SKII: What schools have you attended?
Eric: I went to I.S. 59 in, Queens. I went to Martin Van Buren High School. I went to Radiology school at St. Vincent’s, and I went to York City College for Psychology. I’m back in the University of Phoenix, for Psychology finishing up my Bachelors in Psychology .
SKII: What made you get into fashion?
Eric: I have a friend named, Mack for who saw the logo I made for the members club. Mac asked me if I’d ever thought about fashion. I said, “No”. I just wanted to make shirts for the club. I basically started from there. I designed a couple of embroidered pieces , a couple of tailored pieces , and I did heat pressed items. I met a couple of designers and then we just made everything come to life!
SKII: Have you sold any of your designs? And, if so, where?
Eric: I showed my clothing at runway shows. I did Blaze the Runway and a couple of pop-up shops in Jamaica, Queens. So, I’m seen around here, and there. I joined Instagram and displayed my designs there, as well. People have been calling me to purchase my clothing! Word of mouth is how I been selling my clothes, and I’ve basically sold some of my clothing on the streets. I have a home based office. There, is where my work is done. At my home in, Queens.
My girlfriend is wearing on of my pieces now, Clarissa is wearing a blend of cotton and cashmere dress. A lot of people have been supporting me with my ventures. People have been purchasing my clothing.
SKII: Do you have any brothers or sisters who are in the fashion business, like you?
Eric: I have 1 brother and 4 sisters. I’m closest with my oldest sister, and youngest sister. My oldest sister works for VH1. She’s well known in the business community. My youngest sister is currently in school. My father is touring America. He is moving from state to state looking, for work (We both laugh). My mother is a retired NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) worker. She was the Housing Commissioner’s Assistant. She retired two years ago.
SKII: Have you tried to sell your clothes to stores?
Eric: Well, my clothes have been featured in a couple of Independent movies. Other than that, I sell my clothes on social media, word of mouth, and on the streets.
SKII: With all of your degree’s in other professions, why fashion, Eric?
Eric: Honestly, I never really thought about fashion, as an adult until my friend Mack asked me, if I’d ever thought about being a Fashion Designer. I used to draw as a child. I drew sneakers, coats, clothing and other things, when I was eight years old. As I got a little older, I ventured into becoming a Rapper. That didn’t work out, at all. I became serious about doing fashion, in 2010. Even though I have several degrees/certificates in different professions, fashion seem to stick out more than anything else. Fashion is something positive. Everyone running around in name brand items, and no-name things that all looks the same. Some stuff is very nice. I thought, why not make nice designs for everyone to wear. I wanted to make a dress so that all females could enjoy wearing them. Something nice, like Ralph Lauren’s designs. Everyone wants to wear his designs. I look at his designs, and that’s where I got my inspiration from. I wanted to make a dress comfortable enough, and yet still fashionable and affordable. My girlfriend Clarissa is wearing one of my dresses, today and I have others that sell like hotcakes. Gucci, Louie Vuitton, Ralph Lauren; these designers clothes are so expensive. My clothes look just as nice, but it’s clothing that the community could afford to buy. I want the community to be able to afford my clothing line and not take their whole check, [that was supposed to pay bills] and spend it on that one outfit from those high-end designers, I mention earlier. I want to open a boutique in the community and I want to hire people from the community to work in my boutique. I want to give back to the community. That’s what my clothing is for. I also have some jeans coming out. I’m wearing several of my designs from my clothing line. I’m looking into designing sneakers. It’s just not about t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, sneakers, dresses, belts, baseball caps, or jackets – it’s about everything! Whatever I want to make, I make. BCMC by Eric Cross for the community. That’s what I’m trying to do.
SKII: Who inspired you to do this? Any designers, friends, family members who’ve inspired you to do this? Basically, tell me who actually persuaded you to go after your dreams?
Eric: Somebody who’s been telling me to go after my dream? My whole team, everyone at the members club, and my mother, and older sister. She’s(My Mother) been real supportive. But, that’s really it. The drive is in the drive-though. A lot of people would stopped, because it’s a very expensive business. What inspires me the most is when I create something,and see it being created. Like when I made this leather jacket the amount of joy was crazy. When I think of someone wearing my designs, that’s what inspires me. I don’t want to support the wrong people (no offense). But, when money doesn’t go into the community, why support the wrong people? It’s been my thought process for about 10 years now, on what I want to do to accomplish this dream.
SKII: What are your aspirations for your future?
Eric: My aspirations: one, is to try to finish my Ph.D, two, is to get my Masters, and three, I want to have a flourishing brand and I want to create a couple of other brands – then to see people wearing them. Also, I want to start building organizations for the community like, schools, etc. I really want to put us back where we are supposed to be, because people are starting to self destruct again and I want to give us a reason to do better.
Example: When Obama became President, our aspirations became higher, because of him. So I want to put that thought in people minds, again.
SKII: What would you tell a young entrepreneur who’s trying to get into the business, like what you’re doing?
Eric: I’ll tell them, don’t stop do what you have to do to stay successful and to not let anyone deter you, because there are people that get mad as soon as they hear you have a brand, and it’s hard to get that support. Do what you have to do on social media because that’s the new generation of marketing and promotion and even if you have to work at McDonald’s to make your t-shirts…do what you must do, and don’t stop.
SKII: What would you tell a young eight years old you?
Eric: I would tell the eight years old version of me to focus on school. Don’t get caught up. If you know you have something at that age, don’t let anyone or anything deter you from what you want to do.