Our Good Friends over at Hearty Magazine caught up with The L & D Boys....
When Kareem Blair and Manhattan launched Lemar and Dauley in 2003, they quickly started gaining the recognition they needed to develop, even though the marketplace for streetwear was still quite small. Kareem says they were ‘filling an emotional void and visually expressing a collective consciousness that suddenly had the ability to express their interest or ideas through their clothing and footwear.’ The brand grew quickly and three years later they launched the women’s faction, Hiqee. Kareem says they offered females the opportunity to be involved in streetwear without looking to masculine or boyish. ‘It was instantly successful perhaps due to its association with L&D,’ he adds.
But then, even though Lemar and Dauley kept up with the streetwear calendar, things slowed down and the guys seemed to pull back from the industry a little. Hiqee disappeared. They had spent more money than they were making. They needed to regroup and take it back to how their roots–using the outlet to express themselves and make a living.
Now, Lemar and Dauley seems to be back at it, having just launched a new website, recently dropping their third shoe with DC, and most importantly (at least in our opinion) making women’s gear again (women’s Fall ‘09 will be their first collection and will be available online).
What happened to Hiqee? Why did you stop doing a women’s line?
Kareem: Unfortunately L&D was growing faster than we could accommodate at the time, so we were unequipped to handle the responsibilities that were involved with two developing companies. We were quickly facing a lot of obstacles in menswear that required greater detail and decision making, so we decided that moving forward with a women’s line would be a disadvantage for both L&D and Hiqee.
FULL INTERVIEW at HEARTY MAGAZINE