We had an opportunity to sit down with Dio Sima , the creator of Visionary Society. Couple months ago he released a t-shirt design that went viral on the internet. Today , everyone owns a ” Father Stretch My Bands ” T-shirt. Travis Hill sat down with Dio to catch up and get the back story to his creation also to hear his upcoming capsule collection.
I know Visionary Society was not your first time designing clothes , what inspired you to create those ” Father Stretch My Bands ” t-shirts ?
I am a huge music lover. A combination of TLOP & just graduating from college led to me making those FSMB shirts . Coming out of college I feel a lot of people relate a lot of things don’t usually go as planned , some can’t find a job and some are in debt. I look at Father Stretch My Bands like a prayer in a way to motivate people to get it. I was looking to make a shirt that was real simple , but that you can wear for all occasions .
It seemed that the t-shirts came out at such a perfect time after ” The Life Of Pablo ” released , was this the original plan ?
I like to play my cards right I think about perfect to timing for everything .
What initially inspired you to start designing clothes ?
Personally always had a passion for streetwear clothing for as long as I could personally buy my own clothes . But reading articles about Scott Sasso & James Jebbia really inspired me to start designing clothes.
The visuals associated with Visionary Society are very inspiring , what is the concept behind Visionary Society ?
The concept behind the name I came up with the name Visionary Society about 3 years ago. When you think of Visionary you think of imagination and creative ideas , original ideas and a lot of futuristic concepts , Visionaries are open minded individuals. Due to their positive attitude , true visionaries are surrounded by positive people who are willing to help them achieve common vision. Society is basically the world … Society is a group of people who share similar values , laws , traditions and etc members of society often share religions. The brand name came about basically for people who share that common vision a society for visionaries. The concept started alone at first but eventually grew I have a team that helps me , personally don’t know where I would be without my support system.
What does the revolutionary imagery symbolize ?
Revolutionary images have a lot to do with my background , I’m West African used to read a lot on “Coup D’etat” . I got a lot of my revolutionary ideas personally , I use a lot of youth revolutionary images because I feel they hold the keys to the future.
I always see people complimenting VS customer service , is that very important to you guys ?
Customer service is the most important thing I feel , without the customer it’s no business literally . Even if you are buying 10 shirts or 1 shirt I try to treat all customers the same , I have so much respect for people that support me.
I am excited for this new capsule collection to be released , what is inspiration behind these new designs?
Basically putting fabrics together right now aiming to drop hoodies in October and everything else will follow up throughout the season. But the inspiration behind those designs is society not to even sound cliche but we named this F/W collection “F*ck Society” just been inspired with different things across the country from the police shooting to the current president elections , get inspired by everyday sh*t.
I can definitely say that your shirt went viral because of the internet , has anything changed for you ? Has any valuable connections been made since ?
Nothing personally changed I go about my day the same as I did yesterday , haven’t done much yet to keep it real for anything to change crazy , The hoodies is definitely a crowd pleaser and I get a lot of attention whenever I do wear it . But the connections definitely a lot , I see a lot of musicians that relate to Father Stretch My Bands.
Are you surprised at the reception ?
Yes and no, personally when I came up with the FSMB concept I definitely realized that it was something everybody could relate to , my number one target was college students fresh out of school looking for employment . But when I started receiving random emails from people in Australia and all those random I never been to , it definitely surprised me.
Who has been the most notable or coolest person that has purchased a t-shirt?
The most notable person that actually purchased a shirt is a tough question I value all customers but if I had to pick one , it was a random customer from South Africa that really spoke volumes to me and it showed how everybody could relate to FSMB .
You are coming back hard from such a great start with those FSMB tees with these awesome hoodies and other things I’m not sure if we can speak about just yet, how much pressure do you have on yourself ?
I personally put a lot of pressure on myself because I’m never satisfied , I feel like its never good enough. But I think its important to put a lot of pressure with any upcoming business, because you have to set the foundation for success , and there’s no gimmick to it , it all starts with you . But I have so much more things from a Kids Collection to a lot more Visionary Society products .
Where do you draw inspiration from to design ?
I’m all about simplicity and comfort to be real always have a good flannel on tuck thats’s me. My style is influence by everyday sh*t I see from movies , music , when I’m doing little graphic design I may find a color pattern that goes well together and run with it.
Who influences your style ?
As far as style influence I’m a huge fan of ASAP Rocky I like the mixture of streetwear and menswear. Kid Cudi as well always keep it simplistic and can never forget about Kanye West.