Connect with us


Robert “ROB-O” McCallum shares his Journey to Roots and Rooftops





Robert “ROB-O” McCallum is the founder of the causal menswear brand, Roots and Rooftops. In this episode we talk about pinnacle moments, comfort, structure, barnstorming, controlling our narrative as well as his experiences designing for Nike and Adidas.


Keep up to Date with Roots and Rooftops

Official Website | Instagram | Facebook


Roots and Rooftops is a brand that celebrates U.S. production with quality and details. Producing domestically enables us to build sustainable goods by controlling material waste.

Photography Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Photography Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

Robert “ROB-O” McCallum is a former Nike and Adidas Designer. He began his career in the NYC streetwear industry as a graphic designer and expanded his skill set in Portland, Oregon where he designed sportswear for some of the countries top athletes. Being an Apparel Designer in the footwear industry gave Rob the unique experience to work side by side with footwear designers. One of the few things he took away from them was “Looking good equals playing good.” This approach to athletics footwear is of the few things he brings to menswear.


Subscribe to the New York Said Podcast on the Following Platforms
Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn


Photography Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Photography Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

Show Notes


The launch

In somebody’s house

Comfort and Structure

Working with footwear designers

Looking good and know that you’re protected


From the Ground Up

Starting with a Story

Negro League Baseball


Cuban Giants

Spark Something

Photography Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Photography Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

Controlling our Narrative

Wins and Loses

Picking one fabric to be one story teller


The Roots Inside Record Cover

Image Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Image Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

The Layup

The Roots T-Shirt

Diego Rivera


Jeru the Damaja

Image Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Image Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

It Takes a Village

Resonate Upward

The highs and lows have always been fun

Selling Art on Broadway

Leaving the East Coast

Pacific Northwest

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Pivoting Nike

Looking at Product from the Foot, Up

Growing your design aesthetic

Photography Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Designed LeBron’s Zoom graphic on Footwear and Packaging | Photography Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

Entering Adidas

Better Basics

You Better Be Good

Being Authentic

Set Standards

Last words

Be Rooted but Shoot for the Stars

Curious Artist

Put Something on your Mood Board

Photography Courtesy of Robert "ROB-O" McCallum

Photography Courtesy of Robert “ROB-O” McCallum

We would love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Leave a comment on the Apple Podcast App and don’t forget to rate the show.


Maurice Malone on 35 Years of Excellence in Fashion & Denim Design



Maurice Malone


This talk with iconic denim designer and businessman Maurice Malone feels like a fashion industry Masterclass but in the form of a great conversation.

In this two part episode we cover the good, the bad and the ugly of navigating the worlds of fashion and denim design.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maurice Malone (@mauricemalone) on


More on Maurice Malone

Instagram, Twitter & Official Website

Today, as the owner and designer of the Brooklyn based manufacturer, retailer and denim brand Williamsburg Garment Company (WGC), designer Maurice Malone is recognized in the denim industry as one of the top denim designers in the world. He has been called the “Steve Jobs of Denim” by Brooklyn Magazine, also, featured as a creative thought leader for Fast Company’s The Rise, Fall, And Rise Of The “Steve Jobs Of Denim” and Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s “21 People Besides Kanye Who Are Just Like Steve Jobs.”  Like Steve Jobs, with WGC Maurice has been a different thinker, believing in simplifying a product to enhance it and not being content following the traditional routes of proven business models is why Williamsburg Garment Company has been so successful. —> Read More


Sean "Puff" Combs, Aaliyah and Big

Sean “Puff” Combs, Aaliyah and Big

Part 1 – Show Notes

  1. Relaunching Maurice Malone Brand
  2. Williamsburg Garment Company
  3. Started with $1600
  4. Took MOJEANS brand off the market in 2001
  5. Relaunched it 2006
  6. The last Maurice Malone collection was 2005/6 just before the relaunched the MOJEANS Black Label, which ended about 2007/2008
  7. Celebrity brands
  8. MTV started blurring logos
  9. From Detroit
  10. Moved to New York in ‘89
  11. Big fish in a little pond
  12. Doing parties and fashion shows
  13. Started making clothes from himself then for friends
  14. Started out doing hats
  15. Wanted to be a special effects artist
  16. Fashion Institute of Technology Museum
  17. Maurice attended FIT
  18. Just Got Lucky by Joe Boxers
  19. Wanted to make jeans but didn’t know how to make a fly
  20. Started buying machines
  21. Hudson’s
  22. Willi Smith of Willi Wear
  23. School Daze
  24. Black Designers
  25. Patrick Kelly
  26. Karl Kani
  27. Calvin Klein
  28. Jean Paul Gaultier
  29. Dressing to work
  30. Staple of the Detroit Hat
  31. Polo by Ralph Lauren
  32. Finding good help
  33. New Yorkers talk fast
  34. You from the country?
  35. Detroit accent 
  36. Derrick May
  37. MK
  38. Immersed in Hip Hop
  39. Kid Capri DJing
  40. KRS-One
  41. Transitioning from tight clothes wearing baggy clothes
  42. Became a NYC bike messenger 
  43. Clinton Hill is full of creatives
  44. Junkprints
  45. Strict diet
  46. Eat to Live
  47. Designing at night
  48. Drawing on the floor
  49. Cross Colours 
  50. Will Smith
  51. The Hip Hop Shop
  52. Giving away clothing
  53. Provocative advertising 
  54. This is what we do, fuck you
  55. Abducted by aliens
  56. Ups and Downs
  57. Don’t let nothing stop you
  58. WGC Pillars 
  59. Paper Denim and Cloth
  60. Meeting with Barney’s 
  61. Doing branded unbranded denim
  62. One man company 
  63. Manufacturing aging in denim
  64. You know you’re doing something right when you’re doing stuff before people understand it
  65. Thinking faster, simpler 
  66. Pure Playaz
  67. Everything happens for a reason 
  68. Selling clothes like hot cakes 
  69. Merry-Go-Round 
  70. DJ Clue Tapes
  71. Proof worked at the Hip Hop Shop
  72. My momma don’t want no hip hop on her block


Williamsburg Garment Company

We would love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Leave a comment on the Apple Podcast App and don’t forget to rate the show.

Continue Reading


Interview with René Mantilla: Chapeaux, Capes and Kimonos




René Mantilla
Photography by Pablo Naranjo

It’s been a little over a year and some change since we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with René Mantilla. René was one of our earliest guests on the NYS Podcast. He had a lot going then and he hasn’t slowed up yet. As a matter of fact, René seems to be hitting hyper drive.

Greatest experience since the podcast aired in 2017

Hmmmm… The Greatest Experience is the podcast debut… Honestly, since the podcast has aired, everything after has been a blessing and great experience. From Fashion Week Presentations in NYC, Pop Up shop in Beverly Hills, Ca, Debuting in Vogue Mexico, Ocean Drive Venezuela, being part of Dominicana Moda in DR, establishing The Council of Fashion Designers of Ecuador last year, it all has been beyond a great experience.

Photography by Pablo Naranjo

What are your days like?

My days can be very random and long. Some days may start at 6pm and I’m not home until 5am (pending on client calls, events, networking). My brand has reached over to Moscow, Russia, so communication with clients are between 1-2am. Other days may be quiet, I usually have at least 1 day of stillness, to write a schedule for the week. But I am beyond grateful when I add commitments and get booked up. But I do try to take at least 1 day, usually Monday. Believe or not, Sundays are quite busy!

Photography by Amon Focus

What are you looking to accomplish in 2019?

I started my 2019 amazing, thus far, I did an amazing segment back in my hometown area (Delaware Valley, Philadelphia/Camden) on Fox 29 News, Philadelphia Good Day Show just last week, 1.15 then headed to Ecuador the next day to work on Collections for SS 19, Fall/Winter 19/20 and a very special project in the city of Mexico. I am concentrating on the Central American Market, specifically Mexico City. It is the fashion mecca of Central/South America.

Photography by Amon Focus

Any recent celebrity clients he can tell us about?

The celebrity clients have been great! I’ve made chapeaux for Russell Wilson, Cedric The Entertainer, another chapeau for Alicia Keys. I spent a lot of time outside of US last year, concentrating on Ecuador and Latino Artist. I would love to connect with J.Balvin, Maluma, Bad Bunny!

Chapeau Trends you see for 2019?

I created my own trends for this year, more round and higher crowns, oversized will remain a staple for my brand. We will be playing with leather more this year for brims. Color trends for 2019 are going to be super fab!

Photography by Amon Focus

What color are you crushing on?

Luscious Red, Deep Violets, Black for Fall/Winter! Super excited to share with you soon!

Photography by Pablo Naranjo

Most pivotal experience since we last talked.

Most pivotal experience is growing the brand into capes & kimonos. Expanding my brand from just not chapeaux but capas as we look to call them. I made a collection last year and sold out that month! They are custom made as well.

Photography by Andrew Morales

We heard about the 2018 Fashion Week feature, we want details.

For Fashion Week in NYC, I love to have it open to public. So the public can see the presentation/collection. My most memorable fashion experiences were at Bryant Park from 2005-2008 during fashion week. It was such a community! I love that vibe! This year we are teaming up with Ecuadorian brands to bring something special to NYC! 2nd week of February… Stay tuned!!


Stay Up to Date with René Mantilla


Official Website

Continue Reading


Kenny Vera talks Ecuador, LOOT Lifestyle and Poco a Poco



Kenny Vera
Photography by Amon Focus


Kenny Vera talks running a small business, launching his LOOT Lifestyle brand, learning new languages and overcoming mistakes.

Keep Up With LOOT

  1. LOOT
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter


Show Notes

Being typed as we speak…
This episode is sponsored by Gorilla Coffee.

Continue Reading
Advertisement New York Said Store