DMBGS by Armand Dushae | Skillshare Projects

Armand Theus-Box

Doing My Best - God's Son



DMBGS by Armand Dushae

Background : My name is Armand Dushae I'm 21 year old from Oakland, California. Self-taught seamstress/self-taught graphic designer. I grew up in the Golden Age of streetwear, before Jonas died, when Lupe still posted on Hypebeast,  Digital Gravel ruled all,  before Fairfax was Fairfax. Everything I produce is handmade by me. I'm a continual work in progress & my brand reflects that. 


Brand Name : DMBGS by Armand Dushae  (Doing My Best - God's Son) 

The name of my company is DMBGS by Armand Dushae, which is actually an acronym for "Doing My Best" - (signed) God's Son . DMBGS serves as my (Armand Dushae) message & promise to my fanbase as well as anyone who would happen to come across the brand that I have & will continue to do my best to provide useful, quality, product . The name also serves as a badge for the wearer, a personalized proclamation that YOU (whoever & where ever you are) are doing your best (in life), which is all anyone can ask for.  As thought out & intentional as the name might seem, ironically it  was not my first choice. It actually derives from the original name of the company " DimeBags by Armand Dushae" DimeBags has a two-fold meaning for me. First off it's a play on words, as you'll see my "staple" products are coin pouch wallets so I figured Dime (coin) Bags (pouches) was rather clever. My 2nd purpose for the original name was to play off a stereotype. As you'll see I'm not your typical streetwear designer/brand owner, when I started the company I was a troubled 19 year old kid from Oakland. No conventional training in art or sewing, no diploma, just a dropout & at the time facing two felony charges. In society's eyes I had a poor future. But when I decided to turn my passion for fashion into something profitable I also decided I was done selling "dime bags" & was ready to start selling "DimeBags" the legit way. I ended up changing the name for a two reasons, firstly another company existed by the name of DimeBags Storage . This was about 4 months after my company launch party ( Black Friday 2011) so everything was still really developmental. They actually contacted me & wanted me to come into their distribution center in San Fransisco. I went to the meeting & they were really impressed with the product & wanted me to merge under their company to be a creative director & have the the pouches be mass-produced. We discussed numbers & their CEO have me a tour of the facility as well as showed me pictures of their manufacturing facility in Colorado. I was blown away, & being that the numbers were good and designing for a multi -million dollar company sounded great, something was wrong. First off they marketed towards somkers & I really wanted to stay away from identifying my products with marajuana, given my background. Second I really felt the need for my products to remain handmade ( more intimate & personal for the customer) which they didnt belive would be efficient for business. I declined. Often times I wonder if I made the right decision, but I always come to the conclusion that I did. I get to be my own boss plus I have total faith in the slow grind... However at the time I was still really in love with the name DimeBags so I was going to have that still be the prononciation, I simply removed every second letter & abbreviated it to avoid legal issues ( D i M e B a G S = DMBGS ) . After seeing DMBGS on paper the acromyn sort of just came to me & felt really right ( Doing My Best - God's Son) .  2 years later people are still calling the coinpouches dime bags becuase the name still looks like an abbreviation of that word, so I got to not get sued & still have my unofficial nickname . Dope.  



With my primary logo, the shield crest I wanted to stay really true to myself & represent for the things that I hold dear ( I consider DMBGS more of a personal, "intimate brand" than a "lifestyle brand" if that makes any sense).  Since I do smaller accessories & not graphic tees or other more visible products where it's easier to get a point across I decided that it was still imperative that I convey my values on each & every product, so I loaded them all into the DMBGS shield. Every aspect of the DMBGS shield, from the icons to their positioning  have significance. The "$" at the top/north position of the shield represents the reality that here in America & on this planet the almighty dollar commands & is above all. While I'm not a servant or slave to money I do understand that in the capitalist society I'm a part of, cash rules. The treble clef on the left/west side of the shield really represents the universal love that pretty much everyone shares for music. Also as a poet/musician I wanted to place the icon on the left side to correlate with the left side of the brain & always keeping the creativity & inspiration flowing.  The "W" or westcoast fingers on the east/right side of the shield serves a double purpose. It represents California, home, family & the Bay Area that made me who I am,where all my products originate. Positioning of the West Coast hand signal on the east side of the shield as opposed to the left/west side where it "belongs" touches on my desires to push my movement/brand everywhere. There is no "out-of-place" for DMBGS, we make products for every demographic. Wallets, card holders, media-cases, useful things that can be sold from a streetwear boutique to Disneyland to a Kaiser gift-shop, day-to-day accessories for every single demographic depending on the style. This sets us apart from being  "just" a streetwear brand & makes us much more versatile . "As the world turns we spread like germs!" (Method Man/Wutang/Triumph reference)  The crucifix is symbolic of faith and the spiritual growth that we must all mature & grow in throughout our lives, not specific to Christianity. Its at the base position of the shield because it is the most important aspect to humanity, the foundation that we must build our lives on; Faith in God; Faith in Ourselves; Faith in Our Dreams.  

This simpler sheild logo just has my initials, something clean & simple. For the customer who could care less about everything I wrote in the previous paragraph, lol . 

While I don't use this logo as much as the sheild this was actually my 1st concept for a logo. I really wanted to represent for the Bay Area/Northern California so I put a bridge which could symbolized either the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge ( So-Cal isn't really known for any bridges) over the "Made In California" typeface . Then being the narccisist that I am ( jk) I plastered my name big as hell in the middle & put my birth year in roman numerals at the bottom. This secondary logo graphic is really busy but it gives me the chance to play with colors more. I like it. 

Slogan: Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future

To me this quote ties in perfectly with the brand ideaology of just doing your personal best to constantly grow & evolve . We're all trying  .  

 Mission Statement: "BLE$$ THE GLOBE"   (Method Man/Wutang/Triumph reference)

As a preteen in love with streetwear culture I was constantly on the hypebeast blogs & quickly fell in love with the work of a sneaker customizer named Emmanuel Labor. I eagerly started my own company dubbed "Vivid Customs" & began to paint on the kicks of anyone who would let me. Though the orders piled up I began to observe paint cracking & low durability on my work. As cool as my designs may have been if the shoe art wasn't "functioning properly" aka holding up, the asthetics we're dimished to shit & utterly discounted. This is when I really began to grasp the concept of  function before fashion . 

There's a quote by the genius Mr. Pharrell Williams

" All great things were created with function in mind first"

My products are all handmade by me personally &  also all serve day-to-day functions . Wheter you're carrying your lighter in one of my sleeves, your phone in one of my cases, or your money in one of my wallets, they're all serving a purpose of more than just looking cool (though they do that too). I am very careful only use the highest of quality materials on my product, the majority boast silk linings, gold/silver plated hardware & genuine cowhide. I consider these useful accessories  handy dandy blessings to the world around me, hence the mission statement ("BLE$$ THE GLOBE")

About : 

Despite my life being heavily influenced by streetwear, when I started planning for my company I didn't feel it was quite the time for  me to dive into the world of graphic tees & apparel. I wanted to provide a functional product that I could still be creative with, the blank 3 x 4.5 canvas of a coinpouch was the perfect medium. I-phone cases, key fobs, lighter sleeves & other day-to-day essentials quickly followed. After a while the sketches weren't enough so I bought a sewing machine & taught myself to use it so that I could make my ideas tangible. Leather makes everything super difficult ( I knew this from deconstructing air force 1's) so it was a rough but very exciting learning process. By November 25th of 2011, DMBGS by Armand Dushae was born. Over these past two years I've had many ups & downs but I have never given up on my dream. Today we are carried by a small handful of online stockiest including Karmaloop Kazbah which has really given us a lot of international exposure. We are also carried in 6 physical locations around the states. DMBGS has began to offer custom, 1 of 1 products for clients which has proved really useful in product placement on celebrities; I specialize in customizing down to the smallest detail from decorative stitching to lining portraits and custom hardware.  Lastly another impact-ful adjustment I've made is establishing a branch off aspect of the company called DMBGS Manufacturing, it was a decision I made really just to try & keep the lights on. DMBGS Manufacturing offers all my services to other companies ( not limited to streetwear ) & I have had to opportunity to work with 50+ clients on designing bulk handmade accessories for their collections/promotional items/etc. Working with DMBGS Manufacturing gives you a much better price, a faster turnaround, an American made product & much more involvement in the design process. This branch off company was probably the best move that I've made to advance myself economically. With no 9-5, every day isn't easy, but I enjoy living off of my brand. The grind is real & as long as I continue to sew all day every day & work on my craft I believe things will pay off. 


Inspired by Luxury Exotic Hides.

Materials Used.

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