18 May The Lifestyle Behind The Clothing: Learn All About Dominate by Devante’!
Fashion and style are often used as a means of self-expression. It can represent culture, lifestyle, and creativity. For Devante’ Strait, his inspiration stems from something quite unique from other fashion brands I’ve come across, sexual practices and BDSM (Bondage, discipline/domination, sadism, and masochism).
You may be asking yourself how does Devante’ Strait incorporate a concept of night play and sex into his daywear and fashion. Well Dominate by Devante’ is convinced that the two can be used together, because why not have fun both in and out of the bedroom? The basis of this brand is fascinating in that Devante’ works to bring sexually themed garments such as harnesses, chokers, and leather pieces intermixed with your everyday streetwear. The goal, to inspire you to be the most confident self you can be and ‘dominate’ the room.
Juxtaposed next to these spicy items, Dominate incorporates the coolest trends in streetwear using this combo as a way of advocating for and growing one’s self-confidence.
We had the pleasure (no pun intended) of speaking with Strait, the head of Dominate, to gain even more insight into this counterculture and fashion angle. Inspired by BDSM, Straight has created a line that he hopes embodies empowerment in sexuality and dares the wearer to express themselves even in the most sexually confident way – during the day. Here is what he had to say.
SLTV: Let us begin by introducing you to our readers! Where are you from and what led you to create your brand?
DS: I’m originally from Newport News, Virginia, but I moved to San Antonio in 2009 to be closer with my immediate family. To know me is to know I love fashion and have always served a look. Before there was Dominate I played around with a few different names and was going to first start off with just a lingerie line but then, I also wanted to be able to show my keen eye for fashion. I wanted a name that would ring but also be timeless and hold meaning. Dominate was it for me. I Dominate in all I do and I want others to be able to wear my clothing and feel the same way.
SLTV: What inspires you when creating your pieces?
DS: My inspiration comes from BDSM. I love the whole concept of bondage and sexual submission. I love being able to incorporate that same energy into clothing. There are two sides to Dominate, you have the bondage and restraint pieces and then you have your statement clothing pieces you can Dominate in, you have options when wearing our pieces. These two parts, the BDSM and the Dominate Unlocked, which is inspired by that lifestyle, is streetwear that is representative of me. I have two sides to myself as well. I want to express that diversity through fashion. My whole life is taboo. I’m a black gay male, I don’t hide anything. It’s “take it or leave it” with me. That is what my brand is. I keep it universal but I keep it with a purpose so what you see is what you get with Dominate.
SLTV: Looking through your profile I notice one strong message: the confidence that exudes when you decide to dominate is powerful. Everyone that wears your designs hold themselves high and proud. What is one thing that helps you create and continue to advocate for this confidence through fashion?
DS: I truly appreciate that! One of my mantras is “I exude confidence”, so for you to notice that through my profile means everything to me. I love all of my models, they are all friends of over 5 years and they are what truly brings my brand to life. One thing that helps me create and continue to advocate this confidence through fashion would definitely be the support from them and my family, keeping them proud and busy with Dominate shoots. Some of my models have never thought about modeling until I had them model for me. I love being able to take a person out of their normal routine and show them how to bring their inner Queen or King out to Dominate.
Some people have a vision of things they want to be worn or seen in, but I want to create something that you see and you want to wear. I want everyone to be able to feel comfortable in my pieces. My advice is to go off of no one but yourself. Look within yourself for validation, you have the power to wear what you want. As long as you feel sexy then go for it. My pieces are always meant to be wearable art pieces.
SLTV: What would be your fashion philosophy? And what legacy do you want to leave behind with the overall mission of Dominate?
DS: My fashion philosophy for Dominate is: “The lifestyle beyond the clothing” because beyond the clothing aspect of Dominate is a mentality that I believe should be in the forefront of the mind at all times. To always dominate in what you do whether that’s work, gym, school, etc. As long as you live through that, success will follow. A huge inspiration for me has been Grace Jones. I always look to her style for my makeup looks on my models. I’m all about edgy fashion, so with my brand, I want to stand out in a crowd full of normal people. You don’t have to do much but put on the clothes and rock it. I want to cater to those who want to experiment with fashion and those who want to wear basics as well. I want to be a universal brand for everyone.
After getting to know Devante’ first-hand it is clear that Dominate and the mission has only just begun. I love finding new brands, and when I found Dominate I knew this was unique and exciting in all ways. It goes beyond the clothing, it’s a mindset. I hope this has inspired you to find the power within yourself to dominate any situation that life throws at you and to remember to have fun and think outside the box with fashion. The world is your runway, it’s time to dominate it.
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