I’m sure you can think of at least one guy you know who always looks more fashionable and put together than you do. If you couldn’t tell by his hat and perfectly untied boots, Ben Soltis is one of those guys. Aside from his suave sense of style, Ben co-started three different clothing brands before he even graduated high school. His motivation and keen eye for great fashion has given him great opportunities in the fashion world, and even though he has retired his entrepreneurial skills for now, he is still involved with amazingly cool fashion-related projects. This week I met with Ben to chat about these opportunities with him.
Name: Ben Soltis
Role: Student Designer
CollegeFashionista: Tell me a little about what you are currently working on?
Ben Soltis: It has been kind of an exciting month for me. I’ve been working with fast emerging clothing brand, TACKMA on their summer, fall and winter lookbooks. We shot the summer line in old style Japanese martial arts, which was a pretty cool experience. The fall/winter concept was very well thought out and executed and should be highly anticipated. The clothing is very high quality and manufactured in New York City. I’ve also been screen-printing samples with my friend Aaron Boles for local designers and brands. We have been working with a local designer, Jarvae Cherry for a while now helping him with his new summer line.
CF: When did you start getting interested in fashion?
BS: I have always been into art and the creative aspects behind garments. During my junior year of high school my friend Aaron Boles and I started a clothing brand called Rock The Boat, which changed to Soci3ty and eventually The Bomb Kids Collective. We visited trade shows to extend our networks and even spent a week in the garment district of New York City. Although we were growing organically as a brand, my interests were moving elsewhere and I wanted to learn more about garments and the industry as a whole. I think that your clothes should reflect you as a person and that’s what I have tried to accomplish as a “designer.”
CF: Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
BS: I think that inspiration builds off of ideas. Once you start to develop a style, inspiration comes form your own work and experiences. My clothes are from a wide variety of places. A lot of it is from traveling and finding things that I haven’t seen before or that seem cool to me. For example, the other day I was in an old antique shop in Cleveland and found a replica of the Michael Jackson “Thriller” jacket. I wasn’t looking for clothes at all but I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I bought it.
Learn More: Visit TACKMA’s website to see the summer line that Ben has helped them out with. Also keep your eye out for Ben’s work in the future, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!