Updated: Sep 6, 2019
You may know him as the face of the growing clothing brand IV Boston. You may know him from working 24 hour shifts at the fire department. You may know him as a loyal friend. However you do know Sean, one thing is glaringly obvious upon meeting him. His refreshing authenticity. BMG sat down to hear more about how Sean is effecting the culture and landscape in Boston.
BMG: So Sean, what's new with IV Boston, what are some exciting projects you're working on these days?
Sean Milliken: We've got a lot on the way, we're blessed to have a lot happening right now. The throwback jerseys are big right now, we have the Patrick Ewing Cambridge and Reggie Lewis Northeastern Jerseys . Really excited about those, stitched and embroidered, they look really clean.
BMG: I saw the Cambridge ones, they look great- and you shot some film for that as well correct?
SM: Yes sir, and we are actually hosting an event revolving around it as well to showcase the release. We are going to have some local music artists in there , and we are decorating the walls with these old school fight posters that show the rivalry between Reggie Lewis (Northeastern) and Drederick Irving (Boston University) .
BMG: That's an awesome idea, very creative. I love the incorporation of music as well. So that will be held at your storefront in the North End?
SM: Thank you man, there's so many talented artists around here- Yeah it'll be right at our shop: 148 Salem St.
BMG: How are you liking having the store? You're in a great spot for foot traffic.
SM: Absolutely, and I'm trying to host more and more events like that, give people incentives to come by and just get different groups of people in the same room. Our past events have been a wide range of people coming together, like a melting pot.
BMG: That's amazing, that's something I've definitely noticed from day one is your ability to collaborate and connect people that are operating in so many different lanes. Could you talk a little bit about that?
SM:Thank you man, I appreciate that. There's so many people in this city doing amazing things, I just want to see everyone win. Rather than being divided or being in our own little crews, why not build each other up? That's always been the goal whether it's photographers, musicians, whoever. If someone is doing something dope,I try to show love. And now, thankfully I'm in a position where I can connect people and give them opportunities they may not have had.
BMG: Fully agree, there are so many opportunities to collaborate and connect. And success doesn't need to be at the expense of others, it can include others. So I know you're a creative person in general, but what specifically got you interested in fashion initally?
SM: My mom was actually always super creative.She paints, she sews, she does it all. When I was younger she taught me how to do bubble letters, cool typography, all that stuff. Got into graffiti and just expression through drawing. She's from Queens too so she has that style and flavor. From there, it really was just from wanting to wear clothes that were different. Everybody dressed the same, everyone would wear the same exact outfits, and I always wanted to stand out.
BMG: Gotcha, so from early on you were differentiating yourself, what type of clothes were rocking back then?
SM: So it's funny, I went to a Catholic School- and I can still remember the first day showing up all decked out. I had a plaid bow tie, suspenders, white bucks, just looking like Fonzworth Bentley. And that was right around the time when the movie "Kids" was coming out, so I'd always be sporting the rolled up khakis. And people were always like "where'd you get that, what IS that ?"
BMG: That's incredible, so do you think that inspired you in a way to want to make your own pieces? Seems like you were already creating a unique vibe and style even back then.
SM: Exactly, I wanted to give people the chance to wear stuff that was different. In Boston, you see a lot of people expressing themselves in various ways but fashion wise, a lot of people look the same. I wanted to bring something new that could appeal to the businessman, but also to the streets, also to the athletes. I wanted to make something everyone could enjoy and rock with.
BMG: All encompassing, beautiful. So you mentioned the athletes, you've had a ton of success with them. Players from the Pats, Celtics, Bruins, lot of those guys been rocking your stuff, what can you attribute that to?
SM:I think they just rock with me because I'm a regular guy and I treat them like regular guys. I'm not asking for a handout from them like a lotta people are. None of these guys are getting paid either they just like the stuff I'm making so they support, which is a really great feeling.
BMG: It's from a genuine place, that's such a huge testament to what you're doing, that speaks volumes. And you're only continuing to grow, in such a short time.
SM:It's crazy man, it all started with 50 hats and partnered with my friend Tony who owns a screen printing shop in Dorchester. Then we moved to shirts, and that was really the start of everything. This was all around the same time my wife and I had our son. Having our son really motivated me to go out and make it happen. My wife, she has always been big into fashion as well and she was a big reason behind starting this, she keeps me inspired. We have three kids and they always keep us going and give us perspective on what's important.
BMG: It's great to have such a strong core support group. That must be great on the good days but equally as helpful on those tough days.
SM:Oh definitely, they help in a huge way. And I do have some down days. I feel like every creative person can understand the ups and downs with this lifestyle and its like, one day you're filled with self doubt and are questioning why you do it. Then the next day, you get a surge of energy and you're ready to take on the world. It's just important to stay moving forward.
BMG: Couldn't agree more, it can be polarizing , but as long as you're progressing, there will be beautiful things on the way. Speaking of, you've got some big news on the way, doing some filming with some Bruins players tomorrow right?
SM: Yes we are, we've been shooting a lot for a new commercial we're working on, other than that I can't reveal too much. But it's going to be big, stay tuned for that, definitely stay tuned for that.