Everyday Icon: Darrin/Watermelon Democracy

Darrin (center) representing Watermelon Democracy at Kixpo 09 (via WD Flickr)

A late night at your girlfriend’s apartment is not really a breeding ground for life-altering ideas. But don’t tell that to Darrin Nobles of Watermelon Democracy.

In December 2007, Darrin was at his girlfriend’s apartment discussing, of all things, the names of current or possible clothing lines.

“I threw out Watermelon Democracy because it sounded funny,” says.

It sounded like “the opposite of Banana Republic.” The name stayed burrowed in his head that night.  It kept him up – kept him thinking – so he sat down and wrote the manifesto that would become Watermelon Democracy.

Like our other Everyday Icons, Darrin is a guy that doesn’t abide by style, he creates it.

Fine Times caught up with Watermelon Democracy to talk about t-shirts, philosophy, and why Dallas is and will always be on the map for culture.

Darrin has big ideas.  Watermelon Democracy isn’t just a label. It’s a mantra that represents, among other things, a collective effort for mutual success.

“Never allow society to determine what you’re going to be,” said Nobles, born in South Dallas.  Nobles’ journey took him from Oak Cliff to Jesuit College Prep to Colgate to OU.

“I wanted to tell people about the Watermelon Democracy message.  And I thought… how can I do that?  I know, I’ll make a tshirt.”

Courtesy of Watermelon Democracy

Darrin is an impressive dude–because his convictions are so strong. His line is just a means to an end to spread the good word that the world is out there for the taking. And you should take it–regardless of who you are or what your surroundings are.

Watermelon Democracy is just as much about community and the evolution/success of others as it is about the success of the brand.

The Watermelon Democracy line consists of athletic cut t-shirts for men & women, with the designs spurring from the inspirations around him.  He then collaborates with a cartoonist, who hand-draws what will become the screen for each unique shirt.

“Curtis Mayfield. He’s my favorite musician… but it also comes from seeing a kid or a conversation… just life around you.”

One such inspiration came from a Geico commercial – which prompted Darrin to visualize his own take on evolution, seen below in the We Create Evolution shirt for men.

We Create Evolution by Watermelon Democracy

Darrin identifies his personal style icons as Jay-Z and Lupe Fiasco.

“Jay-Z is a trend setter.  And Lupe banks on his nerdish thing – but it’s him and he doesn’t care what you think.”

Fitting, coming from someone like Darrin, who’s two favorite wardrobe items are a shirt from the RED line (Gap) and a pair of shoes he picked up at Wal-Mart a few years back.

“They (shoes) keep me humble and reminds me to express who I am without caring what other people think.”

Darrin is planning a move to the West Coast in 2010 – to help grow the WD presence.  He also plans on expanding the brand into a non-profit (check WD’s shirt that partners with Love2Haiti). In the meantime, he’s simply spreading the gospel found in Watermelon Democracy’s manifesto:

IF WE COME TO A STATE IN WHICH WE FEEL LIBERATED FROM LIMITATIONS, HAVE THE POWER AND FREEDOM TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING, AND HAVE CREATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHERS, THEN WE HAVE ACHIEVED OUR RESPONSIBILITY THAT IS WATERMELON DEMOCRACY® AND WILL TRULY SEE THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOR.

For more information on Watermelon Democracy, check out the blog, order some gear at the store and follow DN on Twitter.

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  1. June 9th, 2010

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