HomeFashion & BeautyGO-GETTER: Hasan Yates Presents Masculine Footwear Ms. Bels Friday, July 17, 2015 Fashion & Beauty, Feature, Runway Xclusive, The Vault, Trendsetters To be a standout brand create a catchy name and an unique product. Go beyond the norm and offer the public something that’s not easy to create. This is what CEO and entrepreneur Hasan Yates decided to do in 2014. He took all of his resources and vision to create the Masculine brand. The Masculine brand, which represents strength and boldness, is the brainchild of Hasan Yates and his wife Shaterica. Their first retail project under the Masculine brand is Masculine Footwear. Masculine Footwear is a high-end, yet affordable collection of shoes made from 100% genuine Italian leather. The unisex footwear comes in many colors that are distinguished by Spring, Summer, and Fall/Winter collections. The shoes range from $160 up to $250 and are of the same luxurious quality as your more expensive brands like Gucci and Prada. Hasan understands the importance of offering high-quality shoe to the community. It’s all about having quality choices that won’t leave a huge dent in our wallets. On this premise, the Masculine brand was formed. STACKS Magazine recently spoke with Hasan about Masculine Footwear and what the future holds for his brand. Check out his interview below: V-103’s Big Tigger showing off his pair of Masculine Footwear alongside Hasan Yates, CEO Tell me about yourself and how Masculine Footwear came about. Well, I started the process last year in September (2014). I came up with the concept with my wife. We wanted to create a whole total “masculine” brand. Well, it was basically my concept. [laughs]. We wanted to start with the shoes first. And when the shoes get basically worldwide and people get familiar with the brand, that’s when we’ll start bringing out the accessories: belts, handbags, sunglasses, etc. We’re making custom Masculine shirts now. But we are going to come out with more, different designs as the brand builds itself. Working with shoes itself, that’s a big feet especially with investing starting off. What made you want to start with shoes and a t-shirt line? I thought about that, at the same time, but I figured I’d run into a good manufacturer. He gave me a good deal with producing my shoes. So, I said OK I’ll go ahead and start off with that. With the shirts, not saying it was a money thing, but the shoes will bring you more starting off to help build. Get the revenue up in order to get more to invest in. Whether the clothes or different type of materials in the handbag. The shoes are a good, good start right now. Then I have to reach out to the celebrities, get them rocking it. If I can get everybody ride the wave, then I could – you know – go on with the show. How did you come up with the designs for the shoes? One of the designers that work at the manufacturer…basically I have to submit the design, the color of my shoes. Then they let me know what all material they have onsite or what we can work with. So once we come to an agreement with that, I submit it. On your website, it looks like the aesthetic and design of your Summer collection is the same as the Fall/Winter. But, you decided to go with bright colors. What was your inspiration for the Summer collection? I got a couple of inspirations from one of my good friends. The purple and gold ones my friend Dvante Black kind of inspired me with the design. As far as the other colors, I do a lot of studying, like during Fashion Week. I study a lot of designers and see what their motivation is. I kind of take that and intertwine it with my situation. When you build up the momentum, when it’s time to go create I’m like well it’s summertime. What’s popping in the summer? How has the public response been so far? It’s been great. The biggest response has been from strangers. People that I’m just now meeting. To be truthful and honest with you, when I first started with the vision, I was like I know my family and friends are going to be the first ones to be happy and buy it. But it wasn’t even like that. I only had a handful of people that I actually know that bought a pair. All the rest of the sales had come from social media or word of mouth or handing out my business card. What has been your best-selling market? It’s been the South. But I had been receiving feedback from all over the world through social media. I been using hashtags from different countries and people will DM me, but they are not quite sold on the brand yet. What are you expectations for the future…the next 5 to 10 years? Hopefully have a store right here in the Atlanta area and move from city to city. Getting in these malls and getting with these retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth and Barney’s to actually buy into the brand and have them in the store as well. What is the price point for the shoes? The price point now ranges from $160 all the way to $250. When I come out with our next collection, The Gold Collection, that’s when the price increases. It goes all the way from $200 to $250. What will make the public want to support your brand over another brand? My shoes…I base them in the high fashion category (i.e. Gucci, Prada, Louis V). As a Black designer coming up in the fashion world with other races, I feel like us as Black people should support one another for one. My shoes is not in general just for Blacks. For price wise, the quality and material, they on point. Even if you want to step out casually, looking at Gucci you’re looking at paying $900 and my shoes have the same material, getting made from the same place, with the price and the design I feel like that’s a good bargain. That’s what I wanted to intertwine with my brand is price and I wanted to make it affordable for everybody. Growing up, you see these shoes $1200 or $1300. Once I got to studying the whole aspect of shoes and manufacturing, I’m like hey they get these shoes for dirt cheap but putting them on the market for high as heck. It shouldn’t even be that way so that’s why I wanted my brand to represent, not only the quality, but also affordable pricing. For more information about Masculine Footwear, visit their website at www.masculinefootwearusa.com or follow them on social media @Masculine_1985 !