Bossip: There are those in the Black community that will often have a negative attitude towards people that want to do things that are considered “outside of the box”. Have you had any of those experiences?
Antoine: I’ll be honest, you have a lot of people out there that loves us and support us but you also have your doubters. You have two black heterosexual males that are designing, you have people question it. People don’t think we have the talent, Vernon is a pro athlete and I am an ex-record executive. When we work, we shut them up. You are going to have people outside our race and people inside our race that just doubt it just because it’s not the typical thing you hear, but it also sparks an interest. We have so many people interested in our work and our story because it is something that is different, it’s intriguing. For example, Vernon was talking to Michael Strahan and he told Vernon he has never heard anything like what we are doing before. He wanted to hear more. Everyone starts a record label or a clothing line.
Bossip: Something typical.
Antoine: Right! People are always like, wow, that’s different, that what we want to do, we want to set trends not follow them. We want to give back to the community and touch these kids at a young age and actually give them a chance. We have so many family and friends that didn’t make it, we just want to give back.
Bossip: Vernon, can you remember the first thing that you painted and felt comfortable showing it to someone else?
Vernon: Well, the first time I did anything with art was my sophomore year in college. I didn’t want to associate with art because I was afraid. I dint feel free until I was in college. The first time, I ever did a painting, a buddy of mine, named Patrick, who is also a teammate, he said, Vernon, “that’s unbelievable” I didn’t know you could do anything like that. He was like, man, you should really get involved with this and I said,” you really think so?” and after that, I took off.
Bossip: Part of MCD is giving back to the community and getting the youth involved with the arts and the movement to interior design, can you speak on the influence as far as the kids go?
Vernon: Growing up in the inner city, kids are afraid to paint, or get into art. My whole philosophy is, don’t be afraid, do whatever it is. It doesn’t have to be sports, or law, it could be design, a lot of kids get afraid of that field. They think if I am big, strong, a basketball or football player, I can’t do this, they will laugh at me. It’s not like that, it’s one the best things you can put your hands on, its art. Art to me is anything.