Al-Saadiq Banks made his entrance into the literary world in 2002. He and his brother Naim Banks formed a publishing house under the imprint of True 2 Life Publications, using their first title No Exit as a launching pad to knock the doors of the genre off the hinges, selling approximately 90,000 books the first year. To date, True 2 Life Publications has over 850,000 books in print. He is the Best Selling Author of twelve titles, which include, No Exit, Block Party 1-5, Sincerely Yours, Caught em Slippin’, Strapped, Young Gunz, Outlaw Chick, and Heartless. That is a huge plight for a self published author but Banks did not stop there, he is now doing the same with fashion with his outerwear line, BeSpoken by Al-Saadiq Banks.
KG: Why fashion?
ASB: Life is Art! Whether painting pictures with a paintbrush or paint pictures with words I find love in both. As a child, I always had a fascination with the small details that many overlooks. When outside on a beautiful day, people watching, listening to stories or watching movies, it’s not the action or plot that keeps my attention, it’s the small underlying details that intrigue me.
KG: What education and or training do you have in fashion?
ASB: Most know me as an author but not many know that I have a background in art. I attended a High School of Fine and Industrial Art wherein I studied Art in every aspect, from Photography to Architectural Design, to Sculpting, to Fashion and Design. My artistic eye has been a huge aid in my career as an author because I view the world through a keen eye focusing on the description. Just as I view it, I translate it to my readers. It’s that same keen eye that helps me in building my brand of clothing.
KG: Tell us about your line BeSpoken.
ASB: My brand Bespoken by Al-Saadiq Banks is an outerwear line that I like to believe is the fine line between Urban Outerwear and Sophistication. It’s those small details that enhance the product. The small details that most overlook such as the particular style of a button or even stitch color can change the entire scope of the product. Whether painting the picture through words in my books or painting the picture with my clothing through the same descriptiveness and small details, I receive the same gratification and satisfaction at the end. The only difference being, it takes me six months to write and publish a book so the satisfaction of seeing the end results is a long process. Wherein with my clothing, I can get my fix in a matter of days.
KG: What is the inspiration or motivation for it?
ASB: All in all to put my finished product in the hands of the reader or consumer and see the appreciation on their faces is the inspiration that keeps me pushing. People were shocked to see me go from writing to designing but unbeknownst to them, before becoming an Author, I was an Artist. I love creating Art.
Follow BeSpoken on Instagram @UrbaneClothingDesign and @AlSaadiqBanks