For all who have exquisite taste (pun intended) in fashion and music, it is a good chance you have heard of Donn Cobb (aka Donn Cobb The CEO), who happens to be CEO and creative director of NY based clothing — and now music — label, Exquisite Taste World Wide.
Funny story — our last interview was with his equally creative girlfriend, Jani Richell. You can read that here.
Over the weekend, I caught up with the young visionary and we talked for over 3 hours about his work, his backstory, and even the new stuff he has in store for the world. Read our conversation below.
CXS: First, I would like to know a little more about you. Who is Donn Cobb?
Donn: Donn Cobb (aka DonnCobbTheCEO) is a creator. Whether it’s creating clothing, creating a beat, or creating a hook on a song. I never limit myself. I would also say I’m a motivator. I motivate people with my actions and my words to do better and be better; mainly, the youth in my town of Brentwood. I like to consider myself “Everyone’s Big Brother”.
I know about your line, Exquisite Taste Worldwide. Can you tell me a little more about it and the reasoning behind it?
Basically, Exquisite Taste started off as a clothing line March 5, 2011 with a friend of mine (Terence Nelson). We were inconsistent with designs and we both kind of took different paths. So, in early 2013, I linked with my little brother Noble, and we added a music department to Exquisite Taste. Now it’s more of a movement. We have recording artists (Noble, Lique, Armonn, and Hodge). We have models (Deanna Ward, Matt Lumbiz, and Mari D) and we have designers (Jani Richell, Noble, and myself). I just wanted to make a support system for everyone to be heard or seen, and possibly push each other out of the hood to be great.
Very nice. And to bounce off of the other question, are you a rapper and producer as well? You told me you are a creator of beats and you also create hooks.
Yeah, I guess you can say I’m a producer. And I wouldn’t say I’m a rapper, but I will be recording music in the future. Possibly releasing an EP in December or Spring next year.
Do you plan to expand the Exquisite Taste movement and add more artists from all over? Or are you keeping it exclusive to your circle?
I like the fact that it’s exclusive, but the name is Exquisite Taste Worldwide, so I do plan to add more people from all over in due time… Or maybe my circle can just touch people worldwide with our art. Either way, we will be worldwide.
What artists, or artists, have inspired you as a creative?
Kanye West, not to sound cliche, but I like the way he never limits himself. I see a lot of his traits in me. Also, Noble inspires me because he’s the hardest working person I know when it comes to perfecting his craft. So, I can never slack.
You are a creative. As a creative, you can either create or innovate something. With that being said, if you could innovate one thing, what would you innovate to make better?
(A few minutes of thought go by…)
This is probably a crazy question.
Yeah, it is (laughs)… I don’t know if this is a good answer, but I would innovate a way to make the school system better. Maybe classes that actually teach kids about the real world instead of teaching them math that they will never use.
That’s actually a great answer! It also ties in with the next question — What advice would you give to young artists trying to make a name for themselves?
I would say: be original. I mean, yes you can get inspiration from other’s work, but try to be original and make your art from your heart. Also, I would like to say: save your money, take your time, and invest into yourself… be your own person and don’t pole ride anyone.
Any big projects in the works for Exquisite Taste or for you in general?
Senior-I.T.I.S. by Noble drops March 31st, “I Have Nothing to Hide” jackets drop on March 13th, my “EAT” hats drop March 31st as well, and Grown Ass Kid by Lique drops July 1st, and Armonn project after that. Man, it’s a lot (laughs).
Exquisite Taste is on a nonstop grind it seems.
Most definitely. Stay tuned, this isn’t a game to us.
Oh, and Jani also told me you guys are working on a collection as well. Any word on that?
Oh yeah, how could I forget. That is also in the works, might be released September-October, we don’t even know yet. But people will definitely like the concept behind it.
Awesome. I’m guessing the concept being kept under wraps?
(Laughs), yeah my bad, bruh bruh.
It’s all good, man. Anything else you want to add before we close out?
Yeah. Basically my hometown highschool basketball team won a championship and I gave the whole team free EAT hats (pictured above). I also wanted to say something about how I always want to be able to give back to the town that raised me.
Donn’s EAT caps release March 31st on http://www.exquisitetasteww.com/.
Check out the campaign for the collection featuring Luka Sabbat, Jani Richell, and Donn himself.