It isn’t an everyday occurrence that you meet someone who not only wants to have there own clothing brand, but has also made his or her dream a reality. HBCUBuzz reader’s, I would like to introduce you to Michael Spikes Jr., the creator of University of Taste. He’s a 19-year-old sophomore at Morgan State University, majoring in Business Marketing. When I read the email from him explaining his brand and what he was all about, it was quite evident that his brand and what he has planned needed to be shared with everyone.
How did you come up with your brand name of University of Taste?
I was sitting in the library with two friends discussing names; we couldn’t come up with anything so we said we’d come back the next day. Next day rolled around and we came up with names from Splat to Pen Society. Finally, taste popped into head because you think of taste as being what you like and different flavors; University came in mind as a different way to show the individuality and taste of a person. Here at Morgan state we are a very fashion forward campus, with styles from Afrocentric to urban.
What was your motivation behind creating your own brand?
When I was 13, my mom passed to sickle cell disease, due to this I wanted to do something to make my family proud that dealt with giving back. Also, at 17 I remember seeing the Haiti incident and wanted to give back. With all this, plus my middle and high school years I had began to plan my clothing brand.
Do you have a team or certain group of people that are helping you in your journey?
- Troy Byam- Promotion of Outreach and Assistant Business Manager
- Tatum Harrison- Public Relations Specialist
- Jhsaad Sanders- Business Representative for New Jersey
- Romez Laurence- Photographer
- Artsy Laws- Community Outreach
- Brii Newton- Photographer
- Jen Nwaifejokwu- Fashion Editor
- Shalonta Bowman – Administrative Assistant
- Brittani Perry- Event Coordinator
Where do you see your brand in the next five years?
Right now I’m looking towards getting the brand out there to other campus, starting off at Morgan. In the 2nd year I plan on reaching out to other HBCU’s such as Howard University and Virginia State University. Also, besides just having shirts, I want to expand the brand by having snapbacks, bags, and sweatshirts. The 3rd year will be a transition towards special collections that will be in school stores starting first at Morgan University. The 4th and 5th year will be more expansion of the brand and also the creation of a magazine: Taste magazine which will include topics dealing with skateboarding, music, fashion, U TV network, “What’s you taste?” and lastly a documentary on the first year of the brand and also connecting with unique hip hop artist.
In two words, describe University of Taste?
Exclusive and trendsetting. Exclusive because everything we do is for the people who believe in standing outside the crowd and trendsetting because we don’t follow trends, we set them.
As you can see, Mr. Spikes is not your average HBCU college student. He’s an entrepreneur who has set out to achieve a goal and offer a quality brand to everyone! To keep up with the journey of University of Taste, “like” them on Facebook: University of Taste Clothing and also keep a look out for the debut of there website which will be released in late August!