Paul Lee, UBIQ’s Creative Brand Director and Buyer sat down with Professor Timothy Welbeck and his Temple University students for a one on one discussion about his journey of discovering UBIQ, the crucial role he plays and how the fashion industry influenced hip hop.
UBIQ is a creative oriented boutique which specializes in sneakers, apparel, hosting special events and other collaborations. As the Creative Brand Director and Buyer, Paul Lee wears many hats and his job consists of numerous responsibilities.
Before he began his career with UBIQ, Paul first shared his beginnings. Originally from New York, before graduating from Temple University, Paul (just like any other college student) was on a hunt for money. While Paul didn’t have much money, he knew what he wanted to do since he was seven.
“I always had a thing for fashion and sneakers, so that was my thing. I said I’m not going to do the restaurant thing, I’m not going to do anything but work at a sneaker store. I don’t care if I get five dollars an hour, four dollars an hour, this is what I want to do, and I’m going to do it. I found UBIQ”.
- Paul Lee
Before even landing the job with UBIQ, the manager threw several questions at him about the history of sneakers during the interview process. In retrospect, as a person coming from the second fashion capital of the US, with a passion for sneakers and fashion, he answered every question correct. From that point on, UBIQ became his trade.
While Lee’s parents weren’t always too sure what he was doing in the sneaker industry or how college and his profession even correlated, he now plays a major role in upholding the reputation and high ranking status of UBIQ. As the Creative Brand Director and Buyer, Paul discusses how he first has to be able to understand and analyze the market in order to establish which merchandising direction to follow. This in turn allows him to forecast which brands/products meets or exceeds the latest fashion trends and which of those will appeal to the consumers and vendors.
In working with different consumers, artists in particular, he also has to construct a creative process of concept, development and design, that best suits the idea and interest of a buyer. Through his journey, Paul has worked ASAP Rocky before he even became an internationally known artist, alongside OG Bun B, to name a few. From his experience, Paul has found that every artist in hip hop or any other music genre for that matter, all connect on one common playing field, and that is their love for shoes and apparel. Once an artist realizes they can tell their story through a product or their own sneaker, they are all in and ready to begin collaborating.
Regardless if you rock Yeezys, Jordans, Nike, Adidas, Puma or Vans; from the point of selecting the unique styles from its overseas manufacturers, to placing them onto UBIQ shelves to wearing them on your feet, Paul Lee is the mastermind behind it all. He had a dream to work in the sneaker industry since he was seven and regardless of who understood it or not, he saw it through to make his dream come true.