Sterling left a career in music in his native Seattle, Wash., to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of fashion. Before going all-out couture, Sterling started by creating T-shirts, which he calls "statement clothing," which developed into his Sterling Wear line. His in-your-face designs carry slogans such as "True champs come from behind" and his biggest seller, "I don’t date 818."
His sales started to take off when a representative of the late Tupac’s clothing line, Makaveli Branded, expressed interest in Sterling’s shirts and insisted on wearing one for a Playboy party he attended.
The boost in Sterling’s budding career led him to create his legendary Pink Mafia Wear, a hip collection of T-shirts, jackets, skirts, sunglasses and many other accessories – all incorporating the color pink – which he began last year. Sterling gets tens of thousands of hits on his Web site, www.realmenwearpink.com, and sales are flourishing – not bad for someone who started with meager beginnings.
"Web sales have really started moving, and I finally got a sales rep to start adding a few stores weekly," he says. "It’s especially cool since a lot of them are out of state. I’m looking to move the line into Japan and the UK as soon as I can."
Sterling’s designs give new life to boring, tired-looking blazers for men and women. Along with asymmetrical cuts and frayed edges, he adds unique details such as Jackson Pollock emblems by splattering colors on each article’s front and back. His stylish designs are just the beginning of a new era in fashion.
"I get offers to do fashion shows every week," Sterling says. "With spring already here, I think things are about to snowball in a huge way. All the foundation I’ve laid myself selling out of the trunk of my Caddy, staying on top of local boutique sales, following any possible lead I can [and] constantly redesigning and experimenting, has panned out."
His new T-shirt line AFAR, an acronym for All For A Reason, is the antitheses of his other, straight-in-your-face lines. These shirts are printed with familiar life philosophies such as "It is what it is," "All for a reason," "Love thyself" and his personal mantra, "Life’s too short to blend in." The shirts are in English lettering with Celtic designs.
The pink-loving aficionado has dipped his talents in film as well. When he first came out to L.A., he shot a mini-film titled "What Do You Love and Hate About L.A." by asking random people on the street what they liked or disliked about the city. One responded, "Love the weather but hate the people." Sounds like another great statement for a T-shirt.