Existing in an environment where everyone has a personal platform, originality and creativity is sometimes taken for granted. Groupthink and plagiarism have become common themes in the realm of the creative arts. Fortunately, the cream of the crop eventually rises to the surface and true creators are recognized and rewarded for their innovation and constant evolution. Earlier this week, the good people of The Glenlivet and Hypebeast came together to celebrate three innovative minds worthy of praise in a panel discussion featuring Holly Jovenall (owner of BILLY), Lola Plaku (sole proprietor of Lola Media Group), & Rhuigi Villaseñor (owner of Rhude Designs).
The Glenlivet x Hypebeast prepared a quaint hosting space in the heart of downtown Los Angeles at Rick’s located at the back of Hotel Figueroa. The two-story venue featured an extended interior bar, poolside amenities and an upstairs patio that offers a decent view of DTLA’s extensive architecture. The Glenlivet offered a wide variety of their premium single malt scotch whiskey reserves for the attending guests. From their 12-year aged scotch to their exclusive Nàdurra Oloroso, each offering provided their own unique savory notes to appeal to each individual’s palate.
Holly Jovenall x Billy Los Angeles
Holly Jovenall discussed her brand coming to fruition utilizing her father as the muse for her vision. BILLY was named after Holly’s sire and is a hand-crafted, ready-to-wear curation coming directly from the source that is Ms. Jovenall. Growing up on a 60-acre plot of land outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Jovenall revealed she was acclimated to working with her hands which has contributed to her work ethic today.
With her father in mind, Jovenall was able to master simplistic and practical menswear design. The self-taught entrepreneur was able to grow her brand using her network of stylists to which she formerly worked alongside with. Overall, viewing Jovenall’s genuine enthusiasm to create and see her work on the backs of some the entertainment industry’s elite was awe-inspiring.
Lola Plaku x Lola Media Group x iLuvLola
The Albanian-bred Lola Plaku found her way to Toronto, Canada after fleeing refuge from the Albanian rebellion. Without speaking a word of English, Plaku was able to single-handedly build a networking empire stemming from her work as a journalist. Prior to becoming the head of her very own branding/marketing agency, Lola worked closely with the likes of The Weeknd, Kehlani, Travis Scott, French Montana and many more.
Whether it’s managing a traveling live production or boosting the brand of hip-hop’s elite, Plaku is a multifaceted mastermind that’s knowledgable beyond belief. However, despite Lola’s musical inclination and full circle marketing abilities, she revealed her struggles with men within the industry. She admitted to attendees she hid her feminity and focused on her intellect which affected her relationships both in and outside of the industry.
Despite Plaku’s struggles with the weak and having to overcome adversity in a male-dominated industry, she’s come out on top and even curated her very own sneaker collaboration with PUMA entitled the Lola Plaku x PUMA Nova GRL PWR. Witnessing Lola Plaku speak on her journey and triumphs revealed that she is the walking embodiment of the phrase, ‘behind every great man, there’s a woman.’
Rhuigi Villaseñor x Rhude
Rhuigi Villaseñor discussed his upbringing as a Phillipino-immigrant who once was unable to speak the ‘native’ language of the United States. In spite of living in his aunt’s one-bedroom Los Angeles apartment and being unaware of America’s cultural environment, he was able to develop his own sense of personal style which eventually led him to curate his very own apparel. Now, with his own personal label, Rhude, being one of the most prominent streetwear brands today, Villaseñor is setting the tone on what’s culturally relevant.
Rhuigi revealed that his brand is women-influenced, comes from a family perspective and is constantly evolving aesthetically. Throughout the discussion, Rhuigi’s hustler’s mentality, light-heartedness and family-oriented outlook confirms that he will be a force within high fashion and streetwear for years to come. With his team in attendance and desire to improve everyone’s overall quality of life through product design, Rhuigi Villaseñor is a proven innovator with a lot more room to grow.
— P/T King Tut (@CharlieBlacksII) May 30, 2019
Listening to all three of these creative’s share their stories was a motivating experience. Two of the panelists were non-speaking immigrants at one point and the other was a bashful tomboy who lived a quiet lifestyle in middle America. Their experiences kindled a revelation that we should expand and hone our creative talents and that originality comes directly from our own personal paths and belief systems. Reveal your artistry to the world, share it with people and watch how your creative endeavors can spark the minds of a nation for everyone to share a conscious connection.
Photos/Video By Bianca Calloway