We (distantly) sat down with Travis & Simon of One DNA to talk about moving in the middle of a pandemic, building an authentic brand, and the importance of designers showing up for social justice.

I think people are often surprised when fashion brands are located outside of NY and LA, even more so when they are in small midwestern towns like Flint and Ypsilanti. You relocated your brand from NYC to Ypsilanti this year, can you tell us more about the reasoning and inspiration to make the move?

The move was essential for us for the pandemic. We needed the space to be socially distant from the overcrowded city of New York. Being in a small town like Ypsi has given us the space to think creatively and we have felt so inspired by being surrounded by nature. And Travis's family has lived in Ypsilanti Michigan for over 80 years.

Our customers and following have been so receptive to our move and midwest branding. We believe the midwest culture gives a bit of comfort during these unprecedented times. I feel connected to the larger cities via social media, which is V important to Travis.

How has relocating influenced your brand, or your thought process in creating?

We've pretty much kept the same energy. The pandemic has played a larger impact on our brand. We are now selling much more casual products and at a lower price point.

We also introduced product lines that give back to different food banks around the US.

WAP

You both come from fashion and branding backgrounds - with the landscape of online shopping, how do you connect authentically with customers? What does storytelling look like to you?

Social media is a big part of our storytelling. We act quickly on trends and actively take a stance on social injustices and activism without sacrificing our design or aesthetic.

We are inspired by so many people, we partner with as many as possible content creators so we get different perspectives.

Inclusivity is a big part of our story and brand. We want to make sure we represent a diverse group of people, not only gender but age, race, and size.

Inclusivity is a big part of our story and brand. We want to make sure we represent a diverse group of people, not only gender but age, race, and size.

Where do you find inspiration?

Travel, Vintage, movies. Like everyone now, I have an archive of images I always look back at for inspiration.

What's been the biggest challenge in creating One DNA?

Cashflow, we are a self-funded company. Worked multiple full-time roles up until the pandemic.

Shop: One DNA

Follow: @onedna.earth

Visit: 216 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197