As I’ve mentioned before, SUPERB and I had the opportunity to visit the BLOOD is the NEW BLACK office. Fortunately, I conducted an interview with owner/curator of BITNB, Mitra Khayyam. She shared her personal experience about when she started a line, gave advice, and more.
What distinguishes Blood is the new Black is their line is about displaying the works of underground artists, designers and photographers through T-shirts.
BITNB has been featured on NYLON, Teen Vogue, YRB Magazine, and more. Celebrities such as Cassie Ventura, Keri Hilson, Lil Wayne have been spotted wearing Blood is the New Black. Check out the pics here.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I was born in Upstate, New York and moved to L.A when I was a Junior in Highschool. I knew I wanted to move to New York and work in the fashion industry. It was actually something I wanted to do since I was 9 or 10 years old. As soon as I finished Highschool, I moved to New York and lived there for about 4 years. I’ve been living here ever since I was offered a job.
What inspired you to start BITNB?
The whole idea started when I was in college and written a paper about how artists can use t-shirts to reach to a wider audience. So it was all a mixed of what I learned from my work experience, education and knowing what I was good at it. I always knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry. I also realized I wasn’t a fashion designer or an artist. If I pretended to be, I would of been found to be a fraud pretty quickly. But, I really like art and design and I’m great at business. After working in the fashion industry for 5 or 6 years, I decided to start BITNB.
Blood is the new Black is interesting. What is the origin of the name?
Blood is an idea of a family or community, a blood bound to someone. It doesn’t come from something dark or negative. As they say in the fashion industry, “brown is the new black… navy is the new black, ” so the name was basically a take off from that. Also thinking about the idea that our family and close friends should influence us the most versus whats dictated to us by fashion.
Every piece looks amazing! What are your favorite pieces from the line?
This season I would say I love our tank top bodies. They are great for Spring/Summer and a fun way to integrate graphics into your wardrobe.
There are so many great brands out there. What are your favorite brands, besides yours, of course!
[laughs] APC is one of my favorite brands. I’m definitely a fan of a plain white t-shirt and a good pair of jeans. I like to keep it simple. Despite doing graphic tees, classic beautiful stuff is always going to last a long time.
BITNB has brought great things so far. What else can we expect this year?
Well, the second issue of Blood is the new Black Zine is out. It’s a 16 page magazine and it highlights our artists, friends and people we respect and admire. It comes out every six months. Also, our summer line is around the corner. We worked with 35 different artists. Were introducing new bodies for men and women. We thought of new ways people can integrate their clothing into their wardrobe. We will continue different developments on our website. Were definitely having monthly events and more art shows.
Anyone in the industry you would like to work with in the future?
I’m a huge fan of an artist named Tauba Auerbach and a girl named Aurel Schmidt. Also, an artist in Brooklyn named Maya Hayuk. I love having girls in the mix. I like to support the ladies.
What are some of the experiences you’ve encountered as a woman in the fashion industry?
Lots of things, both good and bad. I think it’s a lot easier to bond with the people you work with as a woman. There’s a sense of family I’ve developed with our artists and vendors that is intrinsic to the nuturing-female aspect of my personality. I mean if you want to play into the stereotype of everything a woman is supposed to be, that is. On the flip-side, because of that stereotype, if you do end up in a confrontation in the workplace, its very easy to be pegged as a bitch instead of a self-assured business person. Personally I’ll take it either way.
Honestly, Mitra is one of the many smart women I admire. I only spent a few minutes talking to her, but I learned a lot. BITNB has great things coming for us, folks. So make sure you support and stay connected!
Check out their site: BLOODISTHENEWBLACK.com
Follow and tweet them @BLOODYBLACK
Become a fan on Facebook
Check out a few photos I took at their office by clicking keep reading
I thought I was in heaven around these shirts!
I literally went through every shirt on the rack and this was my favorite one.
Meet Hud. Apparently, he only likes girls. ME! 😉