By: Jonnita Condra
To wake up everyday, and do what you love is a blessing. Needless to say, Chaz L. Morgan, founder of Apparel Reserve, is living this life. One of Chicago’s very own, Chaz is an example of how circumstance, is just that- a circumstance. It does not, and should not define you.
I remember meeting Chaz at OfficialAnais PR’s, annual networking event, and upon introduction, we shared stories about our individual paths in a matter of thirty minutes.
Chaz shared how a sinus infection caused him to abruptly leave school (Columbia College Chicago), and when he returned, things only seemed to get worse. Basically, tuition was due, a newborn was on the way, and grades had dropped below standard (due to absence).
He wanted to stay in school, but Columbia College was no longer an option. After trying other schools in the city, nothing was working out. But, Chaz was determined to be a designer, no matter what.
September 25, 2008, Chaz left Harold Washington College, and started working at the same hospital, he had been a patient in. Knowing that working at the hospital was not his destiny, Chaz did what was necessary to fund his dream.
Two years later, Chaz did his first show for Farnsworth Bentley, followed by a life changing trade show in Miami.
To this day, he is still going hard. If you ever wondered who does the mixtape artwork, or flier promo for artists like Trey Songz, Rick Ross, DJ Sean Mac, just to name a few. Well, it is Chaz L. Morgan.
After our quick chat, I knew there was more to learn about this creative genius. So on a rainy evening, I picked the brain of Chaz L. Morgan at the Jugrnaut boutique.
What did you do today.
I did a little freelance, caught up on some projects, a little bit of that…got some sleep finally.
Where have you traveled.
I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been to Miami, Atlanta, NY, Jersey, Memphis. Been all over so far.
One of your most memorable moments.
Getting approved to do the apparel collection for Rick Ross. That was pretty big. I jumped out my seat.
What does Apparel Reserve mean.
Apparel Reserve is basically a collection that I started in 2008 from my portfolio. I was real big on expressing myself, and I didn’t want them to go to waste. A couple of people were like you should put them on t-shirts, so I did a couple pieces; and people responded well to them. So I was like I should really formulate a concept. Jurgnaut (Clothing store) jumped right behind it, and it’s been uphill since then.
What comes to mind when you think of fashion.
The brand Jordan. I mess with Gucci a lot, because I know the history behind it. Actually the word fashion, I feel is just self expression. From the details to what colors people choose. It all say’s a little piece about that person, without them opening their mouths.
A day in the life.
A day for me is pretty easygoing. I structure my day around stuff I really want to do- eat, chill, talk on the phone, play Xbox. Stuff like that. I really structure the way I conduct my business around the time that I allot to myself- that’s how I find harmony. That’s how I can go into my projects with positive energy, and not force it. Everything is more organic when I’m happy. I don’t sit still. I take advantage of each moment I get, whether it’s for myself or to reach out and call somebody.
The design process.
I really don’t sketch. It’s just me and my Macintosh, and loud music. I just [have] to be one with what I’m trying to create. If I want to do something more vibrant, I might put on Drake or The Weeknd. If I want to do something more high energy, abstract, I might put on Lil B. A lot of juice, because I sit down a lot. If I’m sluggish then I get uninspired. Sunflower seeds, gummy bears, stuff that will keep me up and hyped.
Designing is like euphoria to me. It helps me escape reality, while creating a reality- a lifestyle for myself. It’s just fun. I never had this much fun at work. -Chaz L. Morgan