Just as 2020 was nearing its end, around early November or so was when I discovered LA-based creative director, photographer and founder, Darius Rosario. He’s the brain behind streetwear brand Sensitive Creatures. If you asked me, timing couldn’t have been more aligned considering planning for the release of this issue was in full swing. Instantly drawn to the “I Love Myself” signature t-shirt, I was even more fascinated when finding the brand has its roots in mental health.
Darius invited us in on his current state of mind and shed more lights on what’s next on the horizon for his evolving brand.
PM: With the current state of the world, dealing with the pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions, and a handful of many other challenges, how have YOU been...really? (*stole this from WNRS!)
DARIUS: Honestly I’ve been really good despite the world being on fire. I feel really lucky compared to the people that actually lost loved ones, jobs, or even their homes. During all of this I did more work on myself to become a better person, getting better at things that needed improvement. I have a better understanding of who I am and with how things were before COVID, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to sit back and let things happen this way. It wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t lie and say that. Every-day living got tough with not being able to do certain things especially living in Los Angeles. But overall I can say I've been good. Art has kept me sane.
PM:There are a handful of streetwear brands emerging left and right...can you explain what is Sensitive Creatures and what makes the brand stand on its own?
DARIUS: Sensitive Creatures is a brand that focuses on mental health through the lens of art (clothing, film, education). It’s an expression that every human can relate to. What separates us from everyone else is that fact that we make mental health the topic of discussion without having to talk about it. The statements on the clothing make the average person read the statements and digest it in a way that you have no choice but to see it while admiring the pieces because of the cool designs. Also we do commercials and educate in different mediums, I don’t see any brands doing the full package this passionately. The brand has a purpose to bridge the gap between the uniformed and those with mental illnesses to break the stigma.
PM: Given mental health plays a part in creating your brand’s identity and this issue is addressing resources, solutions and stigmas around mental health - do you approach your creative process differently when thinking of ideas, new art, etc?
DARIUS: Yes and no. Every time I come up with new concepts and designs I ask myself 2 questions, “How am I feeling?” and “What’s the state of how others are feeling all around the world?”. The answers to these questions will help me understand how I can fulfill that void others are feeling and make them feel important when they come across any piece of art. I know the way I feel at times many people could relate to. My creative process is the same. The only thing that changes is my perspective and how I want to attack things. The outcome will always be different because I’m always thinking of new ways to innovate.
PM: Getting down to the actual creativity that goes behind the brand, when it comes to marketing, visuals, etc, I understand you also practice photography as a hobby, how have you incorporated it or any other of your talents into your brand?
DARIUS: I shoot all of the lookbooks, product shots, and commercials. It’s easier to capture my vision when I’m executing it because if someone else is doing it’s not going to come across the way I need it to. I have to be hands on in directing and envisioning. Help is always welcomed when bouncing ideas off of other people to get feedback.
PM: Where do you draw your inspiration from when getting ready to create?
DARIUS: From my own mental illnesses/experiences and the current state of every human in the world. Most times I get my inspiration from real life experiences and real situations everyone is dealing with. Also other brands/designers. I like to see what other brands are doing so I could do something different. Playing with different designs and color palettes lately has helped me expand my creativity. The universe has all the inspiration we need if we just look a little further.
PM: There have been a few known public figures (ie. 6lack, Clermont Twins) to be seen sporting some of your pieces, can you share what it was like when you received the news and what kind of impact it’s made?
DARIUS: It’s a feeling that words can’t even capture. It’s surreal. I feel like a little kid at a candy store. That’s the feeling that keeps me going because you see that we are all connected no matter how much of a status one person has, we all think similar thoughts. It’s great for the business. When people see public known figures they take the brand even more serious. It becomes a legit brand at that point once I get those co-signs even though to me it’s that way regardless of who wears it because of the message behind it.
PM: What message do you wish for people to receive when thinking of SC or buying something from your collection(s)?
DARIUS: I want people to understand that we all are dealing with something in life. We have to learn how to love ourselves and to love others. Once people are more empathetic then we can start to heal and the stigma can be broken.
PM: What do you envision for Sensitive Creatures and what can people expect in 2021?
DARIUS: Overall I want to be one the leaders for change in mental health and also having the best clothes at the same time. I want clothing stores but I also want mental health institutes and different forms of education involving the innovation of humanity. In 2021, people can expect more fire clothing at a consistent rate. I’m currently working on a children’s book but that’s all I can say for now lol.
PM: What are some words of encouragement you can share for any and everyone reading this as they embark on 2021?
DARIUS: Be kind to yourself. Some days are going to be harder than others. Be okay with having hard days and relax when that time comes. Once you have self love you can get through anything. Be kind to others. When you’re more empathetic then you can understand to not take everything personal, ultimately you will feel more fulfilled. Last but not least is to not give up.
Things are going to feel impossible at times but the universe will always assist you in every circumstance when you remain in harmony. Always move in love!
Interview by Lucky Fischer For Phlex Magazine *All Images were provided by Darius Rosario*