomore Graphic Design major in BU’s College of Fine Arts, and Amin Adjmi, a senior in BU’s School of Hospitality Administration, have each created their own companies and decided to merge them together for an über trendy, envy-inspiring collaboration. This collaboration turned out to be a huge success, so we had some questions for Amin Adjmi, creator of StayCool NYC, and Dorian Dreyfuss, the artist behind DDrey Designs.
OTC: So, tell me a little bit about your individual companies. What are your styles and who are your target audiences?
Amin: My brand is called StayCool NYC; I think of it as retro-inspired chill wear. Chill wear is something I wanted to introduce to the streetwear market—it is clothing people can just chill in. Whether you are hanging out at home or kicking it with friends, the product is created to be versatile. All of my products are very easy to wear, the style being heavily influenced by a kind of ‘80s/’90s aesthetic. More than just clothing, I want StayCool to influence a lifestyle, a movement. It started about two summers ago when I designed one shirt for myself and my friend liked it. Eventually, more and more people wanted my designs. Ever since then, I’ve been working on building the brand’s identity.
Dorian: My company is DDrey Designs, which focuses on a collection of portraits and other images. The pictures clients bring me get reduced to their fundamental basics, focusing on the more geometric shapes of an image or a face. The color palette I use consists of mainly softer tones, like pastels, and I don’t really target a specific age group, it’s for whomever wants to make art more personal. I began DDrey at the end of freshman year when I began transferring sketches from my notebook to a computer for my graphic design class. My friends found a lot of interest in them after I started customizing their own pictures, and it grew from there.
OTC: What inspired the collaboration behind StayCool NYC and DDrey Designs?
Amin: When I saw Dorian’s instagram for DDrey Designs, I really liked the colors and the playful imagery she created. I figured I’d meet with her, talk to her about her style, and she could help me translate her style and intertwine it with my brand. She does different things, so why not come together and do something visually pleasing? We made two shirts together: the resort tee and the summer shack tee.
Dorian: Amin and I met through mutual friends at BU and began speaking about our own creativity and businesses. One thing led to another and we decided to connect our personal styles for both of our audiences.
OTC: Describe your collaborative designs and the inspiration behind them.
Amin: Specifically, for the summer shack t-shirt, what I wanted to do was create a made up StayCool beach shack. What I wanted in the design was people chilling on a car and people skateboarding. After creating the design, whoever purchased a shirt would get a StayCool lollipop. Each lollipop had a StayCool summer shack illustration on it. It was a cool promotional idea that worked well.
Dorian: Amin came up with the idea that he wanted me to create. He sent me sample images like someone skateboarding or a shack that he liked. We met many times to discuss the illustrations, the idea he was going for and the vibe he wanted. I created the setting and look he wanted for the people and the positions to place them in, all while applying my own artistic take on it.
OTC: How/why do you think this collaboration interests audiences?
Amin: People loved it. People reacted to it well because they loved the designs. Both shirts sold really well.
Dorian: We’re both students. Amin’s audience is more youthful and I have a big audience, some of whom are in that same age group. I think a lot of his style attracts a young age group because of the theme and the idea of being retro, which is popular. I think that pacing that vibe towards things that people could wear and show off is really attractive.
OTC: Do you have any future plans for your respective companies?
Amin: This year, I really wanna focus on StayCool’s exposure and reaching a bigger audience than I already do. I’m coming out with a new collection by winter and I want every piece to be really unique. I will also be focusing a lot on getting into the retail market.
Dorian: I’d like to expand my audience even further by reaching out to other brands like StayCool, such as other art accounts on Instagram or other young designers. Also, I think it’d be cool to make my own gear and other kinds of merchandise for my audience. I’m currently involved with a website called “Hautenovi,” and I created hats for the recording arts they represent. Hopefully, I’ll get to do more work with them in the future.