Name of Creator: Aaron Nicholas Markell Wilkerson
Hometown(s): Fayetteville, North Carolina/ St. Louis, Missouri
Currently Living in: Greensboro, North Carolina
Highest Form of Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Technology from North Carolina A&T University (HBCU)
Past Jobs: Cleaning Service for Food Lion (Janitor), BusBoy at Texas Road House, Cashier for Carmike Theaters, Inventory Specialist for Best Buy, Technical Consultant for Sprint.
Bio: When people see me they automatically think SPORTS. As a 6’2” black male with an athletic body frame, I can see why this is always assumed of me but I always seem to surprise people when they get to know me. As a child and young adult I did play sports such as basketball (I suck at basketball), Baseball (wasn’t a great hitter), and football (I couldn’t catch a cold), but most of my energy was placed in music.
Throughout middle school and most of high school I was band geek. I started off playing the clarinet and I was pretty good considering that I didn’t really practice that often. I was made fun of a lot by my peers since the clarinet was known to be the second “gayest” instrument in the world according to them. I never let them win in the banter but I didn’t really have the best defense. There were only three other males that played the clarinet, I became friends with one of them and he turned out to be a homosexual. We remained good friends but it didn’t do wonders to my popularity with the jocks or the girls. The main thing high school taught me was to be myself, mainly because I sucked at doing anything else.
I attended North Carolina A&T in 2004 and enrolled myself in the school of Mechanical Engineering. One thing I tell young adults that are planning to attend college is to make sure you research your major THOUROUGHLY. To be honest, I picked my major primarily because of its title. I saw the word Mechanical and I thought “Machines, I like machines”. I then looked at the word Engineering and thought “Engineering=Building, I’m a beast with legos.” When I found that Mechanical Engineers spent most of their time in front a computer and had nothing to do with legos I should of got out that second, but I wasn’t raised to be a quitter. I then spent most of my time in front of a computer or with my face buried in reports, word problems, and formulas. I only lasted two semesters. I then switched my major to Electronic Computer Technology which was something that I really enjoyed because I was given the chance to build things with my hands but it never fulfilled my creative hunger.
In between working and school I was also a Disc Jockey. To this day I still participate in events such as club parties, weddings, house parties etc. My interest in graphic designed stemmed from my dreams of being a DJ. I would create my own business cards and flyers in order to promote myself. I’ve changed my DJ name about four times so I have had plenty of practice. As a DJ my wardrobe mainly consisted of dope/rare sneakers, jeans, graphic t-shirts, and hoodies. Fashion wise, my only goal was to make sure nobody else had what I had so in order to do that I had to shop where others didn’t but being in Greensboro North Carolina, my options were extremely limited. I had to use the internet for most of my shopping so I would always be on websites like PickYourShoes.com, SneakerFreaker.com, and Karmaloop to just name a few. I strived to be different but at the same time, myself.
My brand name, Rare, came when I bought a pair of Limited Edition Supra Skytop 14K Premium Gold Perf Shoes off of ebay for $250.00 (I was broke for three wks after that). I’m the type of person that has to have a shirt that matches perfectly with the shoes but trying to find a t-shirt with gold on it was pretty hard in Greensboro North Carolina, especially since I was (still am) picky. As I was scavenging through the mall, I saw kiosk that allowed you to design your own t-shirt. So I went to footlocker and bought an army green t-shirt and coined the phrase “I LIKE MY SHOES RARE.” The entire text was in metallic gold except the word Rare, which was in red and in a different type of font that had a dripping effect, which portrayed dripping blood. I wore this shirt with my shoes the very next day and it was received well. When I walked by, I would catch the eyes of people reading the shirt and then looking at the shoes. The feeling of creating something and having strangers like it turned out to be very addicting. I designed the shirt with the intention to be different but at the same time be myself, so that is when I decided to create and name my clothing line Rare. The tag line “Killers of the Common” didn’t come until years later when I was finally satisfied with a trademark. I loved the trademark but I felt that people wouldn’t really understand it without some sort of explanation, so I stared at the trademark and envisioned my clothing line 5 years into the future and the first thing that came to me was Killers of the Common.
Right now the clothing line is at its beginning stages but the potential is limitless. When the line is fully up and running, it will have to power to go any direction it chooses. This company chooses to be loyal to no specific demographic, only to ourselves. Love us or hate us. I don’t want Rare: Killers of the Common to fit under just one label because once that is done the creativity of the brand has a cap, and that’s something that I never want. The company that I intend to follow and hopefully conquer is NIKE. They are accepted everywhere and they make products for everybody. That is what I hope for.