(pictured on the right)
J. Alexander Martin vice president and owner, FUBU – Success Story – For Us By Us
Along with three of his friends, J. Alexander Martin started the clothing company FUBU in Queens, New York. (FUBU stands for “For Us, By Us.”) Now the company’s products, based on African-American street fashion, are sold in more than 5,000 stores all over the world.
EDUCATION: AAS, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City
STARTING OUT: “I got interested in fashion at an early age–I tended to change my clothes two or three times a day. One day while shopping for a hat, I realized that no neighborhood shops had what I was looking for. So I decided to make and sell my own tie-top hats and figured if they sold I could make a little extra money.”
FIRST JOB: “I worked in the suit department at Macy’s, and because of my sense of style and flair for putting clothing together, people were always asking me to put suits and shirts together for them.”
OBSTACLES: “When I first started shopping for material for FUBU, I learned real fast that you had to dress the part. I would go to the markets in jeans, sneakers, and a baseball hat, and no one would offer to help me. When I started wearing suits and looking like a businessman, people began to start taking me seriously.”
TIPS FOR TEENS: “Go to school and learn the fundamentals. Be sure to pay attention In classes like business, fashion 101, and all the consumer classes. Also, definitely take a semester abroad to help expand and your mind. This way, once you’re in the fashion industry and they tell you’re going overseas, it won’t be your first time.”