DB of Rocksmith invites us exclusively to his store for a behind-the-scenes look into what he’s up to!
Interview and Article by Kate Guberman
We exclusively get to visit the Rocksmith/WuTang Brand LTD Flagship store in NYC to get a taste of how Rocksmith’s very own store manager and personal shopper DB Knarly operates on a day-to-day basis. DB shares with us how he got started in the fashion industry, what his current projects include, as well as what’s in store for his future with the company and for himself.
So tell me a little bit about yourself.
“My name is Darrel Brown, but everyone calls me DB. I’m 28 years old and I am a fashion stylist from Ohio. I’ve been in NYC for 3 years now and I’ve been with Rocksmith for 4 years. I’m a store manager for Rocksmith’s flagship store in NYC and I do their in-house marketing, as well as fashion merchandising. Rocksmith NYC is our flagship store, but we have over 300 accounts worldwide and internationally.”
How did you happen to move out here?
“I was on tour with artist Machine Gun Kelly and doing his wardrobe, and then I began to notice that I was hitting a ceiling when it came to fashion in Ohio. I met a rep who used to put artists in Rocksmith clothing. Once I met him, I transitioned into working for Rocksmith in NYC and that’s where I am now!”
How have the opportunities been in NY?
“Awesome, awesome! I’ve been able to really become myself, you know? Be free, create, and use the resources that are right at my fingertips.”
Is there a certain word that describes your style?
“I’m pretty cozy. I like all my clothing to be comfortable. I’m an athlete at heart; I used to run track and play football so I like to relate my clothing to that “chill” comfortable style, in a sense.”
A lot of people don’t know what goes into styling someone else. Can you describe the process?
“Yeah, definitely. Styling is a process. Styling involves pulling peoples wardrobes, visiting brands, checking out showrooms, whether that’s clothing footwear, anything really. From suits to sportswear, I like to help people cultivate their image.”
When you work with someone like MGK or other artists, is it solely you or them that decide what to wear, or is it a collaboration?
“Collectively we have an input-input conversation. We like to put out thoughts together in efforts to clean our ideas. I see their personal taste, as well as what they like, and don’t like, and then I put my spin on it.”
Do you ever butt heads with whomever you are styling?
“Sometimes, sometimes haha. Clothes are a big deal, especially for men. So sometimes it’s hard to convince someone to wear something that they’ve never worn before but you think it looks good on them.”
Where do you get your inspiration for styling?
“I am heavily interested in architect so I’d say that I get most of my inspiration from a combination or architecture and emotion. I try to apply a number of different angles when I am styling.”
Tell me about the shirt you’re wearing.
“This is a Wu-Tang sweatshirt. Its Wu tang brand limited here at Rocksmith and wutangclan.com. It’s also part of our Wu-Tang fall collection and the 20th year collection, which was released in November.”
What does Wu-Tang mean to you?
“Wu tang means…well everything to me. It’s a way of life. I was raised on it just like millions of others.”
In addition to working for Rocksmith, do you have any other side projects that you work on?
“I am a personal shopper for some NFL Athletes and Celebrity Entertainers. I am on a monthly budget with them so I do their closets for them. They have hectic schedules and don’t have much time to do it themselves.”
What’s next for you?
“I’d like to continue to help Rocksmith grow, while working on my own brand and growing creatively. I hope to someday become a creative director. I would love to design my own sneaker or help a company design a sneaker.”
So you’re heavy into footwear?
“Yes, absolutely. I grew up as a poor kid, seeing all the sneakers that I wanted but was never able to afford. Now that I am older and make a living for myself, I can finally get the shoes that I fell in love with. In junior high, we visited the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC. When I saw all the shoes leftover it really touched me. At that moment I realized that shoes are truly forever. Sometimes, they’re really all you remember a person by.”
“My favorite type of shoe would be sneakers. Coming from my athletic background helped me fall in love with sneakers. They’re so universal. Someone’s daughter who is 7 years old can shop in the same sneaker store as someone’s grandmother who is 80 years old. They are just that universal.”
When did you decide that you were not going to pursue your athletic abilities and start becoming a stylist?
“I’d say around the time that I was in my sophomore year of college. My athletic talent hit a ceiling. I thought, do I continue to beat this dream I have, or do I transition into something else? At the time, I didn’t even know you could make money styling. I first started styling my friends. I have friends in NFL, and Olympic track teams. I was able to do their wardrobe and now it developed into a real thing. Now it’s a career for me and I can finally make a living doing it!”