Meet the influential Atlanta creative.
Design plays a critical role to music and the culture that surrounds it. Meet OriginalFani, a multi-hyphenate designer from Atlanta who has carved out his path over years of work, and who is now solidifying his footing in the realm of streetwear fashion.
Fani has held a range of roles, from in-house creative director for Atlanta rap crew Two9 to graphic designer to music video director and countless more positions that would take hours to list. Those experiences helped him hone in his skills, and now Fani can be found primarily designing for his self-titled personal brand.
Armed with experience and knowledge, Fani has created a brand that is respected amongst his peers and has no hint of slowing down, lining up new products and new collaborations. Read our exchange below to get a better feel for the Atlanta creative, and be on the lookout for future projects as Fani leaves his mark in both the fashion and music worlds.
I imagine the name, OriginalFani stems from the Japanese clothing label, OriginalFake. What sort of inspiration does Japanese fashion have to your personal style or your personal designs?
Japanese Fashion is everything to me. I think they really understand the concepts of “less is more,” and “quality over quantity,” which are essential fashion principles in my book. They also constantly collaborate with other brands. It is said that you can’t do it by yourself.
You’ve gained a lot of notoriety for your twist on the bandana. When did you create the first Fan-dana™?
I created the first Fan-dana™ out of necessity. I designed the print in 2012 and sat on it for a year. I really had no idea what I was going to do with my personal brand at that point, and doing artwork and graphics for Two9 and various other clients. I went to my printer to produce a Two9 bandana and he said he couldn’t make it so I told him to make my pattern.
I feel like the Fan-dana™ has gained the most attention, but what are some other items or design roles you have held, and how that led to fashion?
As Two9’s self-proclaimed Creative Director, I got the opportunity to work with multiple artists, travel, and make connections with different people. I styled Rae Sremmurd on their first tour with Nicki Minaj and have consulted several artists through my design firm, OriginalFani™ design.
I’ve always been interested in the world of fashion, art, and hip hop. When I made my first cover art for Ludacris, or even Trap God for Gucci, I told them I used to have XXL magazine covers on my ceiling so it was like a dream come true. Hip Hop moves at such a fast pace and I had more control of my branding in fashion. People’s reactions to my designs and what they choose to wear it with confirmed my feelings.
What’s been your biggest accomplishment so far, and what’s on your to-do list heading in to 2018?
I couldn’t tell you the biggest. I’ve got a collaboration coming with a store I used to shop at and a brand I look up to from the early days of streetwear. I’m just excited for what the future holds. For me, 2018 is all about expansion and travel . I plan to work with a lot of designers and fine artists out of Atlanta to continue to build the narrative I have created here as a true streetwear brand/ designer.
How do you define success within the realm of fashion design?
For me, it’s about self expression through clothing by all means and ideas. It’s fun. I design the collections, conceptualize the lookbook, and I’m there every time to see an idea come to life. I think if you can make yourself happy off what you’re doing and inspire others and pay your bills, that’s success.