After hopping in his car and making our way towards Main Street, we decide on burgers and he takes us through side streets and moments later we wind up at local spot TK burger.
What does Trey Q mean?
Quest for Qualified Quality. We are striving for excellence and enjoying the journey to make it good.
So how did it come about?
I never really envisioned it to be a clothing brand. A friend of mine had returned from abroad with a wallet that had "trey q" etched in it. My group of friends and I thought this was a cool name so we printed up shirts to wear as a group.
And how did it progress from there?
I wanted to make this a real brand, so I filed papers and made it legit. I was able to recruit a few guys from my group to help me with it. My first big move was making an "I Love Hip Hop" shirt. I had always been looking for one and couldn't find anything that I liked so I made my own. I had 80 of them printed up and took them to Chicago for an underground hip hop concert where I got a booth setup to promote Trey Q.
How was that experience?
Amazing. There is nothing better than seeing a person really into your brand. Nobody knew who we were. People would walk by and see our stuff and think it was fresh and come up to us. I really value interacting with the kids at these events because they are the ones I am reaching out to.
Where do you get your influence?
I am Palestinian so I draw inspiration from my heritage. I try to convey a message in every design. I also pull inspiration from daily life; anything that makes you think.
Being a designer is not the norm in a Palestinian family so how supportive are they?
The typical job for someone with my background is to get a professional degree; like to be a doctor or lawyer. I couldn't do that and lucky for me my family supports what I do and is happy that I have found something that I enjoy.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Getting my shirts into Avenues, a local shop that pushes solid underground street brands, and I am really happy to be in there. They really know and appreciate street brands and I know my shirts are getting good exposure. Kids are coming in asking for new product and the owner just tells them that he is waiting for me to drop my next design, so keep your eyes out for it.
What are you working on next?
For the summer we are going to release a tank.
What about for fall?
I am looking to do re-releases of older designs because people have been asking for them.
What about a hoody?
I have done the all-over print, but a hoody should have so much more than just a hit on it. It should have details, contrast fabrics, epaulettes, chest flaps, something technical. It should be unique, something you just can’t get anywhere.
Where do you want to see this in 5 years?
I would really want to see it in boutiques here in LA and NYC. I really want to be in solid shops in NYC by then.
What brand would you want to do a collab with?
For accessories I would really want to work with Nooka. I just got this watch and love it. It is so different. I appreciate their innovation. For clothing I would want to work with KAWS. His artwork and the Original Fake line are inspiring.
What brands do you think are killing it right now?
Definitely Crooks and The Hundreds. I am not totally into the action sports scene but Insight is killing it.
Are you a Laker fan?
What are your thoughts about the addition of Ron Ron?
I will miss Ariza, but Artest brings energy and strength.
If you had your last meal right now, what would it be?
It has to be seafood, like crab or sushi.
If you could have coffee with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Kanye West or Pharell. I have been following those two from the beginning.
If you could hop on a plane and travel anywhere right now, where would you go?
No, that is why I would go there right now. The Japanese are so innovative and inspiring. Their thinking is so forward.
What's on your iPod?
Anybody on Stones Throw Records; J-dilla, DJ Premier. I am an underground hip hop guy. I don't listen to mainstream too much, but if I do I listen to Kanye.
If your house was on fire and you could only take 3 things with you, what would you grab?
My J5 Grapes because I dropped serious coin on it, my iMac, and to show my nerdy side, my Star Wars collection.
Check out Trey Q at Avenues in Fountain Valley and their website http://www.treyq.com/. Thanks for the burger Ramsey.