Like a superhero, REMBRANDT DURAN has aliases representing his different sides. But unlike superheroes hidden behind capes and masks, Rembrandt saves the day by making people super fly with his brand, ADEEN.
“All my nicknames come from my love of rap music and cartoons. In rap, everyone always has a bunch of different monikers and names. The name Jimmy Vega comes from my two favorite cartoon characters I felt represented me the best—Vega from Street Fighter and Jimmy Kudo from Case Closed.”
You have a lot of nicknames (Remy, Jimmy Vega, even Ricky Ticky Tan!) Where did they come from?
All my nicknames come from my love of rap music and cartoons. In rap, everyone always has a bunch of different monikers and names. The name Jimmy Vega comes from my two favorite cartoon characters I felt represented me the best—Vega from Street Fighter and Jimmy Kudo from Case Closed. It’s just a name I used to use when I went out partying; it was an old Facebook name so everyone who knew me from the internet knew me as that. Also, it was a cool nickname for the ladies to use [Laughs].
Sounds like a stalker question but we just have to ask: What are you wearing right now?
Great question! I’m wearing black jeans, old KAWS x BAPE sneakers, and an ADEEN sample T-Shirt! My chillin-at-home outfit.
We’ve read that you illustrate a lot ever since you were a kid. How did you learn? Were your parents into art as well?
I wouldn’t call it illustrate; I’d call it more doodle [Laughs]. I learned by just watching cartoons and drawing my favorite characters. I used to do a lot of still life drawings, but I haven’t in a long time. And no, my parents weren’t really into art all that much.
Where do you get all your ideas for your sub-brands/lines like RoseHood, Assman, etc.?
My ideas for my sub-brands and other lines come from specific things I’m inspired by, like flowers or a specific cartoon or a day of the week, instead of just saying “things from my childhood,” if that makes any sense.
“I kind of had a phase where I only wore button-ups, and Ralph Lauren definitely made the best ones, so I have many, many pieces of RL. I wear a lot of different things now because I am more comfortable with myself and what I allow myself to wear.”
So we’ve seen some of your interviews. What’s this fascination with “white girls”?
[Laughs] Aw man, you guys really did your research, huh? Well… honestly, as weird as this may sound, it probably comes from my obsession with anime and cartoons. Anime characters are drawn primarily Caucasian and I’ve had crushes on a few ladies from the cartoons I used to watch. Anime girls like Android 18 from DBZ, Cammy from Street Fighter, Morrigan from DarkStalkers and a few others. But I’m pretty sure that’s what shaped my preference in women. That’s why I’m partial now towards tall strong white women with light eyes I guess [Laughs].
We heard that the only designer you buy is Ralph Lauren. Do you ever want ADEEN to be like the brand?
Well, that’s not the only designer I buy, especially not anymore. I kind of had a phase where I only wore button-ups, and RL definitely made the best ones, so I have many, many pieces of RL. I wear a lot of different things now because I am more comfortable with myself and what I allow myself to wear. But RL is definitely a huge inspiration, too.
How can you reconcile the more classic and basic RL style to your brand which is young, fresh, and fun?
I feel like it’s the biggest brand in the world, and it’s a great brand to model yourself after. But I just would put the two together in the sense where they would make a good mix. I love mixing two different styles and just creating something new and fun.
“I feel like my best work to date—design- and item-wise—was definitely the Eyeball earrings I have. I wear those every day… I’m kind of upset they don’t get pulled for shoots more!”
We pulled out from ADEEN for our August 2011 issue featuring Cassie. If another magazine would put ADEEN under spotlight, which magazine would you want it to be?
Hmmm… that’s a good question. I think it would have to be i-D. I always loved how fun their covers are and just the overall feel of the magazine.
What’s your best work to date? How did you come up with it?
I feel like my best work to date—design- and item-wise—was definitely the Eyeball earrings I have. I wear those every day, and I think they are the nicest earrings I have ever seen [Laughs]. I’m kind of upset they don’t get pulled for shoots more! But I really do love everything I make, that’s just if I had to choose one.
It seems like your mom is one of your biggest supporters and motivations. How would you style her in your designs?
Yeah, she definitely is! But how would I style here? [Laughs] Aw man, um… I really would just keep it simple for her and put her in the Flower Plush Pins. She always looks great wearing them.
Give us your top 5 cartoons and give a one-liner explanation why you like each.
Case Closed – Makes you think
Dragon Ball Z – Anime of all anime’s
FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood – I cried like 3 times throughout the series
Yu Yu Hakusho – They made the coolest characters
Deadman Wonderland – SO GOOD
Interview by Belle Rodolfo
Photographed by Sarah Kjelleren
For the full story, grab a copy of STATUS August 2012 issue