Elias is one of the PAQ founders and was part of the panel talk at the Bread && Butter preview event. A fashion festival Zalando started 3 years ago, aiming to fuse fashion, music and culture in an entertaining and authentic way. Think of it as a jam-packed “see now, buy now” party with the best DJ’s and artists. The panel was also very special, it was a mix of 5 creative geniuses with different backgrounds and a story to tell. You had Jazzelle Zanaughtti also known as Uglyworldwide on Instagram, hip-hop artist Kodie Shane, Marc Goehring from 032c and our guy Elias Riadi from PAQ.
Tell us about your beginnings?
Basically, when I was a young guy I used to watch TV-shows about cars like Top Gear. However, you didn’t have something that was entertaining fashion. While growing up, looking up these things was kind of uncomfortable because there was none. I remember wondering why isn’t there nothing for young people revolving around fashion to kick back and relax. There was always a lack.
First of all, Dexter Black and Shaquille Keith used to street dance together back in the days. I met Danny Lomas, who was living up north, in London. Shaq and I actually met at an event and where he introduced me to Dexter. From there on we started chilling and then one day all of us boys got in a room together to come up with new ideas about what young people really want to see. Or what do we want to see that’s not offered to us. Our research always led us to fashion. Because when you look at the long queues and streets being shut down for a sneaker release, you realize there’s such a demand. But no one ever offered something of that scale so we thought let’s do something fashion related. We went on and filmed our first episode and the second one outdoors. Showed it to people, magazines, editors, etc. We released it and the rest of it is history.
Besides fashion what inspired you guys? Was personal growth also a key element?
All of them points actually. The personal stuff, as well as fashion, inspired us to start PAQ.
The most amazing thing about what we’re doing is that when I was growing up I needed someone like myself and the other guys. I needed someone I could relate to, feel comfortable with that wouldn’t look down on me because I wear nice clothes. Another reason why we created PAQ was to take a light-hearted approach into fashion and make young people realize that you don’t need to petty someone about what they’re wearing. At the end of the day it’s just clothing (a piece of fabric), don’t take it so seriously. You really don’t need to disregard someone because of their appearance.