CLEVELAND, Ohio--Cleveland-based artist Glen Infante is a pretty chill guy, but there's more than meets the eye.
The 35-year-old also owns the popular clothing brand, iLTHY where they specialize in T-shirts, hoodies, headwear and other accessories. He showcases his art in a variety of platforms including paintings, digital drawings and clothing. Infante's work is a little all over the place, but it allows him to explore different ways to share his creativity.
Since you design clothes, describe your fashion style.
I don't like jumping into trends with clothes. Someone who has to change their look every year seems fake to me. It's like, accept who you are and don't do it just because other people are doing it. I think my style is very practical, but you don't need to buy expensive clothes to have fashion sense.
Why did you close the iLTHY shop?
I wanted to explore my options. I didn't want to get locked down to a long-term contract in Lakewood. So I wanted to see if there was a better opportunity for me out there for a better place. It might not be in Ohio or Cleveland--or it could be. I'm trying to open multiple locations so right now we're taking a step back and focusing on the brand. There's a bigger picture that we want to paint and if we get stuck in one place we can't finish that picture.
So, are you planning to open up another spot?
You asked the secret question. Yea, we will have a shop. I don't know when, but we'll have one soon.
You move a lot--it's like a routine with you. Why?
The real reason is because they're only one-year leases. I guess it also might be an artist thing since I don't like being closed inside a box. I don't want to be told I have to stay at a certain place and only make Cleveland tees. My box needs to be wide open or collapsed so I can spread out all over the place. It might not be the best business move, but I'm constantly searching not just for my brand, but also myself.
What would surprise people about you?
I have feelings--strong feelings. When people are negative, that really gets to me and I'm like an escapist where I won't show up anywhere for a long period of time. So if you don't see me for a while, it's because someone said something mean. I know I should brush it off, but this is your brain you're putting out there--not your face or body, and when there's a negative response it will get to you.
As much support you get here, there are also people that want to bring you down. The people that are in the same business as you don't want to see you succeed and I guess that's just the competitive mentality with Clevelanders. I just wish there was more positive unity.
Do you plan to stay in Cleveland?
My family is here and my daughter is here, which is one of the biggest reasons why I haven't left. I'm a single dad and I'm sharing custody with her mom and it would kill me to leave her. It doesn't mean I can't do business outside of Cleveland, but it takes time. Cleveland's definitely home.