The Recap

In our debut episode of CEO’s Wear Sneakers, we sit down with fashion and graphic designer Mike Cherman of Chinatown Market and talk about how he got started in design, the incident that was the catalyst for starting his now defunct reflective apparel brand, ICNY, and the harsh realties of entrepreneurship.

Episode Highlights

  • 02:32 – Mike explains how he got into graphic design and the entrepreneurship world

  • 04:04 – The story of how he introduced himself to Jeff Staples

  • 06:50 – His job interview with Jeff and what he didn’t expect to hear from him

  • 09:45 – His time at the 255 Studio at Nike

  • 12:43 – How being hit by cars and suffering other accidents led to his breakthrough   moment

  • 14:13 – Mike talks about how his clothing brand ICNY got started

  • 16:19 – His mini film, Dark Nights, Bright Lights

  • 17:10 – The ending of ICNY

  • 19:38 – The challenges he faced placing reflective on socks

  • 20:45 – What he would have done differently with ICNY

  • 23:26 – His decision to go out to Los Angeles and the realities of entrepreneurship

  • 27:37 – The birth of Chinatown Market

  • 29:13 – His merchandise and sales at Complex Con

  • 32:20 – The meaning behind the Frank Ocean and Nike swoosh t-shirt

  • 33:08 – How Ikea directions inspired him to create faux merchandise for brands

  • 35:02 – The Balenciaga Bag and the story behind ‘The Hat’

  • 37:15 – How long it takes him to execute ideas he has for apparel

  • 38:04 – The lifespans of his products

  • 40:57 – The criticism of Chinatown Market

  • 41:41 – How your work on social media is up for anyone to grab

  • 43:46 – Knowing your worth and not selling yourself short

  • 46:26 – Mike talks about some of his most popular items

  • 49:16 – Some of the brands Mike is working with

  • 50:05 – Surrounding yourself with people who can be honest with you

  • 51:04 – The Thoughts app

  • 52:54 – Failing, getting back up, and not having expectations

Tweetable Quotes

Connect with Mike

Mike's Instagram

Links Mentioned

Dark Nights Bright Lights mini film

ComplexCon

RipNDip