MIGUEL ROMANO age 19
MIGUEL ROMANO, CO-OWNER OF MAYBE NOT SOCIETY
Chicago creatives Miguel and Marco Romano are creating their own art and message through abstract and contemporary garments. I was captured by Miguel's motivation and creativity and asked him some questions regarding his personal life, fashion, and the message he wishes to convey.
(SEAMUS) What's up man? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hey what’s up god, first off I want to thank you very much for rocking with the product and the message that I’m out here everyday cultivating and dreaming up. I’m currently 18 years old and am looking forward to being 19 this Saturday. I grew up on the southside of Chicago, in the Gage Park community, I never really experienced the encouragement to create my own success, being that everyone in my environment only knew survival through going to school, or getting a job. It really wasn’t until I got to High School that I realized I didn’t want to work for anyone else and help expand their dream, I’d rather create and realize my own.
Throughout my adolescent years to the end of my senior year, my focus in life changed drastically. I went from playing soccer 6 days a week, and focusing on school and friends, to an all out psychological voyage of self discovery, love, and manifestation. I was kicked off of the Varsity soccer team due to my miserable grades and poor attendance and reimagined my life as an artist and producer. Since then I’ve been creating music, clothing, and visuals and have learned that nothing to me is more important than being able to manifest what’s in my mind into existence.
Where did you go to school? What was your education experience like?
Honestly, maybe not school.
I never agreed with the idea of learning in a confined environment where my thoughts and ideas felt hostage to the grander vibe of structure, competition, and systematically categorized concepts from our past. School honestly felt like I was chasing my tail, rather than focus on the current, and changing the world today.
Before attending Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, I had never experienced any other environment aside from the southside, so it was very overwhelming and actually really weird to meet people from almost every end of the grid. I learned to embrace the diversity and listen to other people’s beliefs regardless of my own.
All these different perspectives from different views of life, it was actually pretty crazy. I would definitely say that although my experience at Whitney might not have been the most successful experience in the eyes of someone else, it led me to the realization of what I truly loved, and molded my artistic mindset that keeps me up all night creating my vision.
What is MAYBE NOT to you? What is the inspiration behind this art form?
MAYBE NOT is the embodiment of my curiosity for the universe, and my innately rebellious energy towards what society tries to tell me is truth. That’s all I can say for now though because as an artist, I’d rather show you what it means to me, and better yet, what it should mean to you.
How was it starting MAYBE NOT? What were the drawbacks? Was anything very challenging for you at the start?
Life changing. Starting MAYBE NOT honestly felt like a dream. The first collection we dropped was two years ago, and I was only 16. I had no idea how to run a business or organize myself as such. We were just testing the waters with everything and trying to put everything together as we went along. But unfortunately, the structure just wasn’t there the first time. There were way too many people with creative say and we kept clashing and never really stuck to our roots. Managing finances was new to me and I didn’t really have a network of people to assist me. Through that first drop, we learned and developed a process to help us create our dreams more efficiently, and allow us to fully express our creativity without letting all the boring aspects of running a business get in the way. We created our own unique way of presenting our product digitally, through social media, visuals, and our website. We grew on the idea of managing finances and today organize all of our expenses and accounts with ease. It’s all been a learning experience really and as we keep moving forward we’ll just keep learning and growing as artists and entrepreneurs.
Today it’s just me and my twin brother, Marco Romano. We co-own the company and since we have the same vision for what we want, it’s a really natural vibe that provides the inspiration for how we create our products. We’ve established the foundation for the company, our art, and our message, and feel very confident that regardless of what happens we’ll always stick to it and never stop. It’s not about the money, and it’s not about the hype, it’s about the message and what it means to be able to shed light on new perspectives for the people.
People who are confined mentally to strictly their surroundings and the beliefs of those around them.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO WHAT WE SEE AND CAN PERCEIVE. LOOK INSIDE. YOU’LL SEE THE LIGHT.
Do you design every piece yourself or do you have a team with you?
My brother Marco and I collab on every piece and every design. Our artistic process heavily consists on a lot of back and forth conceptualizing. We literally just talk about reality, divine harmony, and and think about crazy abstract ideas and designs that we want the world to witness and absorb. We’re crazy as fuck forreal.
Does your personal life influence the material you produce and sell?
Our material and designs are influenced entirely by what we have lived and what is happening in the world in the very current.
My upbringing was crazy, and my current life and schedule feels like an all out dream. I don’t have a set schedule nowadays. I’m managing multiple artists right now, all the whilst running the company, making music, and pursuing growth in myself through building strength and gathering knowledge.
My brother is on the same shit too, we’re out here creating our own reality everyday.
At what age did you get involved in the fashion industry? Why are you invested in clothing and design?
I became interested and involved in producing clothes at the age of 16. I had already been making music for about a year and a half and really wanted to venture into the science of garment creation and design. I love clothes but honestly, MAYBE NOT is more than just the clothes, or the products. It’s the concept that we really want to instill. The idea of being able to contradict and shed a new light on familiar concepts and ideas, to see something for what it really might mean or be is why we’re really so invested in this. It’s bigger than us, and it’s bigger than Chicago even, this is for the whole world to peep and think about. For the whole damn multi-verse even.
This brand is for all life forms.
What makes MAYBE NOT different from other clothing brands?
MAYBE NOT is not limited to the abstraction of clothing. We are a message, and a prominent idea. An idea that transcends the physical. We want to break the loop, and teach everyone to love, save, and be themselves.
Our first step to accomplishing this goal is through the clothing.
Through the use of abstract and contemporary designs, and garments that we either get upcycled or deconstruct/reconstruct. Whether it be pieces that we thrift and reconceive or pieces we get through wholesale and then acid wash and design. We want to promote our grander message in the most unique way possible, always reimagining our own sense of fashion and pushing ourselves further and further in the hierarchy of views that we use to decypher what looks good and what doesn’t, and what really holds value and meaning, and what simply acts as complementary.
What can we expect to see in the drop tomorrow? Where can the public buy MAYBE NOT?
The shop goes live at midnight, and you can expect to see some very unique garments ranging from abstract to minimalist, that embody the soul of the brand. Everyone can buy via WWW.MAYBENOT.COM and next weekend we’re also having a 3 day pop up space in wicker park where we’ll be showcasing and selling garments!