It was a chilly day in November when Sarah Sulu Boan and I met up at Ra Sushi in Harbor East to chat about Raw Awards as well as about her fashion line with Johnny Throne Transforma, Proper Playground Clothing.
I arrived about 10 minutes late. Trust me, I am usually not late to anything. When you are catching some sales at Poppy and Stella as well as Brightside Boutique before an interview.
Well, it is bound to happen. Sarah was totally fine with it. She was wearing an animal print coat with striped leggings and a neutral colored sweater. She had her hair cut to the side with symbols reminisce of her designs and a hint of color with a feather side by side.
Sarah described her style as:
“Cosmic warriors . . . it entitles all of it. You know life warriors, cosmic warriors. A lot of vintage stuff and I always wear our clothing to promote it. But, it is also my favorite clothing to wear. It really changes with the day sometimes. We find a lot of inspiration within the ‘Burning Man’ culture. Some people feel like you have to be stuck to one style, we are all constantly changing and evolving within ourselves and so is our style.”
Wait, I am getting a little too ahead of myself. Let’s rewind back a little . . . I introduced Sarah to my recording machine and the interview began.
“We started our company in order to provide our customers with love clothing,” Sarah Sulu Boan said. There are so many companies, brands that people wear that do not have a purpose. Everything we do is centered around sacred geometry like the flower of life … all the letters and numbers that have been found throughout history what unites us to the cosmos and mathematical frequency and ratio. Just by wearing the symbols we use in our clothes, it is a way to remind yourself that you are connected to everything and you are not alone. The biggest reward of our clothing is that when people wear it and see someone else wearing it they are instantly connected as if they’ve already been friends. It takes away that initial hesitation.”
Considering Proper Playground Clothing has a following of more than 3,000 fans on Facebook, you would think they have been around for years. Since February 2012, these two creative minds have turned a fashionable science experience into a fast developing brand.
“The first piece we created . . . okay, so I used to have another clothing company . . .where I did patchwork and up-cycle old clothing into something new,” Boan said. I didn’t have enough inventory so I took a pack of T-shirts that were my roommates’ …and started experimenting with it doilies . . .and extraction products. I did this cool pattern all over these black shirts and cut them up into vests. And, I sold them. I was used to my other clothing doing well and vending at music events . . . at Sonar, they called Manifest, dear friends of ours, gave us a chance to sell our clothing there. It was Johnny that said ‘I think you are on to something and I think we could do it bigger and better’. He started introducing all the scared geometry designs.”
Their first collaborative piece, two sweatshirts, is still worn by friends that symbolize their love for each other and their love for this company’s message : clothing that make people feel alive, connected and loving. Every piece of Proper Playground Clothing is hand drawn, cut out and laid out by hand. No two items are ever the same. Hence, the why we they say it is unique with a YOU because it will be yours and only yours.
“When it comes to the designs, everything we do is based around Sacred Geometry,” Boan said. We are using ancient symbols that have been around since the test of time. We also have been creating our own sacred geometry. We also use different ancient prints such as the Shipibo print, use a lot of Mayan prints, and also animals that we find empowering or spirit animals, like the owl and the bee. The bee is our …we like to think of all of our friends as being in this one big hive. We also create awareness about protecting our little winged sisters cause we need to continue living in their wonderful world we all live in.”
In May 2013, Proper Playground Clothing made their debut as a Raw Artist at Raw Baltimore’s Expression event. It was a night of firsts: first fashion show and first time have a set inventory. Their spectacular showcase earned them a nomination as Fashion Designer of Year at the RAWards 2013 Semi-Finals. However, they won the People’s Choice Award at Raw Awards 2013.
“By the end of 2014, we are going to have a line that is our own designs, Boan said. We are going to be able to employ artists that have been overlooked …. we want to create an artist network and strength our economy. Big things to come!”
On January 11, we are working with Manifest to have a huge fashion show. we always say that each of our shows are a circus. .. it is going to be a groundbreaking event for Baltimore. Not to be missed. RAM LIVE!