as told by Jayde Stuckey
photography Amandla Baraka
& Abdul Abasi c/o Abasi Rosborough
Greg Rosborough's interest in his design partner can be dated back to a Fashion Institute of Technology classroom over a decade ago. Fresh out the military, a passionate Abdul Abasi would deliver mandatory weekly presentations with unmatched energy. Considering such zeal, Rosborough contacted Abasi despite adopting separate career paths post-college. 'Hey, let's grab a coffee,' Abasi recalls the message from Rosborough. Today, he can't remember whether it was a call or email. He remembers Rosborough's idea and the genesis of a brand: revolutionizing the men's suit.
Theoretically, neither planned on becoming designers. Rosborough graduated with a business degree from the University of Arizona. Standing taller than most, he found that clothes hung differently on his frame than those of others. During a basketball tournament in New York City, an impressionable Rosborough took a trip to Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue that would spark his desire to study fashion. Yet, eight years in a military uniform would be the spark for Abasi. Given the opportunity to travel the world, the artistically-inclined soldier found that Europe allowed more freedom in fashion with fewer constraints on individuality. After his last duty assignment in the Netherlands, he searched for schools with a menswear program and became a student of FIT at age 25.
If two heads are better than one, this duo is competing with the bests. Rosborough and Abasi have mastered the infusing of two minds to create timeless designs comparable to Rick Owens and Yohji Yamamoto. Yet, the designers are inspired by sculptors and artists like Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor. In the four years of its existence, Abasi Rosborough has honed in on congruity and function in fashion. Drawing from techniques in architecture, the brand places value simultaneously on purpose and art. Rosborough finds competition with peers to be a mental hindrance, aligning his ambition with the innovation of Leonardo da Vinci or the abstract genius of Clyfford Still. Abasi Rosborough breaks the mold.
On the back of the labels in every Abasi Rosborough garment: 'Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have.'
“I think the beauty of what we do — as well as the tension between the two ways of thinking and working — always create something pure and something that neither of us can do on our own. ”