Some Things You Need in General / by Ayana Cotton

The brand is named GeneralNeed for literal reasons- as it relates to practical product offerings, but is also a take on discussing life’s frustrations and the ongoing search to satisfy our general need in a broader sense.
— Skyler Javier

When we heard much loved DC designer Skyler Javier was making a brand pivot from his coveted Native Danger to offer something more consumer facing under the brand name GeneralNeed, we were excited and extremely curious..

As a fan of Javier's work, we had a ton of questions.Familiar with the Native Danger aesthetic, we wondered how much would change and what might remain with his new project.  "The core of our overall creative direction and ethos is the same with GeneralNeed as it was Native Danger," Javier informs us. That's a sigh of relief, but we wanted to know more. "It's still motivated by the nuanced experiences and emotions in life that cannot be expressed in verbal or written form. Heavy and convoluted sentiments that elude traditional communication. My design premise still splices those elements with performance detailing and an active lifestyle. However, in contrast, GeneralNeed puts the consumer, as well as product design and quality, in a more balanced relationship with the 'heavy feels' than Native Danger did".  

Deciding to launch with a capsule collection to test the market, Javier plans to follow up with a fuller series if the response demands it. When talking inspiration, Skyler mentions the actual design is rooted in his vision of the ideal summer uniform. "I often wear the same essential ‘uniform’ for weeks, or even months, on end. I'm probably a bit severe in my redundancy, but I think it’s actually somewhat of a common practice. If certain pieces prove themselves reliable and are visually correct, then it’s easy to see how an unofficial uniform can take shape." By creating a compelling, easy uniform that we can count on, it seems as though GeneralNeed is appealing to the ultimate luxury: Time.  "I put together my take on the quintessential summer uniform for the guy with an active life in the city who values the progression of time and wants to look relevant but not ‘trendy’ in the contrived sense. It was an opportunity to concisely define the niche that GeneralNeed is addressing in offering modern technical essentials in their most timeless, but future leaning, form."

I’d love for GeneralNeed to become a staple to Washingtonians who value visual balance and quality.
— Skyler Javier

Just in time for the warmer months Javier is launching the line with three different color ways that are the epitome of tasteful. The variety of hues are inspired by his travels, giving us a glimpse into the world as he sees/experiences it.  "The one occurrence of a bright almost 'jewel tone' blue was an interjection from the beaches of Cuba that randomly left a cutting mark on my mind while visiting family there. And then, of course, there's a healthy dose of black because black is always right...".

As an ever-evolving designer, Skyler is quick on his feet and isn't shying away from shifting gears on his creative journey. While DC's fashion infrastructure is emerging, being a designer in the District takes a significant amount of effort, ingenuity, and hustle. We asked Skyler what advice he'd give to other DC designer's trying to make their mark on the city, and the world. He reminds us, "I think the tricky part of starting a line anywhere is the left/right side of the brain. Most individuals who are motivated to start a line are very right heavy- myself included, for sure. However, it takes a really disciplined and abnormal balance of both sides to make the desired progress. Constantly trying to strike that chord of balance is not always a comfortable process for creatives." 

Skyler is hosting the first public GeneralNeed launch event at Redeem Saturday June 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.