By Tiffany Hopkins, June 5, 2014.
When an Army soldier-turned-fashion-designer relocates to Phoenix, local fashionistas can expect worldly clothes to hit the streets.
Fashion designer Enzo Cole, 28, brings Mesopotamian inspired concepts to a clothing line he calls Rollin' Stoner, which he started in 2012.
"I use elongated silhouettes that resemble the fashion of ancient Egyptians," Cole said.
Cole said he makes stylish clothes that people can work in. He tries not to follow any rules when he's designing, and is prone to using high fashion fabrics for a line that is not high fashion. The result is street wear for the "downtown kids who appreciate fashion," he said.
Cole said the brand represents a culture that does not conform to society. "We have to knock down the ignorance," he said.
Cole said he purposely included the term "stoner" in the line's name because he wanted to use a phrase containing a negative connotation.
"I want to stop people from judging," he said. "I know people will do it, but I want them to see that I'm an entrepreneur with my own clothing line, even if it's called Rollin' Stoner."
After eight years in the service and living in Italy, Germany and New York City, Cole settled in Phoenix in 2011, but he said he does not like being confined to one spot.
"I don't believe in territories. That starts wars," Cole said, "I am a vagabond."
Cole's love of travel translates to clothes that are convenient for active people who are always on the move.
"Every piece I make has a message, and there is a specific reason to every tiny detail on the clothing," he said.
He makes his clothing fashionable and functional by including things like hide-away pockets in his pieces. Since coming to the Valley, Cole began making clothes that are breathable in the heat.
Cole said Rollin' Stoner is a lifestyle brand. Rather than traditional runway shows, he adds an interactive touch by planning art show presentations, encouraging guests to mingle and exchange creative ideas. The events give buyers a chance to touch the clothes as the models wear them.
"I don't want my guests to just sit and watch models walk the runway," Cole said. "I make the events into parties."
Cole is also working on an interactive Rollin' Stoner app and iPad stand for buyers to connect with the brand and watch the journey of his works.
Cole said he wants to get people away from having an old mind-set, and that his brand is like a "rainbow coalition." He is constantly looking for models of different styles and demographics to wear his items.
Check out more work from Enzo Cole with the presentation of Rollin' Stoner's Los Angeles-inspired collection called Lost America.
Model Cole Sudduth has "the look" for Rollin' Stoner
Fashion designer Enzo Cole's goal is to use models who show that his brand does not fit the mold, and for his latest collection he found that with Cole Sudduth.
"I just really liked his look," Cole said of the 20-year-old model. "It was different from what people expect for Rollin' Stoner."
Sudduth agreed that his style is the opposite of the brand — for example, he likes to wear his hair "super slick," which is different from the Rollin' Stoner look.
"Rollin' Stoner isn't me, and my style isn't the Rollin' Stoner," Sudduth said.
Sudduth said he goes into a fashion shoot as a blank canvas, then becomes the brand while shooting.
"I like Enzo's style because he does things like turns scarves into skirts; and the first thing people think is, ‘Wait, men don't wear skirts,'" Sudduth said.
Sudduth, who is originally from Seattle and now lives in Mesa, said his life as a model is "spur-of-the-moment" and without expectations.
"Becoming a model makes me more proactive, I'm always thinking about what I can do next," Sudduth said.
Sudduth said his greatest challenge in modeling is not that he is gay, but that his 5'11" height makes him relatively short in the "model sphere."
At one point, Sudduth said he almost gave up on modeling, but new opportunities, such as Rollin' Stoner, came his way.
"It's like when you don't care, that's when magic happens," Sudduth said.