Based in Miami, but inspired by Haitian culture, Poze brand is a Haitian street wear brand for both men and women. The word “Poze” meaning “chill” or “relaxed” in Creole, is heard in most conversations between Haitians. The brand, founded in 2014 by Jeff Appolon, prides itself in teaching the world about Haitians, one word, one picture, and one story at a time. So far 3 collections have been released and the 4th one is forthcoming.
Check out our interview with Mr. “Poze” himself, where he discusses his latest collection.
Tell me about your new collection and what was the inspiration behind it.
• This collection follows up on the previous one which pushes the boundaries further. I want this collection to be engaging to the mind and also laid back. Half of the pieces in the 4th collection visit our rich history and capture moments of glory. As a country, we’ve taken so many L’s in the past that we forget that we were once great.
How does the collection reflect your Haitian background?
• One of the shirt is inspired by the current success of our Haitian national soccer team. I mean, we haven’t won any world cup but we are doing better now. The shirt I’m referring to shows the picture of Haitian soccer Legend Manno Sanon as he scored the famous goal against Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff during the 1974 world cup match Vs Italy. That goal ended Dino Zoff’s long standing 1142 minutes without getting scored on. After I read about it, I thought that it was important to celebrate that moment and glorify him.
• Another shirt I have is a drawing of the statue of Marie Louise Coidavid, who was Henry Christophe’s wife. I visited the Palais Sans Soucis a couple of years ago and I remember seeing the statue. I remember how proud it made me feel. Somehow I feel that it’s the same feeling that a diaspora gets when they first visit Haiti. Even though only the ruins are left, it shows greatness once existed in our country. I feel like back then, our ancestors were a bit more courageous than us because they did more with less.
When and where can one purchase the new collection? Will it be available in stores in Haiti?
• Yes it will be available in Haiti. I had the perfect store to sell, but unfortunately with the economic instability, the store had to close down. I am looking at some other places to carry it in PV. More information will be provided soon. Everything should be available beginning of June.
How does the brand Poze reflect your personal style?
• I tend to be more on the conservative side, so my designs will be a bit minimalist. I don’t really like loud colors and too much going on in a t-shirt. I usually go for neutral designs that you can wear when you’re out. But every now and then, I’ll collaborate with someone who may have a different taste than me. I try to have the designs balanced. I’ll take suggestions from my friends and see what they prefer. After all Poze is not my personal brand, it’s the people’s brand.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
• I try to keep up with the current trends and add a bit of Haitian mix to it. I’ll be on fashion blogs all day and Instagram when I have some free time. If I see something that catches my eye at the mall, I put a note on my phone. Basically my whole environment.
Is there someone from the fashion world that inspires you?
• I’m a big Kanye West fan. A lot of times I like his style but other times I feel like he pushes the boundaries but then again that is what fashion is all about. I like his style better when he’s rocking the tall tees, ripped fitted denims and yeezys. I also like Big Sean’s style, he’s always on point.
What is your personal favorite piece of the 4th collection?
• I really like the Manno Sanon t-shirt and the hat with the Poze hands. I feel like I can see those items on the shelf of an Urban Outfitters store. I like that they are Haiti related but with a touch of pop culture.
What can we expect from Poze in the near future?
• I really want to branch out to different things. I wanna go deeper into female and kids clothing but I’m a bit limited as far as man power. I want the brand to evolve and get better with time. My goal is to keep the brand alive so that one day I see it in a website like Complex, The Source or Highsnobiety as a street wear brand to watch out for.
Fashion Ayiti, the models and Mr. Poze doing the Poze hand sign.