That ’80s Show

A conversation with Laced Up owners Cassius Belair and Jaycee Coleman.

By Laura Cassidy December 28, 2008 Published in the July 2008 issue of Seattle Met

Your Capitol Hill clothing and lifestyle store is an urban mash-up of design and culture. Political pop art hangs above premium Japanese denim and pale-pink and fawn-brown ladies’ sneakers by Creative Recreation, and there’s hip-hop playing on the stereo. It’s as if 1983 erupted in there. (Cassius, pictured standing) We grew up in the ’80s, and you see that in the store. All the hipsters, everyone is gravitating toward that thing with the graffiti looks and bright colors, and that’s where we’ve always been.

Who introduced you to fashion? (Cassius)
Michael Jackson. My mom made sure I had the leather jacket with the white T-shirt underneath, the cheap penny loafers, the fingerless gloves.

Who’s introducing kids to fashion today? (Cassius) Kanye West. It’s the ’80s thing again, he’s doing a Michael J. Fox look with sweaters and bow ties, and he’s working on a shoe for Nike that’s being called the Marty McFly, inspired by that scene in Back to the Future with the skateboard.

How would you describe your look now? (Jaycee, pictured kneeling) Grown. Fitted selvage denim, premium leather sneakers. This jacket is by Distilled, which is a handmade line from San Francisco. The hounds-tooth is graphic but sophisticated, grown. (Cassius) I’m repping high-end denim and tees; Capital E by Levi’s, the tee is by New York designers Lemar and Dauley; they did the shoes, too, for Adidas. The shirt says, “Rise of the poor kids.” Jaycee and I grew up with nothing. It’s hard for the kids who have not, but we want to show that you can get yours.

Who would you like to dress— who do you want to see walk into your store? (Jaycee) Barack Obama. We’re getting harassed for more of those Warhol-style tees that the Japanese designer Rocksmith did of him; we sold out last time he came through.

What colors would you put him in? What’s big for summer? (Jaycee) Hawaiian blue, mint green, and lavender.

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