Atlanta Based Shoe Designer, Antonio Brown, Steps Into The Shade Room And Unveils New Shoe Line - The Shade Room

Atlanta Based Shoe Designer, Antonio Brown, Steps Into The Shade Room And Unveils New Shoe Line

Hey, roommates! Some of you may have seen a handsome man by the name of Antonio Brown grace our timeline, especially in the last few weeks. Well if you didn’t know he is the CEO & Owner of the luxury shoe brand, LVL XIII Brands, Inc.!

The company started in December of 2012 and launched it’s first collection in the market in August of 2013. Just two months after the brand’s initial market release, LVL XIII had sold over $250,000 worth of shoes! Following such an amazing start, celebrities like Jason Derulo, Chris Brown and a slew of other celebrities began rocking LVL XIII’s sneakers! 

Antonio says that once he started his research, he decided that he would not accept “NO” from the universe and he refused to give up on this dream. He says that the universe began to “conspire in [his] favor” and brought people in his life that he needed to turn his dream into reality! 

“Something I am beginning to experience in my 20’s is the power of faith and action. As long as you refuse to give up and continue to take steps toward your dreams, the easier it will be to attract the tools you need in order for your idea or plan to come to fruition.” 

 
Ironically, Mr. Brown never thought that he’d be a shoe designer. He had no experience nor did he know how to even manufacture luxury footwear.

 “All I knew was that I loved high-end footwear and I wanted to design and own a sneaker brand.”  So he did what any millennial of his time would do, “After determining this was what I wanted to do, I raced back home and Googled ‘how to start a footwear brand. If I had not worked for the companies that I have, I don’t think that I would have been able to gain the understanding of running a business nor the challenges of manufacturing so that I would be able to start my own brand.”


Well, The Shade Room was in attendance for the long-awaited unveiling of the LVL XIII luxury footwear collection lastThursday And  baby, was it spectacular! The event was called “The World Is Not Enough” and was hosted by Antonio as well as R&B soul singer, Melanie Fiona, and we must say that we were so grateful to be apart of such a beautiful, artistic event! It was a celebratory occasion, being that it was the first collection to be released since Antonio filed his lawsuit against luxury conglomerate, Louis Vuitton. We had no idea of the surprises that were in store for the unveiling which included a very special presentation followed by a surprise performance! 

The event’s ambiance was super lush with gorgeous shades of lavender hugging the entire space and the lighting was as elegant as ever! Everyone’s attention was directed  towards the stage, seated in perfectly aligned rows of chairs, trying to figure out what was about to happen but finally after a brief announcement, the show began. 


After Antonio was introduced by his long-time friend Bernard Love, the audience began to applaud Antonio. It was like everyone knew that this was an event that was a year in the making and was born from blood, sweat, tears (and possibly even a few shots of Henny)! Nevertheless, Antonio looked amazing and we were all pressed to see the shoes! Of course he thanked the audience from the bottom of his heart for coming, and then we were suddenly we were taken away to a mystical dimension. The lights got low and ‘Hold Me’ by Janine and The Mixtape began to play…

Musicality Freedom dance group kicked off the festivities with a stellar dance performance! Each dancer held a different shoe from the collection as they danced and their bodies were painted like galaxies! Now as an artist myself, I couldn’t help but to notice a subtlety between the dancers and the shoes. At the very core of art lies creation and I think that it’s amazing that Antonio was able to translate his creativity into a form of art. 

 “I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want models to be walking down a runway, but I wanted to still be able to showcase the shoes in a way that you could see them and understand the dynamic around it.” 



Before each dancer disappeared back into the pallets of color blanketing the stage, Antonio had them place their shoe on a platform, because he felt that it was important for everyone to engage and interact with his art at the end of the performance. 

By the way, when you go to www.lvlxiii.com, you’ll notice that the names of the shoes (like Genesis, Rowan and Gideon) have some relation to spirituality and/or mythology and that’s because Antonio regards himself as a spiritual person and is also fascinated by Greek mythology. So, I encourage you all to research some of the names, because they have some deep meanings and the designs are hella chic!

Now, the ki of the night was when Miss Melanie Fiona performed! Sing it with me, “And it kills me to let you know how much I really love you. I wanna ooo ooo ooo”!! The songstress looked so beautiful as she co-hosted the unveiling and when she sang down for us, the girls lost it, okay?! According to her that’s Antonio’s favorite song! Life was given, so thank you Antonio for sharing that experience with all of us!

During the event, LVL XIII Brands Inc. had presented a $1,500 check to non-profit organizations, Metro Kids Atlanta and the Atlanta Dream Center, in order to assist children with school supplies and school-related needs. 

“I want to give back to  the kids! I want to give them the same opportunity that I had which was being able to not worry about where they’re going to get school supplies or a backpack when all they should have to worry about is getting up and getting dressed for school.” 


I can tell you that after speaking with Antonio, he’s definitely got a huge heart! He really knows how it feels to be in need and to be silenced, so he does all that he can to bring awareness to issues like child sexual abuse, homelessness and even HIV/AIDS. Every single event that he hosts is tied to a non-profit!

Street, luxury and future are the core values of LVL XIII Brands Inc., but when they slapped fashion giant Louis Vuitton with a lawsuit for allegedly infringing upon their trademark. It was a metal plate placed on the on the toes of their footwear which bore strikingly similar style like Brown’s LVL XIII brand. 

Check out the shows below:

  

They are definitely hot but Antonio knew because he was a newer brand that it was up to him to fight for the rights to his own creativity!

 “We are going up against one of the largest conglomerates in the world and it’s like your classic David & Goliath story,” Brown said, “I want to set an example for people to realize that just because they’re bigger than you and just because they have more money than you doesn’t mean it’s okay to steal someone’s idea.”

Currently the lawsuit is still in limbo, but Louis Vuitton sure has snatched their very similar-looking shoes from off of the market! They will not be picking on the little guys anymore, especially since Antonio has chosen to fight back and stand up for all the independent brands that this has or may still happen to.

Louis Vuitton’s mistake was that they didn’t realize that this brand has a purpose beyond just designing shoes. As I stated before, he’s always involved with non-profit organizations, but I asked Antonio what he plans to do with the aforementioned platform and he said,

“I want to inspire change, I want to inspire people to believe and I want to give back and open schools. So, in order for me to get there, LVL XIII had to happen, because I needed that platform and foundation in order to grow and to be able to have the money to do all of the things that I really wanted to do.”



 Amen to that! 


Antonio says his unveiling gave him a sense of vindication since it was the first launch since his lawsuit situation began in March 2014Brown told Upstart Business Journal

“I took everything I had financially to build this brand, and there were days that I didn’t eat, couldn’t pay my rent. had to build the brand and I did.”

The designer also told us he had to remove his own creations from the market until he could prove his case, of course costing more money, but LVL XIII wanted to make it clear that they were not going to back down. They are going to come back stronger than ever and this unveiling was the epitome of this! Antonio believes that the lawsuit will inspire other designers to protect their ideas and creativity.

You know, it’s really very easy to decide that you want to change lives and help other people. While I was learning about Antonio’s journey, the recurring theme was selflessness. This man works very hard to give as much as he can and I believe that being a blessing brings more blessings to you, so I can’t wait to see him get his Oprah on! The Shade Room is behind Antonio and his brand 100%, so if you would like to know more about him, follow him on Instagram @AntonioIsMuted and place your pre-orders for his fall collection at www.lvlxiii.com

PS: Check out Antonio’s trailer for his book Muted Dreams here! In it, he tells of his experience of being a victim of child sexual abuse and how he has overcome it by helping others voices be heard. Special Thanks again to Antonio Brown for stepping into The Shade Room with us! Let’s chat below!!

   

 





TSR Intern: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!
TSR Staff: B. Young @byoungg on Instagram & @b_youngg on twitter!

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