L'ENCHANTEUR - SOULL AND DYNASTY OGUN
May 7, 2018
"When you're an artist or when you are working in the arts you always come to a point where you realize that you are giving a piece of yourself in everything that you do. It's about knowing what parts of yourself you would like to give."
Questions by Khalid Livingston of Outlet.Fyi
Morning Routine: Showing gratitude with meditation
Favorite Book: The Solar Plexus or Abdominal Brain
Favorite Place For Inspiration: Going within and then exploring my surroundings
Morning Routine: Currently water, tea & affirmations
Favorite Book: The Master Mind
Favorite Place For Inspiration: Inward/meditation
Khalid: Originally you all started out as two separate brands, BRZÉ and Alkhemi9. Why did you both decide to merge as one? And why the name L’Enchanteur?
Dynasty: Soull and I wanted to bring our brains together and form a single story line for our narrative. BRZÉ and Alkhemi9 were two sides of the same coin. We spent most of our earlier days cultivating our craft and what we had in mind for a company. L'Enchanteur is an ode to our family bloodline. It also represents who we are individually and what we become when we join forces. We are the enchanters. We are the enchanted ones. We are the ones who are blessed. We create magic and transform the world around us.
Soull: When we decided to merge BRZÉ & Alkhemi9, we were at this place of an "ah-ha" [moment], even though we always knew we'd eventually sync our crafts and create a larger unit force. We knew that L'ENCHANTEUR was the beautiful fruit of the seeds of BRZÉ & Alkhemi9. L'ENCHANTEUR translates to "Enchanted Ones" or " The Enchanted" The name captures how we wanted to express what we were doing. We felt we were bringing life into inanimate objects like jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Allowing the wearer to connect with the pieces giving it "life" and therefore enchanting it. I felt it was a level of transformation for both the wearer and the piece. That's when we were like-- if we continue to put our love into this art form, and elevate ourselves, it can assist in transforming lifestyles.
Khalid: Your heritage plays a role of inspiration in the work you both produce. There is noticeably a narrative around tradition and craftsmanship but in a modernized aesthetic. How does it feel to pass that energy along to your customers?
Soull: It's definitely a beautiful thing to share. Growing up first generation in Brooklyn, was something to understand inwardly. Our dad is Nigerian, our mom is Dominican, West Indies Antilles.
That was rough as a kid. We got made fun of because our dad was from "Africa" and that was something to make fun of for some reason and our mother's [country] is small and was unheard of back then [so] there was a level of embarrassment. Though the entire thing, I was like 'yo our parents are dope.' Our parents' fashion was always on point and they were immediate inspirations at the same time. So when we became of an age to take back our cultures and have the ability to translate that into beautiful works, that was the number one reason for me to draw from my parents cultures. Their histories are both amazing and comes from what feel to be primordial, so when we go to research, we have a marker to start from and in that we can share our pride from where we come from. Again, letting transformation happen and turn into something that continues to give me pride each day.
Dynasty: I would say it's about sharing and an exchange of information between people & entities. When we create, we always keep in mind, "How is this going to assist someone on their journey?" Whether it's the colors we use, or the types of stone that we use, or the type of texture in a piece of fabric, or even the type of metal that vibrates with a certain person. When you're an artist or when you are working in the arts you always come to a point where you realize that you are giving a piece of yourself in everything that you do. It's about knowing what parts of yourself you would like to give. So if I want to give someone love-- if I want to give some confidence, you know-- I can put that in my work and share it with them in that way. So even if I never got to meet the person who made the purchase, someone who resonated with that particular piece, I know for a fact that some of me is with them always. When I want to share love, confidence, or compassion [I know] they're going to get a piece of that, even if they never met me physically.
"L'ENCHANTEUR translates to "Enchanted Ones" or " The Enchanted" The name captures how we wanted to express what we were doing. We felt we were bringing life into inanimate objects like jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Allowing the wearer to connect with the pieces, giving it life and therefore enchanting it."
Khalid: There is a certain level of solitude that goes into every creative process where your collective influences manifest into something tangible. What does the voice say that lets you know when it’s time to stop working on a piece and share with the world?
Soull: Enough. Haha nah, it's something like ok, that's great as is. I could always add to this but sometimes that takes away from the initial concept so it's a beautiful thing to take another amazing though and transfer it into something else.
Dynasty: Do you bruh. Nothing too major. It's time to share this energy or frequency.
Khalid: When I wear your jewelry, I get a sense of strength and identity from it. It has become a part of my everyday uniform. When you design, are those your intentions for each person who wears them?
Soull: Absolutely. It's like-- "Here's a piece of us and we hope you are getting part of the best parts." We want people who wear our items to become one with it.
Even if it's something you wear periodically (we'd hope one wears it everyday ) we want them to connect and translate their versions of it. Two different people will create their own narratives while wearing one of our pieces. They are everywhere on this huge planet and this is a way to connect us all. We call them Enchanted Ones - and our goal is to awaken our audience, for them to see in themselves, that we are all the Enchanted Ones.
Dynasty: Yes that is the one of the biggest intentions. We are all reflections of each other. When we're designing we're calling on energies from a high source and it comes through us. So if I wanted to share strength and purpose with that particular design someone will resonate with it because we all know that we are all looking to be a little more stronger and self empowered everyday. Each piece is a little part of our highest self (all of us universally) and anyone can tap into that.
Khalid: I noticed over the years that you all have expanded into sculpture and fragrance, what’s next down the line? And how do you decide what products belong in the portfolio.
Soull: We have a few things up our sleeves - - I feel as artist there's so many ideas that transcend jewelry or clothing that needs to be expressed in other avenues of design and/or artistic expressions. I think for the now, the focus is to become greater in my (our) crafts. Once you do that you can do anything but becoming greater and greater is a lifelong mission, the other endeavors are amazing surprises in between.
Dynasty: We ask ourselves what we feel is needed to have a full on experience that touches all the sense and activates something else in you. Our goal is to inspire each other to use our selves at it highest capacity. So the question is how can we use our work to activate parts of our DNA that lay dormant and use it to its full potential. That becomes a burning question inside and then the work begins.
Khalid: You have spoken about your older sister in the past and her commitment to fashion during the moments of her life while battling Lupus. If she saw how much of a success you all have become in this industry today, what do you think she would say?
Soull: That's a hard question. I think she would say that she's proud of the journey we have to set upon while continuing to do what we truly love. She would be proud of who we are becoming as people and to keep expanding our visions wide enough to reach for high goals and mastering ourselves to obtain them.
Dynasty: I think Cajo would say. "The work is far from over. You have a lot more to do & and an unlimited amount of lives to transform".
Photography — Viktor Jelinek
Interview — Khalid Livingston
Editor — Victoria Bagger