Here’s an interview from Allhiphop.com with a good friend of mine Doug, about his line of watches. Flud (pronounced “flood” watches), is gaining steam and pleasing the masses.
I remember it like it was yesterday, when he came up with the idea for the watches and showed me the first proposal and early designs. He had many different challenges presented when making them, so I’m glad that the first batch of watches are being received well. I’ve seen personally how people fiend for these things.
Looking forward to the second run.
Stay tuned for the interview with him on the origin of “Tableturns” and what its like oft being uncredited for his slice of the global phenomenon now known as “Turntablism”.
Hopefully he’ll kick some poetry as well. Maybe not.
We all know by now that more than just the music industry is in trouble with this economy. The fashion industry is also being hard hit, and many independent lines have been forced to cease operations in the past year.
Hardly a time to start a new company… but the team at Flϋd Watches is in process of defying the odds.
Launched in 2007, Flϋd set out on a mission “to create unique, fresh watches for the casual and streetwear scene without the pretentiousness or price tag.”
A great concept indeed, but will the budding accessories company be able to stay fresh in a stale market?
We spoke with Doug Cohen and Mel Peralta to find out what makes Flϋd tick.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people who try to come into the urban realm with the accessories sometimes go a little overboard, but there’s a certain maturity to these watches. Talk a little bit about the concept behind the designs.
Doug Cohen: Basically I’m a long vet in the Hip-Hop industry in different ways, and the music really lends itself to going into fashion. I didn’t want to do straight clothing, because everybody does clothing and like you said, a lot of the time you see accessories even from clothing brands and it’s just so over the top. You’ll see some of these generally accepted urban clothing brands, they’ll make a watch or a belt or something and it’s just so crazy. It really doesn’t speak to me in any type of way.
I always loved watches, and I really wanted to do something that had that connection where it’s like, I can get fly in the way that we do and rock this watch – where the monetary value isn’t all that crazy but the style is where the value was. You can match or wear something that reflects what you were feeling on that specific day in a way that you don’t [normally] see. There’s no place to buy a watch that matches with your kicks or represents that style or idea that’s really prevalent in the way we dress at the moment.
AllHipHop.com: You can rock them casually with any jeans or whatever you have, or you could also have a button down and a jacket and still wear the watch and it’s still classy. Were you intending to be able to draw in a more mature Hip-Hopper?
Doug Cohen: Yeah, I think in general what we’re trying to do is have something that you can rock with whatever. I don’t think that everything we have is for every style of dress at whatever moment. But we definitely wanted to have that level of versatility where the watches were at home with whatever you were wearing, and moving forward with our new stuff that is coming out in September.
I think it’s even more at home in different elements and it really takes everything to an evolutionary step, so that you can rock it pretty much anywhere at any time – be it with some Jordans or a suit – and it’ll really fit in whatever steez you’re trying to go with.
AllHipHop.com: Talk a little bit about the world of accessories. Do you find it more challenging to work with clothing?
Doug Cohen: I would say they both have their difficulties. Clothing, the market is already established for it. The stores are open, people are there, they know what works and what doesn’t. Whereas with accessories, specifically with watches, I think we’re trailblazing something that there’s nobody else really doing what we’re doing, which helps a lot, but at the same time makes it real difficult because we’re the ones that have to figure out our own directions on the road.
That’s real difficult, and in general accessories are more difficult in the sense that to do watches takes a greater financial commitment, which is especially difficult for an independent company. With clothing you could do a couple dozen and keep it moving and with watches, you can only [manufacture] overseas, you have to do real high minimums and there’s a lot more technically involved which makes it much more complicated.
But again, because we’re out there trailblazing, it’s also a huge bonus for us because a lot of people are open to talking to us and working. There’s not really anybody else doing what we’re doing right now.
AllHipHop.com: Because you have the turntable and the record watches [33-1/3], have you had any DJs or radio personalities that have been looking for them, or have you had any of those people want to co-brand and get a watch with their name on it?
Doug Cohen: Yeah we’ve definitely laced a lot of cats. My background is DJ’ing. I know a ton of DJs and I’ve laced everybody from Grandmaster Flash to Rob Swift. I was just up at G-Unit Radio and I laced my man Whoo Kid. We’ve definitely run the gamut of original DJs, innovators and inventors to the hardcore turntablist and the radio personality.
The DJs are definitely open to the watch. I named the watch TableTurns because I used to do this open turntable event called TableTurns, and it was sort of like my tribute to that element of my life and that aspect of what I used to do to kind of connect the two worlds a little bit.
Mel Peralta: One thing we were talking about is the designs, and watches themselves don’t really lend themselves to pretentiousness. It’s not biting another style. You know how you get a certain kind of rapper that will come in and his style will just f**k up the game? Honestly, it will be so hot that everybody kind of patterns themselves, their style and flow after it.
I don’t think you get any of that with Flud, I think everybody appreciates authenticity on whatever level; whether it’s clothing, accessories, rhyming or DJing. I think that’s one of the huge things that’s kind of propelling Flud forward.
AllHipHop.com: With the economy the way that it is right now, do you guys feel like your demographic might be affected by you having to alter your price plan or your marketing plan over the next couple of years?
Doug Cohen: I think for Flud, we came in the game almost at a good time economy wise because you could buy a $500 watch, and I’m into watches so I’m into real complicated mechanical watches like a Hautlence or a Richard Mille or something like that. These watches cost more than houses at some level and to me you can go and buy a Bulova, or a Movado watch in that price range and it doesn’t really say that much about you.
Whereas with us we’re really trying to say you can express yourself with the wrist without spending all of that money and the economy up to this point hasn’t really been affected because we’re trying to say these watches are inexpensive. Everything we have is under $100, we’re definitely gonna stay that way for a long time, and again the concept is really trying to bring people something they can afford and still have panache, and a level of respectability and props to it.
So if anything, because people and retailers are being a little more cautious with their money, we’re coming in at a good fair price and I think it’s been sort of a non-factor to us, just in terms of that on those kinds of levels.
AllHipHop.com: Where can people find the watches?
Doug Cohen: Online you can go to karmaloop.com, our site FludWatches.com, KeepItClassic.com, GridNC.com, Flymode.com, also UrbanOutfitters.com carries some stuff. In retail we’re in all the Man Alive stores out there for everybody in the Midwest, they carry a lot of stuff, we’re in Up Against The Wall, we’re definitely in Metropark.
AllHipHop.com: I love Metropark!
Doug Cohen: Big shoutout to them because they were one of the first companies to really come in and support so we definitely appreciate them for it. Boutiques around the country, and on the site we got all the stores to get it from.
AllHipHop.com: Is there anything else you want people to know about the company?
Doug Cohen : We got this line, and our new line launching in September which is definitely real fire.