Street Romance: INFATUÉ and Lil Fresh Sam

Street Romance

||by Aaron Rodriguez from Blank Canvas @BlankCanvasFashion||

||Photography by Amy Jenkins @miggie81||

Hello readers! Aaron from Blank Canvas here, and welcome to Street Romance, where it's not just about exploring Denver-based Streetwear but also about discovering what inspires the designers to pursue their passions in the hopes that you'll be inspired to go after your own dreams. Last time I got the opportunity to have coffee with Josh Schmitz from Ruckus Apparel. This time it's all about INFATUÉ and the relentless Lil Fresh Sam. Lil Fresh Sam is from Colorado but she is currently living in Los Angeles. Not to worry, however, if you ever want to see her, you just have to drive over to 16th and Teller St. off Cofax in Lakewood and you'll find a mural of her made by Daniel Chavez @dcmyriad. Did you ever watch that one episode of Sister Sister in the 90's, where Tia and Tamera go on a quest for a picture of their late mother and they find a mural instead? In the same way I took it upon myself one night to see it, and while at first I kept running into dead ends, I finally found it and knew I had to have my picture taken there.

Back of Hoodie medium shot

Mural 1 No Coat Opt 2

For my first outfit, I took the paint-splattered hoodie from INFATUÉ's 2015 Fall/Winter Les Art collection and went the 90's route with a red flannel around my waist, ripped light wash jeans, and classic Timberlands. Let's take a closer look at the woman behind the mural.

AR: Tell me, how did you come up with the brand name INFATUÉ?

LFS: When I was in 8th grade I knew I wanted a clothing line someday because I was obsessed with clothes, so I asked myself 'how can I explain that?' I looked up definitions and the word 'infatuated' stood out because of the meaning. I remember the word 'infatuated' in French but I didn't like the whole word, so I went with INFATUÉ.

AR: 8th Grade! That's so rad. Who are some of your favorite designers?

LFS: Balmain, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen.

AR: What inspires your designs?

LFS: Intricacy. I love making something go from normal to never seen before. I love to put time and effort into every piece.

Speaking of putting time and effort in each piece, Lil Fresh Sam told me how each of these hoodies were individually painted, so not one is alike.

Mural Sitting

AR: What's life in Los Angeles like?

LFS: Busy. I'm constantly on a set, constantly networking, or doing personal shopping at a mall, going to business seminars, going to the Fashion District for supplies, designing, styling, and running my business full-time. And meeting celebrities, I just styled Mike C. Manning for the golden globes. I got to help style Solange Knowles for the H&M Balmain launch. Also I'm currently working on a project where we produce designs for artists. I'm all over the place and I'm always on the go.

AR: That's crazy! But glamorous too. Tell me about a favorite place in LA?

LFS: There's this really pretty spot in Malibu Beach that's pretty exclusive. You have to do some hiking to get there so it's off-map, it's almost like a cove. I like to go there to think, design, and chill, it's like a getaway.

AR: How was the transition from Denver to LA?

LFS: First, crazy. Culture shock from living in Thornton to living in Koreatown. It was rough without family, friends, and not knowing anyone but it was cool to be in a new spot, pushing my limits. I showed myself I could keep going. Plus I'm now a certified stylist from School of Style in West Hollywood.

AR: You're clearly very determined, how does that happen?

LFS: Living in LA is tough but I know what I want and I know what I can get. I can't wait to design what's in my head and put my products out there.

Here's an example of designing what's in her head. The Mondrian crewneck sweater from the Les Art collection.Black sweatshirt closeup 1

Black outfit 1

If you know me, then you know I love a good all-black outfit. I took the sweater and dressed it up with a white button-up (Target), faux leather pants (Dark Future/ASOS), a black hat (Forever 21), and a pair of black Chelsea boots (ASOS).

Black outfit 2

AR: Off-topic question time. What's your favorite food?

LFS: Mom & dad's green chile enchiladas.

AR: Do you miss Denver?

LFS: Certain aspects, my family and friends of course. My house, I miss my free parking, free parking in LA doesn't exist.

AR: Last question. Tell me something random about yourself?

LFS: I played football as a kid and I had a really good arm so I'd be playing as quarterback in my family's backyard with all these grown men. It was funny to see.

Talking with Lil Fresh Sam and seeing her pursue fashion in Los Angeles completely wows me. If you'd like to hear more of her story here's a short motivational documentary: #SELFMADE and check out INFATUÉ's Les Art collection here and @infatue on Instagram.

And of course, drop me a visit @BlankCanvasFashion on instagram, and check out the outfits I style on my blog Blank Canvas.