Apr 28 2023
Episode 3: The 90’s HIP HOP
The Hip Hop era spans remnants of a crashed economy, a move into my own design studio, an unexpected personal tragedy, the start of a lifelong friendship, some major soul searching and a surprise opportunity; this decade was chock-full. It starts with great excitement and optimism from reaching a long-time goal of opening my own custom leather studio on Boston’s tony Newbury Street only to quickly take a turn that would change everything, including my desire to continue designing. My story goes on with the support of family, faith, a new friend, and everything taking its course to bring new experiences and opportunities including a stint at teaching, and a return to school to extend my education and learn new skills. Somehow, all roads lead back to design and midway through the decade, a surprise knock on my studio door leads to a new and exciting venture re-igniting my love for fashion and music. I’ll explain how that fateful knock refocused my career by teaming up with Boston rapper Antonio Ennis to create my second company Antonio Ansaldi, Inc., a clothing brand partnership focused on urban wear. While the eighties were all rock ‘n’ roll – tighter than tight costumes, the nineties brought hip hop – oversized, big and baggie styles, and a whole new world of celebrities (two and four legged) to dress. Antonio joins in on the conversation and together we recount some of our tabloid worthy events. We will also share how we designed and created leather pieces for music artists Snoop Dog and Mace, furs for Mariah Carey’s canines, unique pieces for sports figures, Mike Tyson, Kenny Anderson, Lawyer Milloy and Willie McGinnis, as well as many other exclusive items for prominent individuals. This venture brought more; a collaboration with the nineties #1 hip hop magazine – The Source, which ignited the brand to international popularity and took it from being a made-to-order custom leather company, to quickly expanding into ready-to-wear leathers, denims, tees, as well as adding wholesale options to the business. Everything was falling into place nicely to end the decade.