Designer WARAIRE BOSWELL’S unique style, attention to detail and cutting-edge quality places him a cut above the rest!
If you are looking to enhance your wardrobe with signature pieces that exude elegance and confidence, then look no further–Waraire is the man to see!
An alumnus of California State University at Northridge, Waraire began his career working for United Talent Agency (UTA) and William Morris Agency. It was here that agents took notice of his unique combinations and attention to detail. Waraire parted ways from the agency and began making custom and ready-to-wear menswear full-time in 2002. Waraire applies quality techniques to a wide spectrum of fabrics, giving his work a unique sensibility.
While Waraire’s roots are closely associated with established Hollywood Agents, A-list celebrities, and athletes, WARAIRE recently overhauled the uniform program for McDonalds (North America), which includes 860,000 employees at more than
14,600 locations across the United States. Waraire has a diverse spectrum of customers from all over the globe, dressing A-list celebrities for the Grammys, Golden Globes, ESPYs, and MTV awards, and tailoring for tastemakers and industry insiders.
Clients include Will Smith, Ellen DeGeneres, Lawrence Kasdan, Oliver Stone, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Love, and many more.

BY: Biannca Chardei

MONARCH MAGAZINE: How did you begin?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Before I actually sewed my first garment, one summer I grew from five eight to six three and a half. I didn’t stop growing until I was twenty-nine. I graduated from high school in 1993, and when I stopped growing there was no Zara or Top Shop—it was very difficult for me to find clothing. For guys that are tall and slim, finding clothing is difficult. Clothing is typically made on a round-and-portly scale versus a tall-and-athletic scale. I then began working in the agency business. I was in a training program at William Morris, then UTA. In 2001, I began to work with Wesley Snipes’s film company. He had a deal with Disney, the company subsided, and we all got severance packages. I took that money and started my line.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Who influences you?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: I find influences in a lot of things: vintage documentaries, people watching, films I watch, looking through magazines. There is not one specific thing. For instance, I have two sons. If someone were to ask me who is your favorite son, that would be difficult. I love them both but in different ways. There is not specific thing; there is a buffet of things.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: How did you develop your look?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Whenever I’m putting something together, I ask myself, “Is this something that I would wear?” The things that I make, they are direct derivatives of what I would wear. I’ve always had this less-is-more is aesthetic. It’s about being comfortable and projecting a specific image. My look is based on me being a father and being comfortable.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: How would you describe your look?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: My look is loud and quiet at the same time.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Do you feel fashion and lifestyle are synonymous?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Absolutely. It took me a long time to get a hold of that. I found myself in this self-imposed box. I created Waraire as an offshoot of Waraire Boswell, thinking that under Waraire I could be creative and not be held to the vision of others of what they think my brand is. But then I found that my message was being diluted. For example, Balenciaga makes a suit but they make a T-shirt as well—you have that wide gambit of an offering from a brand. I decided to put everything under Waraire Bosell.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What is your approach when designing for others?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Their comfort level. I always tell clients to look at me as the director’s assistant. Whenever I’m talking to client, I need my clients to feel their absolute highest level of comfort. When you feel your absolute highest level of comfort, it’s going to read across the board in how you carry yourself, how you walk, and the people you engage with.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Can you share some of the behind-the-scenes challenges that a designer such as yourself may face?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: I don’t think it’s any different from any other entrepreneur that is African American. You often feel that if you were another ethnicity that is embraced by America, you would be further along financially, creatively, as a business. Those are some of the challenges.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What is your approach when designing for others?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Their comfort level. I always tell clients to look at me as the director’s assistant. Whenever I’m talking to client, I need my clients to feel their absolute highest level of comfort. When you feel your absolute highest level of comfort, it’s going to read across the board in how you carry yourself, how you walk, and the people you engage with.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Can you share some of the behind-the-scenes challenges that a designer such as yourself may face?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: I don’t think it’s any different from any other entrepreneur that is African American. You often feel that if you were another ethnicity that is embraced by America, you would be further along financially, creatively, as a business. Those are some of the challenges.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Dapper Dan is making an alliance with Gucci, and Virgil Abloh is becoming artist director for Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection. Are collaborations such as these in the works for you and your collection?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: Not at present,. However, if a collaboration presents itself, I will discuss it with my team.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Do you think these types of partnerships are reflecting a change in the way mainstream luxury brands view African American designers?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: To a point, if an American or European brand is going to hire a person a color it should not be due to a wild mistake they did. It’s not genuine—if proper research is done, you will see that African Americans always lead in culture, but we are never in those rooms. That’s unique to me. When it’s genuine it changes the way.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What are your thoughts on the call to protest Gucci or other fashion brands? Does this help or hurt African American designers?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: I don’t think it hurts African American designers. There has to be a way for us to galvanize this ourselves. You see people like Ugo Mozie and Naomi [Campbell] and their initiatives in Africa. This is a deeper conversation. It’s beneficial when we understand our strength within ourselves; it’s more difficult to be knocked off your queue.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What are your thoughts on the current direction in fashion?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: I think it’s cool—there are less barriers from when I entered the industry. In terms of the casualization of fashion, I’m with it ! No one is monolithic is terms of how they dress. Fashion is extremely casual now.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What are some looks or style tips you can provide for men?

WARAIRE BOSWELL:
1. Know what colors look good on you
2. Know what silhouette looks good on you
3. Do your research to know about that brand
4. Research the insignia of brands

MONARCH MAGAZINE: Can you provide some directions for aspiring designers?

WB: It’s very simple. The thing that makes designers go from zero to one hundred very quick is 1) who they are affiliated with and 2) their place in the market. If you can find a place in the market that is dormant but fits the needs of people, you can add your own special twist to it. That’s how you win. Know specifically who you want to talk to, what you want to give them, and how you want to enter the market.

MONARCH MAGAZINE: What does the future look like for Waraire Boswell?

WARAIRE BOSWELL: The future looks black hot, white hot—it’s just HOT! Doing international transatlantic travel, you can see how your culture is appreciated. You can take Cliff’s Notes from these places and inject them into your projects. Everything looks
very bright!