In the male, pale and stale world of Swiss watchmaking, it is shamefully rare to meet executives from across the racial divide, so an interview with the creative director of Brooklyn-based fashion watch business DAEM caught WatchPro‘s eye.
Milo Dee, co-founder and designer for the fledgling company met his business partner Michael LoFaso at Harvard Business School, and is hoping to change attitudes not just within the watch industry, but the wider luxury fashion industry as well.
“In many ways you have to swim against the current. For generations, most of the traditional European and American luxury houses have not had diverse voices and perspectives at the heart of their ethos. They design products with diverse groups of customers in mind, but often the heart of the operation is not as authentically aligned. We do think this is starting to change.
“With new voices like Rihanna [whose Fenty brand is owned by LVMH], we see they’re changing the way luxury houses bring authenticity into their operation. We love to see that,” Mr Dee says.
DAEM takes its design aesthetic and inspiration from street art in its community, famous cultural icons and causes the team cares about in the world. “We want every watch to have its own story
that tells more than the time,” Mr Dee adds.
Illustrating the point is the latest collection, which has been created in collaboration with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a black street artist famous for his work as the hip hop scene exploded in New York in the 1970s.
They are being highlighted this month in association with Black History Month, which is celebrated throughout February in the United States.
There are three watches in the DAEM X Basquiat collection titled Undiscovered Genius and Skull, Now’s The Time, and Warrior which all feature Basquiat’s art on the dials.