By: Seamus Fay
The following is an interview with Dorchester native, Dom Leafy, who is quickly emerging as a leader in Boston’s new school of fashion and music. He makes and designs his own clothes and has even started a clothing company called VAST. As of right now, he is focused on his newest design: the “United Streets of America” shirts, but there is surely more to come. Leafy’s work ethic is extremely honorable, as he doesn’t care about offers he is getting until he knows he has perfected his craft. He’s more for the brand and the art behind his clothes than the money it seems, which is the main reason why I see him succeeding in the future. Not many people are the same way, especially nowadays, and Dom has set himself aside from the rest, staying focused until he’s at the top. Throughout the course of the interview, we cover several different topics including his childhood, his influences, who he works with, the plans he has in store for his clothing, and much more. This interview was done via email, so every answer is word-for-word. You can read it below.
Leafy starts off the interview saying, “I don’t tell people what I do or what I’m workin on so they can’t put me in a box.”
Let’s start off with your past. What was your childhood like? Have you always lived in Dorchester? When did you realize you were interested in theater, film, and fashion? What music did you listen to as a kid?
I hadda cool childhood, I’ve lived in Dorchester all my life. I spent one year in Baltimore from 17-18 for college. Imma METCO baby, so I’ve seen the best of both worlds. I’ve been interested in clothes forever, I used to dress myself in 1st grade and eventually got to pick out my own clothes in like 4th grade. The film shit didn’t come til high school. I taught myself 2 luv rap like; Cudi, Dipset, Ye, Wayne & Biggavel is what molded me into being me today. My father’s Jamaican so I mostly listened 2 Reggae & Dancehall. I also listened to a lot of Neo Soul & R&B. I used 2 bump The Confessions album everyday on da way back from afterschool with my moms. What’s funny is my nana introduced me 2 rap. I remember her always bumpin Wayne when he was in Hotboyz, that’s all she’d listen 2; New Orleans rap & old funk music.
Is it true that you were kicked out of school at one point? Also, how did you get interested in film at this time and how did you win the “Best Director” award at your school?
Yea I got kicked out of METCO the end of my junior year & finished up school in BPS (Boston Public Schools). I got into film my junior year as an elective and fell in luv with it. I won best director cuz I produced the best film in the school’s film festival Haha. What’s funny is I got kicked outta school the day after I accepted that award from the school. Fuck you Patrick Tutwiler, never forgot about you.
How long did you play football for? What position did you play?
I’ve loved football since I could remember, imma _ fan of course. I started playin contact when I was 6 and stopped after my junior year. I played Linebacker in popwarner & tight end and d-end in high school.
How did you decide that you wanted to make clothes?
I started playin with the idea of clothes in 2012 & I was just really tired of brands expanding and watering down their product. Like; Diamond Supply, Stüssy, The Hundreds…. were all dope as shit until people could get their hands on it easily that’s when I started to see brands startin to look the same & not that much effort was goin into their designs & I had had enough.
What are your favorite brands to wear?
I’ve been out of the loop in the fashion world, I’ve been trynna let the streets know was really poppin in Boston so I keep it close knit. All my pants are done by my mans Jomar (sheepishlordofchaos). S/O 33rd World, Straws, Champloo, Farewell, s/o Tyler from Above & S/O my nigga Rui & what he’s doin in Brockton. Those brands remind me of the brands I liked high school, I luv the feel they bring 2 da city.
What was the inspiration for the VAST clothing line and why did you stop doing it?
The inspiration 4 VAST was Baltimore & what happened in my life those previous 18 years. I never stopped it, you just can’t fake inspiration & drop clothes just 2 do it. It takes time.
Why did you choose “Speak your mind not your soul” as the motto for VAST?
Your soul gets you killed & your mind saves your life.
I’ve heard the songs “Loofy” and “Cornerstore” that you’re in, do you see yourself making more music and rapping one day?
Idk if I’ll ever put my all into music, a lot of people say I should do it tho. IDK.
Do you ever see yourself directing films or music videos again?
I got a couple of projects I’m gonna be apart of soon, can’t say 2 much.
Which artists in the city do you work with?
I mainly do some creative direction for Vintage Lee & Rugby. I also do a lil work with B James and Super. Super’s got some bangers comin. I got a lot of other artists that are debutin their music real soon.
Let’s talk about Lil B. How did you find out about him and did he influence you in any way?
I was never influenced by Lil B. But that track with Wayne on Grove St Party might be GOAT. “55 hoes on my dick bitch it’s Christmas!” He’s also a Leo so I fuck widdem.
When did you meet the people in the Boston scene such as Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz, Big Leano, etc? Who did you meet first?
I met most of em in 2014 when I came from Baltimore, but I know Rams, Mars & Reem from being in a group with my cousin back in 2010-2011.
You have said that you don’t want to put your clothes in a store like Bodega for the reason that you want to make it on your own. Can you elaborate on this?
Y put my shit somewhere I have to break bread with the company? When I can do it all on my own. It’s like singing a deal in Rap, you don’t need 2 do it anymore. You can do it by yourself now. Maybe in the future I’ll do it if I like the opportunity.
Do you ever see yourself doing collaborations with other brands based around Boston?
I got some shit brewing right now with Boston brands, you’ll hear about it soon enough.
Where did you get the inspiration for the “United Streets of America” shirt?
Hanging around where I live and just drivin thru different hoods in the city, the brand is strictly 4 da streets.
How does it feel seeing your friends including Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz, Vintage Lee, etc. going far with music and really representing for Boston along the way?
It feels great, everyone is trynna put on 4 da city & it’s beautiful.
How has living in Dorchester influenced the clothes you make?
Dorchester is the reason I am today. The cockiness, how we get flee, just our whole aura is different. So I take from that and try 2 emulate that in my clothes. That’s y I luv Dotty, its all about individuality &it’s so diverse, there’s mad cultures 2 learn from daily.
If you had to create a slogan for everything you make and want to make as a whole, what would it be?
Answer 2 #7 is the same thing. (“Your soul gets you killed & your mind saves your life.”)
What is/are your favorite album(s) of all time?
Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
What are your goals for the future in terms of making clothes? Do you ever want to make full collections or would you rather stick with releasing a design at a time?
I got a lot in store 4 da streets. RIP JEAN GOTTI never forget about you bro.
S/O all my Custy’s.
After interviewing Dom Leafy, one main characteristic of him was shown the most: he’s determined to stay himself and not to worry about what anyone else is doing, but instead to work as hard as possible on his own content until it’s perfected. I can guarantee that he will see even more success in the future as his personality and work ethic both shine through even in just an email. Thank you very much for the opportunity, Dom. Best of luck in the future. You can follow him at: