Interview: Dominique Mills Talks ‘Young Picasso’ Nickname, Painting Aesthetic, Future Endeavors & More
Today we step into the fascinating mind of Dominique Mills. Since spotting his creations, Dominique has been one of the very few designers who I always remember to keep on my radar. His artistic talent have been part of the reason as to why his brand is on his rise and today we get to know Dominique a bit more personally. Click the link below to read the full interview.
1. So who is Dominique since there isn’t much information floating around about you?
“My name is Dominique Mills, I’m 19 and I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I’m currently a student at Parsons School for Design and studying full-time to get my BFA in Fashion Design.
My brand, Dominique is a small independent company formed by me and my friend Marquies Smith. I created Dominique to tell my story through fashion.” – Dominique
2. I remember when I first stumbled upon you and saw the first piece that you did. Initially I was blown away by that and I questioned myself if you could get any better, this was until I saw the two pieces that came after that first release. How are you able to reinvent and separate your style/brand from the rest of the pack?
“Thank you! Reinventing myself is easy because to me it’s natural. I change naturally every few months. I like change. I like to make things that feel fresh and new. If I followed every other brand out there I would feel like a copy… I HATE COPIES. I would rather my work surprise and excite people. I would rather search for new things than hold on to the old. My work comes from my hand so its harder for anyone to copy.” – Dominique
3. The last two pieces have featured t-shirts that have been directly painted on. Is this what you’re going to stick with for now or is it just the mood that you’re in at this particular time?
“It’s just the mood I’m in right now. I started painting tees to make a statement. Fashion is self-expression. Fashion isn’t any different from painting, poetry or film making. It’s all art! I wasn’t the first person to paint on clothing. Painting on clothing originally started with the earliest French couturiers. I thought it would be interesting to bring the style to our times, combining Haute couture, Abstract Expressionism and street-wear culture.” – Dominique
4. Those painted designs have not only demonstrated your full-on ability to truly bring art to life but they have paved the way for your new nickname ‘Young Picasso’. How does that feel? Do you truly see yourself as a ‘Young Picasso’ and if so do you feel enormous pressure with such a title?
“It feels great! To mention my name with Picasso is an amazing compliment! And a big hyperbole. I want to keep the nickname, but no I see myself as a young Picasso, I see myself as a young Dominique. I know who I am and I know what I’m capable of. Still, I love the idea of a black artist/designer being compared to Picasso especially since many art critics don’t even consider Basquiat to be as good as Picasso, Pollock, Warhol or any other white artist. To me Basquiat was the original black Picasso but doesn’t get the credit he deserves. They just see him as a cash cow.” – Dominique
5. When it comes to your brand, do you feel as if it is more art than just garments? Was this intended when you first began or did your vision change as things got further in?
“No, I think all garments are art. So the fact that anyone would question whether it’s art, fashion or some sort of fusion is the point. Art is anything that questions itself. If it doesn’t make people think or react, then why would you create it. Everything that I make either comes to me in dreams or randomly as I’m creating it.” – Dominique
6. What do you hope to accomplish with your brand? Is there a bigger picture outside of creating extravagant works of art? Where do you see yourself headed?
“It might seem like a stretch to some but my goal is to be considered the best or one of the best artist/designer to ever live hahaha ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be the best at something and luckily I’ve been blessed with the potential in art. Everything that I make either comes to me in dreams or randomly as I’m creating it. I try to feed my unconscious mind with as much images and ideas as possible to make it easier. Without the biggest library ever aka the internet I would be nothing lol
The bigger picture is to help others. I want to be the best, to be renowned so I can help get people through hard times the same way some of my favorite artist have helped me. I care about making sure everyone lives a good, fun life. I’ve been through a lot in my very small 19 years. I’ve gone from insecure to suicidal to confident and happy. I know I can help other people who have gone through similar or worse. I know that I can make a difference.” – Dominique
7. When you look back five years from now, what will you hope to say to yourself?
“I hope to say to myself that I put my all into making a better life for my family, my friends and myself and that I’ve succeeded.” – Dominique