The Harlem fashion designer is an influencer of art, using art to heal

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Hey Harlemites, we’re back at it! We want to showcase a Harlem brand that recently transitioned from fashion design to art design.

The influence of art has been mixed in fashion design for decades. Current art trends include street art, immersive art, contemporary African art, and the Memphis art revival.

Highlighting Harlem’s Milton Wes brand, we offer consumers a look at a contemporary art brand offering colorful visual art and innovative art + home decor. Additionally, we had the opportunity to discuss how Milton Wes. CEO Corey West uses art as a form of healing therapy.

I recently had the opportunity to meet Corey Wes, the CEO of Milton Wes. Watch our interview below:

Compensation: Nice to chat with you again. When we last met, you were full throttle into fashion design. Recently, you rebranded and moved from fashion to art. Congratulations on launching the Milton Wes brand of art and home decor. What prompted the transition from fashion design to art design?

CWInitially, I was making t-shirts under the brand Flirting-T and then moved to Urban FLRT. Novelty t-shirts are becoming obsolete in terms of sales. From there I produced Milton Wes; It was originally a home decor collection of pillows, blankets and mugs.

During the pandemic, I went from designing t-shirts and branding to doing artwork. I realized that there is an art market. It was an easy transition from fashion to art design.

Cass: Tell us about your new brand, Milton Wes. What does Milton Wes mean? Describe your brand inspiration.

CW: The motivation behind the brand is to make art accessible. We travel through art every day. The vibes and colors of street and urban art make cities brighter and better and more fun!

Coming to Milton Wes, Milton is my grandfather’s name and Wes is a variation of my middle name. My grandfather was one of the first African American conductors on the New York City MTA. He used to work in the yard where they handle the trains.

He used to talk about the graffiti on the trains and how they would clean the cars when they got back to the yard, but when they got back there was graffiti again. Traveling with my grandfather in the train, I was just mesmerized by the colors and artistic illustrations.

Cass: Why Milton Wes?

CW: Well, that’s easy. I love early graffiti art influences and interior design I have a special eye for art. During the pandemic, people were looking at blank walls and were inspired to redesign their personal spaces.

Art Décor allowed consumers to define their future through artistic expression through home decor.

Kasa: You noticed that the arts were traditionally used for healing. Living in a post-pandemic world, how does the Milton Wes brand talk about mental health, using art to heal and comfort?

CW: Living in the middle of the pandemic, people were surrounded by emptiness, which meant silence, silence, life stopped. People started working from home, and for a while the connection with people and things and places was lost.

Personally, having beautiful art in my home brings me joy. When you feel lonely in space, you can look at the color theory of a piece that will take you back to a happy time.

Cass: You’ve always been very vocal about who you are and what you’ve experienced. Why is it important to discuss mental health among minority communities? How can Milton Wes partner with mental health programs to use art to support a healing movement, post-epidemic?

CW: Mental health challenges often have a negative connotation and are seen as a weakness. Mental health issues are seen as an ugly stigma, and if you’re a minority, that stigma is exacerbated.

As the Milton Wes brand continues to grow and develop, I would like to partner with mental illness programs to provide scholarships for emerging minority artists.

I work to show that art is a way of reflection and creation. We at Milton Wes want to create a positive and safe space where people can connect through the inspiration of art.

Cass: As an art enthusiast, what do you want consumers to remember about the Milton Wes brand?

CW: “Art is life, art is knowledge, art transforms energy and awakens your soul.” – Corey Weiss

Kass: Harlemites – remember, your art is a statement you Are – How do you fashion your art and home decor? As always, make it your own! Stay tuned to The CW at http://www.miltonwes.com and on social media via Twitter @coreywes212, Instagram: @miltonwesart and Facebook – @coreywes212

Photo credit: 1-5) Photos.

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“Dr. Harry Delaney is a famous Harlem born and raised surgeon, son of the great jurist and civil rights leader Hubert Delaney…” This monthly post was created in 2011. partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives.

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