Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders, entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. On this week’s episode, Jeff sits down with Tremaine Emory, aka Denim Tears, of No Vacancy Inn
From fashion and music, to art and radio, there isn’t a terrain that Emory hasn’t crossed. Alongside Acyde Odunlami, a former marketing manager at Nike, the two created No Vacancy Inn— a global, nomadic collective featuring a medley of nightlife mixed with art and fashion, catching the likes of A$AP Mob, Virgil Abloh and GOOD Music to name a few.
The Jamaica, Queens native by way of Atlanta had a penchant for the creative world through his radical parents, who allowed him to “learn a lot about the human condition growing up.” After working a number of stock jobs, including FedEx and J.Crew, he landed a job in 2006 as the stock associate at Marc Jacobs, where he was introduced to the president, Robert Duffy. Describing the company as “socio-democratic,” he was able to work his way up and relocated to London in 2010 as the assistant manager of their collections store.
It was in London where Tremaine began creative consulting and crossed paths with Acyde, and the two began DJing, curating parties and building a reputable influencer presence themselves. After a massive layoff from Marc Jacobs, he decided to put forth all his money into what would become No Vacancy Inn, a term for an “ephemeral hotel” inviting people to the minds of his and Acyde’s.
“I had a severance package from Marc and spent all of it making No Vacancy Inn happen. I remember people saying you should try to buy a house, but I was like, ‘Nah I’m going to make all this stuff that I’ve been doing on the side my primary thing. Make this what me and Acyde do together. I remember I ran out of money and took out all the money in my 401k.”
Five years and a number of successful pop-ups and collaborations later, No Vacancy Inn stands as an integral part of today’s scene for cultural art collectives. As the duo navigate the landscape as minority figures in a “capitalist, consumerist society”, Tremaine details the importance of “building the system next to the system.” He later shares the impact of his mother’s death, working with Acyde, controversial remarks around Virgil Abloh and much more.
As always, thank you for tuning into HYPEBEAST Radio and Business of HYPE. We’d also like to give a special thank you to The Line Hotel for hosting this recording. You can subscribe to our channel on Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Overcast, Anchor or wherever else you get your podcasts. Please don’t forget to leave a comment or review.
Additionally, feel free to hit Jeff on Twitter, @jeffstaple, or via email at email@example.com, and he may answer your question on a future episode.
This episode features references to the following:
2:44 – Meaning behind Denim Tears
8:55 – Early life
20:30 – La Guardia Community College
27:30 – J.Crew
30:48 – Kate Spade
31:27 – James Jebbia
31:40 – Marc Jacobs
32:56 – Robert Duffy
33:37 – Move to London
39:42 – Stüssy
39:55 – Frank Ocean
40:07 – Acyde
40:48 – No Vacancy Inn
53:00 – Meaning of No Vacancy Inn
55:22 – Tom Sachs
1:04:44 – New Balance
1:08:55 – Kanye West, Pharrell
1:14:17 – IG post about Virgil Abloh
1:20:20 – Samuel Ross
1:20:21 – Thoughts about social media