Creating out of Chaos

Sophia Kim, Asst. Web Editor

Inspired to create a brand with both meaning and fashion, Diamond Bar High School senior Thomas Lee decided to take that dream into action.

“Looking at big brands and looking at what’s in the malls, I just felt like I might be able to do better or around the same and hopefully succeed,” he said.

Lee started his brand, CHAOS, in hopes of spreading meaningful messages for teens to reflect on. Lee’s first collection of his brand focused on the idea of learning and growing from mistakes.

As a Christian, Lee also aimed to spread deep quotes inspired by Biblical verses by implementing them in the design of the clothes.

“Chaos represents suffering,” Lee said. “I wanted to show and explain that we must overcome it and grow and mature from the experiences.”

So far, Lee has released the first collection of CHAOS on Etsy, an e-commerce website, in early March. It includes t-shirts for $15, long sleeves for $20 and hoodies for $30. On the back of each piece is a butterfly that symbolizes different stages in life, and the phrase, “All Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos.”

Lee said  that the biggest influence in starting his brand was his father, who works as a custom retailer. Lee’s father was able to provide Lee with the clothes and also guide him through the business.

“I’ve always wanted to start a clothing brand but I just never got the chance to,” he said. “I had all the resources, which is my dad and some friends that support me, so I just tried it out.”

Creating and producing the brand with his father took Lee a couple of dedicated months.

Lee repeated the creative process of brainstorming designs, drawing on Illustrator software, visualizing the designs on Photoshop and creating samples until he was satisfied with the product.

In addition, after the release of his collection, Lee gathered a couple of school friends for models for his new brand. They not only modeled for him, but also helped advertise his brand on social media.

Also, DBHS senior Justin Yoo recorded and edited a promotion video to help with the sales.

In the future, Lee hopes to continue his brand and expand his CHAOS Instagram account.

With over 250 followers on his account, Lee dreams of releasing as many collections as possible to reach a global audience.

“If I just keep sending out designs and continue managing my Instagram account and advertising more, I feel like it can still work out in the future,” Lee said.