Eighteen year old Ezla Lewis is an increasingly influential creative on the brink of well-earned and well deserved recognition. He designs for his establishment, Palacose, in which his paramount objective is to develop impactful products for youth culture and inspire them to have a positive outlook on life.
Lewis resided in Yokosuka, Japan most of his life, but has recently relocated to Houston, Texas. The move enabled him to invest all his money and time into Palacose. Palacose is perceived as more than just a brand; it is a family that aims to instill more positivity, more creativity, more belief, and more style through everything they do.
Unlike the overwhelming amount of mediocre start up “brands” circulating the internet, Palacose manifests a classic, almost poetic sort of artistry.
Explore Ezla Lewis, the plot of Palacose, and more below.
“If the people like it, I know I accomplished what I needed to do.”
What’s the story behind your company? Is there a notable reason for the name Palacose?
Palacose was a thought I had when I started to work for Hollister in Houston. When I was working I got bored and thought of different concepts of what I wanted my brand to be, and working at Hollister opened my eyes of what I wouldn’t want my brand to be. No beef or disrespect to Hollister, it’s a good brand but it’s not something I want for Palacose. So one day I was like, I need to think of a name for this make believe brand. It was first Keltaveli, then Palases, then Palaxose, then lastly it was PALACOSE. It means POSITIVITY CREATIVITY BELIEF. So I went to one of my best friends that worked there, Devin Tatum, he’s like a brother to me. Without him this small idea wouldn’t have been possible. He pushed me and helped me get the brand up. That’s my business partner. Anyway, so I thought of the name and ideas for the brand. That night I went home and wrote down everything I wanted to do for the next 10 years with the brand. Now we are growing more and more and I try to make better things collection after collection.
Could you elaborate on the collection you dedicated towards the girl you met in college?
So the girl I dedicated the collection to, her name is Chelsea Villanueva. I met her at the lobby of my dorm and she was playing board games with her friends and I saw her smile. I literally stopped and almost melted, like I’ve never seen a girl’s smile so perfect, and her eyes were just literally amazing and the way she presented herself was even more attractive. She is the definition of a jewel, like literally perfect. So I went to talk to her and played the game with her whatever. I wanted her so bad, so that night I was like how can I get this girl to fall in love with me, how can I make her like me the way I like her? So then I thought, I’m going to make a whole collection for her. So it wouldn’t be too obvious, I called the collection “jewel collection.” After that, ideas flowed like crazy. As a creator/designer/whatever, it feels more easy when I have a certain person I would like to make clothes for or a certain group. I feel like I have more variety and I have so much for fun. So I created the collection and put it in my second fashion show, which went well and everything sold out. I was so surprised and so happy. I told her I made the collection for her when I left that college. She was happy, and I believed she enjoyed the collection.
Looks from the “JEWEL COLLECTION”
“I love natural elegance. When you put natural elegance and clothes together, you get Palacose.”
The inspiration for your upcoming collection, “Belle de Jour”, is the thriller/drama film “Psychout For Murder.” Why that movie in particular?
“Psychout For Murder” is so aesthetically pleasing. I just found out about it and I told myself I have to make something similar to that. I love the style of the 60’s in Europe. It was so natural and effortless. They didn’t have embroidery like that but it was still pleasing. The main character Adrienne Larussa, is so gorgeous to me. I normally get so much inspiration from females, I really do. They have such a perfect and natural style to them that attracts me so much, so I do my best to try and please them with the aesthetics of my pieces. But if you ever watch the movie, you will understand why I love the aesthetic so much. I called my third collection “belle de jour”, which means “beautiful day” in French, because I like naming my collections. Aside from the movie I wanted to make the clothes for males and females who are spontaneous and dream orientated, and on beautiful days they go out and live their dreams and go out and do spontaneous things. So I basically have two inspirations for “belle de jour”. Why limit your inspirations, right?
Sneak peak of “BELLE DE JOUR” collection, dropping on January 14
Your current pieces are timeless and subtle. How would you describe Palacose? Is there a certain look you aim towards?
Palacose is subtle elegance with a dab of European street wear and a side of timeless clothing. That’s what Palacose is to me. People may say different but that’s what Palacose is. Just natural, effortless looks, you know? I love natural elegance. When you put natural elegance and clothes together you get Palacose. I don’t really aim for a look. I just try to create looks people will enjoy and cherish. I want people to enjoy the pieces I make. I want them to get it in the mail and wear it and feel natural, feel elegant, feel “cool”. If the people like it, I know I accomplished what I needed to do.
“…The people who inspire me the most are Pharrell Williams, Virgil Abloh, Ellen DeGeneres and Alessandro Michele… I want to be like them at one point and surpass them, that’s my goal.”
What’s the most fulfilling part of designing for you? Is it the actual design process, the finished product, or the showcasing, etc?
Every single part of designing fulfills me. It’s so easy to express how I feel through my clothes, it’s so natural. I never feel forced with an idea or concept. I don’t like sketching that much because I feel like I’m limited. I like feeling the textures, I like seeing the actual color pantones, the way it fits. Detailing is very important to me, so I do my best to have good product for the people who buy my items. I’m super inspired by people, the way they move, the way they carry themselves, the way they talk. I feel like all those traits can be shown through clothes and that’s what I try to do.
How was growing up in Japan? Did the move to Houston inspire you to actually start Palacose, or were you initially interested in creating?
Growing up in Japan — I feel like it set me aside from other kids. I’m half black and Japanese and my parents really instilled diversity into me. My grandparents and parents really showed me the world of fashion and opened my eyes to it. I always wanted my own brand. I never knew I would really have one. Although my brand is small right now, I pray every day it gets bigger and bigger. The move to Houston didn’t inspire me, I was already interested in creating. Since I was a kid, my great grandmother made clothes for fun. Unfortunately she passed away when I moved to Houston, so I wasn’t able to show her the work I’m doing now but I know she’s watching over me and my brand. But moving to Houston just gave me that extra push to actually make a brand. I always had an idea in my head but I never had that extra push. I just felt more determined to do what I love doing, which is creating clothes to put smiles on people’s faces.
“I just try to create looks people will enjoy and cherish. I want people to enjoy the pieces I make. I want them to get it in the mail and wear it and feel natural, feel elegant, feel ‘cool’.”
Every artist has a source of inspiration that influences their creative executions. Are there any brands, places, people, etc., you look towards for artistic enlightenment?
My biggest source of inspiration that influences me is people. Like I stated before, I’m drawn to the movement of humans, the way people carry themselves. Like, meeting different people from all over the world gives me so much inspiration. Like, would this person look good in this piece? If so, why? I ask myself questions like that, and when I feel it, I produce it. Also the people who inspire me the most are Pharrell Williams, Virgil Abloh, Ellen DeGeneres and Alessandro Michele. Those are my biggest inspirations, from the clothes I make to the way I live my life. I want to be like them at one point and surpass them, that’s my goal. Hopefully I can meet them one day.
“If you love something and want to pursue it, do it. Don’t let anyone stop you. It sounds super corny but it’s true.”
I find that people being your biggest source of inspiration is fascinating. Clothing is a form of art and is said to reflect an individual’s personality. Some may think it’s shallow to perceive one by what they wear. What is your insight on that?
I normally tend to figure out how a person is by the way they dress and how they present themselves. First impressions are so important to me and I mainly focus on what the person is wearing and how they are wearing it. To me it’s about the style, not what the person is actually wearing. It’s about how you put together those pieces of clothing to make yourself look presentable. Fashion comes and goes but style stays, is a quote I love. Which is very true. You can buy all the high end clothing, from Supreme, Palace, ACNE, Off-White, Gucci, YSL, etc. BUT HOW WELL CAN YOU PUT THEM TOGETHER? It’s a good thing you can buy those high end pieces but are you styling them right? Are you presenting the brand and yourself well? I feel as if it’s disrespectful to the designer or even the brand when people wear good pieces but have horrible outfits. It’s saddening but I mean it is what it is. So, style does reflect an individual’s personality, because people don’t wear what they don’t like.
You mentioned that it’s easier for you to create for a certain person or group of people. Do you have a muse in mind for your upcoming collection(s) or are you in the process of figuring that out?
My muse right now is my little sister, Misa Lewis. I’ve been breeding her into the brand a lot more because she’s someone I trust. She understands what I am trying to do with the brand. She helps me with a lot of the female portions. She is basically my right hand. But from a creative side I usually just get inspiration from people I see walking up the street or people on Twitter or Instagram. Normally, people on the internet because it’s easier for me to fully understand their aesthetic.
“My biggest source of inspiration that influences me is people.”
Palacose isn’t just a brand – it’s a family. What is your goal with the expanding establishment?
Palacose isn’t just a brand to me. I feel it’s a lifestyle, it’s a family. I created Palacose to instill positivity, belief, and creativity to the product I make. My goal with Palacose is to spread good style, and positive mindsets to people. I tell people all the time anything is possible, you just have to want it more than the air you breathe you know? If not, you truly don’t want it. I really want to inspire people everywhere, I really do, so when people hit me up telling me that I inspire them, I get goosebumps, and it makes me want to do more and work harder to make it bigger than ever, you know?
Are there any other creative mediums you dabble in?
Besides designing I love studying fashion, literally I study fashion. When I went to University, after my classes I went to the library for hours, sat down, read and watched documentaries of fashion. I did this every day. I studied fashion more than I studied for my actual classes. Honestly. I was a business major by the way. But other than designing I just studied fashion, nothing too creative. I feel like to be a factor in this cut-throat business I need to focus on it and love it more and more every day. Other than that, all I do is design and make my pieces, since everything is hand-made. I take a lot of my time creating the collections, so I don’t have that much time to have other creative mediums. Hopefully one day I don’t have to hand make everything, so I can get into photography, videography, music, etc.
”I tell people all the time, anything is possible you just have to want it more than the air you breathe you know? If not, you truly don’t want it.”
What’s the best piece of advice and/or compliment you’ve received regarding your work and designing?
Every compliment to be honest. They all mean a lot to me. Like when people just simply DM me saying, “your work is nice”, it inspires me so much. I feel like I need to do more you know? It gives me the extra push to make better things and to actually do more. Without the people who have been supporting me I really wouldn’t be anything. I would just be another kid who makes clothes. So when Palacose gets bigger and bigger, I want to try and give back to everyone who supported me from the jump.
Define “fashion” in your own words. How do you feel about the fashion industry currently?
I laugh a little when people ask me that question because I can’t define fashion. It’s not that deep. Fashion is just clothes, you know? What looks good with what? What pieces can I put out that people like? It’s all about styling. Like I stated before, styling is the importance of fashion. The fashion industry is great. I feel like people are learning more and more about it. I always compliment fashion pages because I love how they spread what fashion really is, you know? But the fashion industry is growing, like a lot. It’s a hard industry to be successful in, but if you know what you want to do, and will stop at nothing to get it, you will succeed in the industry, no doubt. Like I said, you have to want it more than the air you need to breathe.
Do you live by a mantra or have a quote that you always keep in mind?
“Everything happens for a reason.” Every single thing, if it is good or bad, happens for a reason. Things don’t happen just because. It happens for a reason. That’s something I really live by. I feel like having that mindset sets yourself apart from people who let little things get in the way of their true desires. So if you are reading this EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. Remember that.
Name people you’d love to have perform at one of your shows.
Travis Scott, The Weeknd, Playboi Carti, anybody really. What I want to do soon (like super soon) is have fashion show tours all over the world and everywhere I go I take an artist with me to perform. And wherever I go to showcase the show, I will try to find a local artist to give him/her a “chance” or opportunity, you know? Also, I want to have casting calls for local models to have in the show. So basically every show I have, it’s going to be different models. I really just want to inspire and give kids opportunities they never even imagined possible. That’s what I want to do – no that’s what I’m going to do with Palacose.
Lastly, are there any tips or dedicating remarks you’d like to share?
If you love something and want to pursue it, do it. Don’t let anyone stop you. It sounds super corny but it’s true. There’s always a way to get what you want in life, you have to be willing to take it. I would like to thank my mother, great grandmother and girlfriend and lastly all the people who have influenced my life. Also everyone who has been supporting me, thank you so much. I can’t wait to grow with all of you. If I could, I low key want to meet everyone who supported me just to thank them personally, you know?