Burassi

 
 

BURASSI IS A LIFESTYLE CLOTHING BRAND BASED IN NEW YORK CITY.

We were able to speak with Burassi founder, Gregory Scott. The New Jersey native made the move to New York City where he studied Marketing at Pace University and from there he started Burassi in his dorm room. We talk about how he launched his company in the summer of 2012 when he was only 18 years old and the climbing success Burassi has achieved since then.


When and how did you decide to start Burassi?

It was actually pretty spontaneous how it all began. It was towards the end of high school when I realized I really wanted to do something different and something of my own. The typical college life just didn’t excite me too much. I had been getting into graphic design after taking a couple courses and at the same time streetwear was becoming very popular with the urban music culture. This was back in 2011-2012 when graphic tees were the biggest trend and I would see brands like Diamond Supply and Pink Dolphin literally everywhere from music videos to kids around school wearing the brands. Even though I had no prior experience or connections in fashion, I saw an opportunity for myself to jump in and so I jumped. 

That was the greatest risk I ever took and
I hope I can inspire others to take a chance as well.

 

What did you initially think would come from starting this brand? What was the original goal?

Honestly I had no idea what would come from starting the brand because I only told a couple of friends about it before launching and my mom thought I was crazy. But given that it was the summer before college, I knew I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The original goal of the brand was simple; I wanted to be proof that we all have the power to create something from nothing and can succeed in doing so. I literally started this brand from scratch. That’s why I chose the name Burassi. It meant nothing and I was starting from nothing. Most people tend to put up walls in their mind that forever holds them back from even attempting at something. But the most important step to success is taking leaps of faith. I took all of $2,000 that I had saved up from working at a local pizzeria to invest in the launch of the brand and never looked back. That was the greatest risk I ever took and I hope I can inspire others to take a chance as well. 

 

How would you describe the style of your clothing and whom would you say it's for? Has that style changed since first starting out?

It constantly evolves as trends come and go - which is great because it forces you to keep thinking new and outside the box every season but that’s also one of the biggest challenges: staying ahead and keeping up. We all go through creative blocks now and then. In the beginning it was all about graphic t-shirts and big logos and now it’s much more about minimalism or variety with focus on the smaller details of each piece. Logos will always be relevant but are definitely much more subtle nowadays. When it comes to designing I don’t necessarily create for a specific type of person. I just like to create for whomever or whatever I’m feeling at the time. It all starts with the streetwear emphasis but I tend to get a lot of inspiration from various things so it’s a mix of many elements. So far I’ve done everything from regular hoodies and crewnecks, to minimalistic influenced bomber jackets and flannels, to sporty pieces such as jerseys and windbreakers. Lately I’ve been experimenting a lot more with colors from the help of some friends because I’m actually colorblind and really bad with colors. And that’s why the theme of the brand has mostly been based off of black, white, and grey for many pieces in the past. 

It’s definitely a surreal feeling knowing that people across the world are supporting me and wearing something that I created.

 

What did you do to get the word out about what you were doing? What was the first big break in your company becoming well known/successful?

I’ve always stuck to Instagram and Twitter to get the word out and promote the brand. In the beginning people were still adapting from Facebook so those platforms were not nearly as powerful as they are today but they worked. I remember being so excited about getting 7 online orders from random people during the first night of launching the website. The orders kept coming in throughout the rest of the summer and when I wasn’t shipping orders out I’d be driving around town selling shirts locally to my friends. Within the first few months or so I had sold out of all the 175 t-shirts I originally ordered for the launch. Since then there’s definitely been a few big breaks that to me personally felt like I was finally doing something right or had created something that would last. First it was the international orders, which has now grown to over 30 countries that I’ve shipped to. Everywhere from Italy, France, Australia, South Korea, Japan, to Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Morocco and so on. It’s definitely a surreal feeling knowing that people across the world are supporting me and wearing something that I created. In the winter of 2012 I was able to get a hoodie to The Weeknd and within 1 week he posted a picture wearing it on Instagram so that was really cool because he was my favorite artist at the time. Another big break came last year when I had my first release that sold out within one night, which were the side script hats. Then one month later I was out in LA walking down the street as I noticed someone coming from the other way wearing one of my hats but I was instantly speechless that I didn’t even say anything. I really wish I could go back and say something! And to top that, I finally had my first release sell out within just a few hours not only once - but twice (which were the dip dye hoodies). Those were my most popular item to date with almost 1,000 hoodies sold. Not too long after, there were a few popping up on Ebay for $100+ per hoodie and I was just like "Oh man, is this really happening?" haha. 

 

What are some current ideas you're working on to progress the brand?

I’ve got quite a few exciting projects in the works starting off with the 5-year anniversary collection dropping this summer. I also want to do something special for the fall and winter as well so it may be stretched out between multiple releases. I’ll be moving to LA in September to expand operations and once I’m settled out there I really want to do a pop-up shop in both New York and LA since that’s been on my list for a while now. I’m also thinking about beginning a Youtube series with some dope behind the scenes content of all the things that go into running a clothing brand - it’d be similar to Wiz Khalifa’s DayToday series. Other than that, I’ve got some special surprises but don’t want to spoil it all!

You’ll eventually realize you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward...everybody out there that’s successful is successful because they didn’t give up.

What is/was the hardest part about starting and continuing this company?

The hardest challenge for me and for anyone who’s working to be successful has to be persistence. It’s as cliché as it gets but it’s the truth. There have been so many nights where I hit roadblocks, long periods of creative blocks, and even some releases that failed. But never at any point did I let myself lose faith - as I’ve always been an optimistic person no matter the circumstances. You’ll eventually realize you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. You just got to keep moving and eventually things will find a way to work out. Everybody out there that’s successful is successful because they didn’t give up.

Another huge challenge in this industry are resources and finding a trustworthy factory so you can make custom items. I didn’t have much of a plan in the beginning of how things would work out but I was patient enough to trust the process instead of rushing the process. It’s actually an interesting story how I established my first factory connection. It was back in 2012 and I had an online order from someone in New York who wanted to save the cost of shipping. So I agreed to meet them in the city and give them their shirts. We chatted for a while and he really appreciated me taking the time to do that and so he kept in touch. Fast forward to 2014 and it turns out he’s cousins with Daymond John from Shark Tank and he invites me to Daymond’s office up on the 66th floor in the Empire State Building. Then fast forward a few months later and I end up interning for Daymond John managing his social media. Through that I was able to establish a factory connection and open more doors for the brand - which goes to show you how literally anything can happen no matter where you’re starting. To go from a kid with no connections or experience in the industry to interning for a man who built a $6 billion dollar fashion empire is a great example of what’s possible when you stay persistent. I’m not just saying it, I’m truly living what I preach.

Lastly, the third biggest challenge I’d say is discipline. Success doesn’t come without sacrifice. I spent my first 3 years of college and operating Burassi from a dorm room. While everybody else was out partying or going to the clubs, I was the one staying in and working. Everybody thought I was missing out on all the fun but I never let it get to me. 

 

Would you have any advice for a young creative trying to start their own company?

Take your time to build and create something original and that has a real meaning to yourself. What begun as just a made up word and simple idea has now become the greatest journey of my life. At some point you have to jump in life. I’m not guaranteeing you will be successful on your first try or to jump right away but sooner rather than later because you’re only getting older. 

 

Learn more and support at BURASSI.COM

 
 
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