Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to interview an entrepreneur and fashion mogul in the making, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s very own, Daniel Reed aka Danny Warbucks. Daniel has set the scene on fire with his creative and captivating hats and is expanding his brand, Danny Warbucks, into other fashion merchandise, as well. Below, is the interview we did. Make sure to check out his official online store, www.dannywarbucks.com for his hot, in-demand merchandise.
Daniel Reed, founder and creative mastermind behind the Danny Warbucks Brand
BFochs: Milwaukee, WI’s very own, entrepreneur on the rise, Mr. Daniel Reed, now joins me. Daniel, thank you for this opportunity. For those who are not aware, please give a brief introduction about yourself and what you do.
Daniel: First off, I would like to say thank you for having me. I appreciate it. As you said, my name is Daniel Reed aka Danny Warbucks aka Mr. YKWTFGO, the list goes on. (Laughs) I am 28 years old, born and raised in Milwaukee WI. As you stated before, I am an entrepreneur, aspiring model, an author, amongst other things that I am working on behind the scenes.
BFochs: The fashion industry, is a tough nut to crack, and get into, how did you feel about entering this arena, before you actually pulled the trigger and entered said arena.
Daniel: Honestly, I was excited, but I had no idea what to expect. I had a bunch of ideas but I decided to go with my favorite at the time, which was the YKWTFGO design. I presented the design on Social media on September 1st, 2017, and the rest is history.
BFochs: It is safe to say, your Danny Warbucks movement, is off and running in a positive direction. What are some things you did not anticipate when the success started materializing?
Daniel: I really do not want to sound like a pessimist l, but I was not expecting so much support, especially throughout the country. I have sold hats all in many different states, and I plan on going international. I feel very blessed to say that. In addition to that, I was not expecting so much notoriety in such a short span of time. It has only been nine months.
BFochs: Who are some designers, and brands that inspire you when you are cultivating your own designs?
Daniel: Personally, I get inspiration from everywhere. I have always been into clothing and fashion. That is my thing, you know? I get my ideas from trends then I put my own twist on it. I may incorporate a 90s theme or something like that. A few people are doing their thing in MKE on the fashion scene. Paul Craft with “UTBS,” Aaron Christian with “VOLER,” and Petti Hendrix with “Rebels Paris.” Big shout out to them.
BFochs: Of the concepts you have created and released to the public for consumption thus far, what are you most proud of, and why?
Daniel: My top two will have to be “Fuck Cancer in Belair” and “Martin’s Melanin” I love these two because they are my top two sellers, as well because of the meanings behind them. The Fuck Cancer hat design brought me close to many strangers and I really realized how many people have been effected by cancer in some type of fashion. “Martin’s Melanin” is dope because it is so simple, yet so powerful, and it just goes to show that my people are not ashamed of our skin or appearance. We have grown to embrace our greatness, and I love it.
The Two Concepts That Got The Ball Rolling: “Fuck Cancer In Bel-Air” & YKWTFGO
BFochs: You mentioned that you are an author, in a society that seemingly, as a whole, does not appreciate the written word as it once used to, or just maybe never got into reading, give some examples why reading should be a core fundamental in one’s life. How has being an author helped you in your quests for designing new concepts for your brand?
Daniel: Reading is something that I love to do. It really takes my mind off things in this fast paced, social media driven world. I feel that many individuals do not understand how powerful a written word can be. Reading takes my brain to a different level and sparks my creativity. This is how I am able to come up with my concepts, which my supporters have grown to love.
BFochs: Speaking of fashion trends, what are some of your most favorite fashion trends to this day? What in your opinion is the coolest fashion brand of all-time?
Daniel: I am not sure how to categorize the “trend,” but I am a big fan of early 90’s looks. Windbreakers, jerseys, and denim flavors. Stuff like that. Probably because it is the era that I was raised in. The nostalgic look and feel I get when seeing it takes me back. It is dope to see all that stuff coming back around. Rarely, are things new in fashion, they always go away and come back again. I always loved FUBU in middle school, the jerseys, were especially dope. As I got older, I learned more about Daymond John (one of the founders) and his story. I was inspired, that is why I sometimes call my brand, “The new FUBU.” (Laughs)
BFochs: When one gains notoriety in the public eye for great accomplishments, the fame can affect them in a negative manner. What do you do to handle your growing status in the fashion game, what is something you would suggest for people to think about when they are starting to get notoriety for their achievements?
Daniel: I just remain levelheaded. I’m humbled by the position that I’m in, I’ve gained a lot of notoriety but it’s not like I’m a celebrity or anything…yet. (Laughs) I think that’s why I have reached this level of success because I’m still the same person I reach out to everybody, and I’m still the same crazy guy, still cracking jokes and the whole nine. A wise man once said, beat the odds, do numbers, and remain humble. (Laughs)
BFochs: Hypothetically, if given an unlimited budget and resources, what would you do to help nurture and further along the Danny Warbucks flourish?
Daniel: With an unlimited budget, I would do the same thing that I am doing except at a faster pace and on a larger scale. Putting my name and brand on everything and doing epic collaborations with other brands from local to luxury names. It will all happen it due time though.
BFochs: The phrase YKWTFGO is a staple in Milwaukee, what are the origins of this galvanizing and unique phrase?
Daniel: Nobody actually knows where it came from. I am not taking credit for the saying “YKWTFGO” because I did not make it up. I have heard many people saying this person and that person made it up in Milwaukee, but who knows. (Laughs) I first heard the saying back when the Vine app was popping around 2011-2012. Atlanta people were saying it. From that point on, it has been alive and well. I put it on a hat, and there you have it!
The “Buck Bags” are the perfect compliment to any hat or wardrobe pairing.
BFochs: You mentioned Daymond John of FUBU clothing fame, if you had a chance to collaborate with him, what would you think that would look like?
Daniel: I think that would be an epic collaboration. He is an expert in the fashion game, so it would be great to see how he would market some of my ideas, as well as seeing what type of spin he would put on things…maybe one day. (Laughs)
BFochs: Anyone who follows you on social media knows you are an incredibly funny individual. If granted the opportunity, to do a Stand-Up special, what would your comic prowess possess on stage?
Daniel: First off, I would never do stand-up. (Laughs) I am not sure if people believe me, but I do not try to be funny, it just comes off that way. I think I would be a Jerry Seinfeld-type comedian, a sarcastic storyteller (laughs)
BFochs: If you could get your creations to any one individual, who would it be and why?
Daniel: Chris Brown for sure! He inspired my “Fed up with my Ex” hat. I just have not had the proper connections to get it to him. He is a super fashionable person, with a huge following so that would put me in a great light.
BFochs: If you had to give up the grind today, and embark on another career not already discussed in this interview, what would it be, and why?
Daniel: If I could, I would be a music producer/ DJ. Music is my passion and favorite pass time. It is definitely something I want to get back into once the smoke clears and my business is on autopilot.
BFochs: Do you have any advice for people on the fence about pulling the trigger on their entrepreneurial goals and aspirations?
Daniel: My advice is never sit on your ideas. You never know what gold mine you could be sitting on. I had this hat brand idea 3 years before I actually started it. In addition, I tell everybody, do not waste a minute of your time entertaining haters or people who do not support. Finally, remain true to yourself and the success will come.
BFochs: Thank you once again, Daniel, for this opportunity, any last comments or words you would like to share with the audience?
Daniel: Thank you for having me. I have new hats and new merchandise on the way. Follow my IG: @_Dannywarbucks, PEER-REE-IT!!!
Relaxing And Working On His Next Big Move #YKWTFGO