Last week we featured Nic Fensom in our CARBON 2012 Speaker Insights, today we’ve got Mega, the co-founder behind one of streetwear’s biggest brands right now, Black Scale. Black Scale releases have been driving kids mental across the globe recently off the back of quality made garments and cosigns from some of the biggest names in hip hop, most notably A$AP Rocky. With the most recent 4/20 drop of Black Scale goodies over the weekend selling out quicker than I could get ahold of any (the infamous FUNERAL hat that I wanted is now going for hundreds of dollars in the resale market), we thought it’s a good time to post our recent Q&A with the man himself.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Michael ‘Mega’ Yabut and I am the co-founder of Black Scale. Black Scale is a lifestyle and clothing brand that I work on everyday.
Why did you choose your career field?
I always loved clothing since I was very young and coming from a home without a lot of money I would always look at my friends that had cool clothes that my family couldn’t afford to buy me. I would have to steal my clothes and shoes from stores my family didn’t usually take me to and hide them when I got home and would change my clothes after I left the house before I got to school. It was very hard to keep up but I loved clothes and dressing up better than anyone I was around and it was a must.
It’s crazy at that time I didn’t exactly know clothing is what I wanted to do but looking back now it all lead to having a clothing brand. The most important memory was seeing the Jordan 1 on my uncle’s feet in 1986 in the Philippines when he came to visit my family from the United States. Jordan 1’s definitely played a big roll on why I loved clothes and every Jordan after that I had to get. Some how I managed to always get them and thought I was the coolest kid on the block when I wore them.
I wouldn’t want any other career and being able to make clothes with my friends and see people wearing what we designed is one of the greatest feelings for me.
What topics will you be speaking about at Carbon?
I will be speaking at the “Evolution of an Idea” forum and I will break down the concept of Black Scale and how we started Black Scale from our first season to now. The story behind the concept and idea and what we are doing to continue the story and never fade away from the roots of our idea. Black Scale is very complicated and vague and this forum will answer many questions we usually don’t share with the general public because it’s a part of the entire idea behind Black Scale.
Why do you think attending events like Carbon would be useful for up-and-comers?
I think events like Carbon are great for the guests that want to learn more about the business and how things work in our industry. I wish I had this growing up I would have loved to attend and see people that are already in the industry talking about what they love most. To see the speakers in this years panel, me personally I am very excited because I am a fan of the speakers and get to learn from them too.
What do you think was the highlight of your career so far?
Leaving the pharmaceutical field to work for HUF and learn everything I am doing today. Working at HUF I got to meet everyone I have the pleasure of working with today and the network I was lucky enough to meet there was very priceless and came with time.
Who are some of the people that you look up to and why?
Keith Hufnagel from HUF because he’s one of the hardest working men I know and to see him open the first HUF in San Francisco and to see him work was one of the greatest things I experienced watching someone run a business and do what they loved, to skate and incorporate everything in skate to his company.
Nick Tershay of Diamond Supply Co. because he helped me grow and supported Black Scale as a whole since we first started. I also look up to Nick because he’s been working on Diamond Supply Co. for years now and to see it explode in the last year is pretty crazy because it’s probably the largest brand I ever seen grow out of my friends and to see him interact with his customers till this day is pretty amazing too.
Ian Ginoza from Converse because Ian is just one ill dude. All around amazing person and always showed loved since the first day I started at HUF. He’s also a great business man and creative and to see what he did with Kicks Hawaii, St Alfred and now Converse it’s inspiring to keep going and work harder to catch up to guys like Ian.
Undefeated’s Eddie Cruz because Eddie is probably the coolest person I ever met from the get go and also his drive is insane with the market place of sneakers being so rare and not what it used to be UNDFTD is here to stay and keep it rolling for all of us shoe lovers. Outside of the business Eddie is always positive and the advice he gives me is always so great it makes me want to better myself and move stronger.
I look up to many people in the industry but these guys are some of the first people I met in the industry and are still involved in a very massive capacity.
What would be the best advice you could squeeze into one sentence?
Work hard now and later you will realize working smarter is the key.
In our globalized community, do you think places like Australia are becoming more relevant than ever?
Australia is always going to be relevant. It’s another world filled with culture, history and people in Australia also need to dress up so why not look your best with the rest of the world doing it.
In our technological world it’s hard to disconnect from the phone, emails and RSS. Do you think it’s a good or bad thing?
Damn! It’s pros and cons for sure. Here I will probably sound like a hypocrite but fuck it. Is that a proper way of starting this sentence? I hate when people try to text a full-blown conversation, but I do like it when I text with people I don’t want to talk to. Call me regardless because in two minutes we can say over 300 words plus. Emails are good for business but not for spam or when traveling outside the country you can get internet connection and use skype, internet etc. so you save on your phone bill. It’s overall balance good and bad unless you get a brain tumor from using your phone too much.
What do you think is in store for your industry in the near future?
Watching the smaller brands grow and take over the market place. Our industry is becoming smarter and companies are making moves strategically to place themselves in the big leagues.
Listen to Mega talk at the Evolution of an Idea forum during this year’s CARBON Festival. For more information on CARBON 2012 click here!