Today, you have to rethink how you think. The challenges of being a teen are legion. Let’s face it; unexpected challenges, global setbacks and social distancing can surely take a toll on the emotional and mental health of teenagers. In short, they are growing up in a world filled with compromise and uncertainty.
In general, negative experiences seemingly get the best of people. Teenagers most certainly have been affected negatively —by the trials and tribulations of simply living life as an adolescent. But as the adage states, ‘when life gives you lemons, then make lemonade’. At 22 years of age, Jaffry Jan Mallari is unlike most young adults his age. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, he’s much rather spend his time on perfecting the art of learning by reinvigorating his positive outlook for a business sector that is ripe for revolution.
To help fuel the business that he created, Jaffry learned from his struggles and challenges and stowed that power away in his fashion arsenal to be showcased at the opportune time. As a young entrepreneur, it took some trial-and-error to work out the kinks and glitches that many times discourage people so much so that they walk away from it all and never look back.
On the contrary, when faced with challenge, Jaffry learned how to fix it by problem-solving. Moving forward, he soon developed a six-figure streetwear clothing brand that people of his generation can relate to on various platforms.
The name of Jaffry’s brand is RSG RESURGENCE, which is in fact, the second generation of his streetwear ambitions in the apparel market. His first streetwear brand was called NGHTPRWL. It eventually failed, but not before teaching Jaffry a valuable lesson on how to run a business —with more responsibilities and more challenges than ever before.MORE FOR YOUHow To Enjoy The Dog Days Of Summer With StyleThe Best Grooming And Wellness For Men In 2020Fashion And Beauty Develop A Strategy For The Second Half Of 2020
The greatest resource Jaffry has lies in his creativity. In the past, he applied to harness that creativity hence why he applied to join a prestigious graphic design university program. To his surprise, he did not make the cut. But eventually he did put his artistic skills to good use by starting his very own apparel collection.
In 2017, Jaffry felt the inner urge to break out of the monotonous engineering life he had has started. The reasoning behind the decision was that he knew if he remained in that line of work, he would have never been happy.
Since then, he decided to rebrand his business and print the first set of 15 hoodies. At that time, he was selling the samples out of his parents’ basement. More importantly, after three weeks time, he sold his entire stock of hoodies and reinvested it all into making a larger order. Once again, the entire collection sold out and he kept repeating the process over and over until he was netting six figures annually.
In launching the business, Jaffry didn’t have any outside help. There were no angel investors, crowdfunding campaigns, or any other investments. At that time, he didn’t have much money. In fact, all he had was a $400 government loan— which had been lent to him for his studies. Given he had the undeniable urge to create a more fulfilling life in fashion, he went all-in on his entrepreneurial idea. His keen business hunch and grand leap of faith ended up paying off for his business.
As it turns out, in the apparel market, consumers have interest in streetwear with militaristic and pessimistic undertones It’s not too difficult to figure out why teens and young adults are gravitating toward this new kind of streetwear that RSG RESURGENCE delivers. Just look around and you see that the world is undergoing a great transitioning period. For example, environmental disasters, pandemic-related hardships and racial inequality have all been important topics in today’s current events.
In addition the rapidity of the information age is upon us — and only becoming faster. The media tends to fuel the fire by igniting anxiety and anger to ( you guessed it) reach higher ratings. As a teen turned young adult, Jaffry had had his fair share of run in encounters with the above mentioned. Nevertheless, he channeled that energy transformed it into an idea that is reaching a receptive audience.
His aim was to empower himself in order to prove to everyone that he was not going to be just another victim in today’s society. This is where it becomes intriguing for me. Now that he enjoys six-figure success with his business, Jaffry wants to show other teens and young adults that they have the possibility to reach their goals. He proudly states that you can overcome anger and melancholy. He insists that they can rise up above any struggle or challenge and achieve something extraordinary in life.
The rise of RSG RESURGENCE demonstrates to me how past shortcomings can become the main inspiration for the entrepreneurial spirit. to create something that will provide a higher-level of self-confidence. It is that self-confidence that fuels the fire to move forward on the path to new frontiers. Quite often, I teach my students this motto at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
As RSG RESURGENCE continues to grow exponentially Jaffry chooses to remember his humble beginnings in the business. For this reason, he maintains a strong personal relationship with his Gen Z fanbase— by engaging and replying to each and every comment on the brands Instagram channel. Go ahead, give it a try.
In fact, he values communication so much so that he does his best to answer every question someone may have that is posed to him on his brand’s Instagram page. He even keeps up with DMs and emails personally, going as far as being interested in the lives and interests of his supporters. This personal touch is an attention to detail that sets the brand apart from the others. More importantly for me, this is a brand that was born out of life’s many struggles and challenges. Onwards and upwards!
I recently had the privilege of speaking with RSG RESURGENCE Founder and President Jaffry Mallari about what makes his streetwear style unique, what helped him overcome challenges, and how a direct communication with your fanbase helps strengthen the community that is rallying behind your ideas!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about what makes your fashion streetwear brand unique in design – from the current brands in the market today?
Jaffry Mallari: What makes my brand unique is that it is ran by a person who never knew anything about creating brand in the past. No portfolio, no knowledge and no mentors. Everything was built from trial and error. People seem to like the idea of seeing how I progress the brand in a natural fashion. Another thing that I believe that separates the brand from the others is that I take different subcultures that are usually not present in fashion, like anime and gaming culture.. and incorporating them into a fashionable sense. But, I believe that this is just a byproduct of my own upbringing, my own interests and the philosophy of creating clothes that I would love to wear first.
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, how did you overcome the challenges and negative feedback that most young entrepreneurs experience?
Jaffry Mallari: I think my stubbornness helped me the most in overcoming the challenges I have faced along the way. The strong curiosity for seeking knowledge did help me get over these humps as I believe that a true entrepreneur are born to solve problems. I live day to day knowing that another hump or obstacle is ready to show up at any time. Where there is a problem, there is always a solution.. I just have to spend my time and energy in finding it. Lastly, when you are already at rock bottom, there is nothing to lose.. So might as well try, right?
Joseph DeAcetis: What does streetwear mean to you and why is it still relevant in today’s marketplace?
Jaffry Mallari: What streetwear means to me is basically a conglomerate of different ideas, facades and experiences that was and still is continually being influenced by different cultures like skateboarding, hip-hop and rap to mention a few. It is very hard to pinpoint the real meaning as you will always get different perspectives on what is streetwear really means as it is always an ever changing landscape in the scene.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about your strength in social media platforms and why you believe that communication with your audience is of great importance to achieve success in today’s marketplace?
Jaffry Mallari: Before I started my brand in 2017, I’ve always just been an observer of different brands around the “streetwear” space. One thing that I noticed the most was the lack of communication between the brand and its fanbase. It always has been, “Artist X wearing Brand Y, so I think this brand is dope.” type of mentality where celebrities always become the glue between fanbases and clothing brands. It was never really about nurturing a community. Even to this day, I still get people being shocked that I actually replied to their messages which is kind of funny to me. Brands back in the days (and even so right now..) seem to forget that their community is mostly what builds their equity. Having a direct communication with your fanbase opens up to many opportunities and helps strengthen the community that is rallying behind your ideas. It gives a sense of assurance that if something goes wrong, there is always someone in the brand who is out there to listen to their problems and concerns.
Joseph DeAcetis: Where would you like to see your brand be with respect to growth and social impact within the next 5 years?
Jaffry Mallari: As with every other brand owners out there, I want to see the brand be more recognizable in the future. I want it to become something much bigger so I can pursue my other goals in life. I have no specific amount of revenue I want to achieve. As long as it pays the bills, and helps me foster and grow the community I always dreamt of creating, I am all for it.