Looking for a closet refresh? Consider Houston-made brand A Herd of Bison, the two-year-old company from creator Kareem Day, which specializes in bespoke garments and moccasins.
“The aim was to create a platform that would allow any individual to bring [an] idea or vision into a reality expressed through fashion,” Day says, adding A Herd of Bison uses high-quality fabrics and materials to create custom garments with precision.
Though he set out to focus on shoes and apparel, Day also wanted to create a philanthropic component of his brand. On day one, he sold 38 units of his City Windbreaker–a pullover jacket with embroidered stitching and a map of Houston on the back–and wanted to give back to the community. He did that one Saturday a month with his kids, handing out nutritional lunches and toiletries to the homeless, and he hopes to do even more in the future.
Day’s designer dreams began long ago, when he first started sketching ideas in fourth grade. That passion continued as he progressed through school.
“I was the guy in high school custom designing students’ clothes and shoes. I ended up turning that into a way to make extra money for my brother and I in school,” Day says. “Although I didn’t go to school for design, I’ve always been a student [of] the craft.”
In college, Day actually pursued engineering technology, a decidedly different field but one he says has benefited his newfound business nonetheless. “This has helped tremendously with putting the project together for the brand and analyzing to get the most effective results,” he says.
Day’s designs are inspired by all aspects of his life, he says, including past failures and successes, and every experience influences his unique aesthetic—each piece, he says, “is part of one big story. They all connect in some way.”
That’s evident in the “thought-provoking text and art” Day includes with most of his designs. He references themes like unity and esteemed artists like Basquiat, but he tries to balance the deeper meaning of each piece with a fashionable bent. “Can’t be serious all the time, you know?” he says.
Some of the brand pieces, like a cardigan and purse release for women, are designed and manufactured locally, Day says; others are produced with resources in Italy and Pakistan. Shoes set for release this summer are also manufactured overseas, the designer says. New pieces will debut this fall/winter season.
“As a creative, I channel a lot of my visions and thoughts through fashion and art,” Day says. “A Herd Of Bison is more than just a fashion brand, and I am more than just a shoe designer or fashion designer. I’m a person that cares about how people feel.”