Seen & Heard: 003 UPTON

Currently residing in Denver, CO is a driven individual named Daniel Hopkins. He's the prime mover and mind behind his local streetwear brand UPTON.  Each piece of clothing is carefully crafted to engage ideas and start conversations between the people who wear his line or see it on the street. Get familiar with Daniel and UPTON below! 

1. How old are you? 
I'm 20 years of age

2. Where are you from?
I grew up in Colorado Springs

3. The designs you created / are creating are great unique pieces, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such designs?
My inspiration changes from collection to collection. But in general my main inspirations are human beings and their interactions with themselves and their environment. I also gain a lot of inspiration from emotion. Love and fear mostly. I draw a lot from what has been and what could be. I like to develop an idea and weave it into my pieces, in order to make the consumer think and develop their own ideas.  

4. Say something about your background? What got you into wanting to design clothes?
Growing up where and when I did, pretty much everyone looked the same or close to it until I started high school. I slowly started subscribing to what I now know as fashion trends, but not seriously. I didn't really start to care about what clothes I was wearing until freshman year.

While all my friends were developing their artistic tastes and talents I was fooling around on the internet. My fascination with fashion began slowly with music. Bands and artists like Yung Lean, Mac Demarco, Kanye West, Grimes and The Drums all pushed me into the direction of distinguishing my taste in clothing. I started watching as many videos and reading as many articles as possible. At this point I still didn't know shit about fashion or design, but I knew what I liked. 

My junior year of high school I had a sweatshirt made with a design from my favorite movie at the local print house and I then realized how easy it was to create. I got some good feedback from my friends and this is what inspired me to learn more about the industry. My dad told me about designers from his era, like Dior and Balenciaga. I started reading as much as I could  becoming kind of a poser fanboy. 

Around the same time I knew I wanted to start a label, but had no idea how. Eventually I met a kid in my  high school library during free period who had the same aspirations, we've been designing and learning since then. 

I only started applying myself and taking the dream seriously when I was depressed my freshman year of college. I started using the label to express how I felt inside and people seemed to enjoy it. 

Compared to where we started to where we are at now is insane! I feel so blessed! Shout out to all my friends! 

 Models: Stephen Edwards, Suzy Zeitzman, Caleb Smith, Anna Kim, Eve Zook, Jonas Conn-parent  (in no particular order) Photo by: Daniel and Jonas

Models: Stephen Edwards, Suzy Zeitzman, Caleb Smith, Anna Kim, Eve Zook, Jonas Conn-parent
(in no particular order) Photo by: Daniel and Jonas

5. How would you describe your personal style?
Even though I design streetwear, I enjoy wearing vintage looks. I really align with late 80s and 90s sports and casual wear the most, but I have a lot of unique pieces. I think it's important to have a vast wardrobe so you can deliver unique and different looks but stay consistent. I take inspiration from a lot of different scenes and styles. Boxing yourself in when it comes to fashion should never be an obstacle. Finding your own unique taste and style is important as a designer. Don't be afraid to deck yourself out in 90s FILA one day and dress like a punker the next. 

6. What questions do you ask yourself before you start a new clothing design?
When it comes to design I basically start messing around until I find something that I like. Then once the idea is fully formed I start to ask myself a lot of questions: 
- What style do I want to take inspiration from ?
- What graphic design style would compliment this the best?
- How many possible outfits would look good with this?
- What does that look like?
- Have I seen this before?
- What song pops into my head from this?
- How can I make this evoke a feeling?
- What emotions can I exploit from this?
- How can I provide a personal feeling / scenario and make it speak to a wide audience?


7. How can you encourage the individuals who buy your products to form an emotional attachment to what they choose? 
My main goal with UPTON is to spread ideas and open dialogues. I want people to engage with the clothing they see. Changing mindsets is important. The best way to that is to emulate emotions people exhibit from certain events and ideas. 

8. What programs do you use to design your clothes?
I mostly use photoshop and illustrator

 Model: Orrin Campbell  Photography: Tim Day

Model: Orrin Campbell
Photography: Tim Day

9. How do you stay up to date with fashion trends?
While somewhat embarrassing I do follow fashion blogs/ websites and read fashion magazines. I also have friends in various cities around the world who are involved in the industry that I rely on. The internet is a beautiful place. I also give credit to my right hand man Jonas, for being the more streetwear centric side of the brand.

10. Who are some of your favorite designers?
Raf Simons, Virgil Abloh, Yves Saint Laurent, Yohji Yamamoto, Tinker Hatfeild, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Rei Kawakubo


This coming Saturday - August 19th UPTON is having a party in Denver details are below!