Freeze Clark & Frank Miller
AGE: 37 & 34
BiRTHPLACE: AKRON, OH
You probably have seen the popular “Kiss the Trophy” hat on lots of people by now, including celebrities like Lebron James, Iman Shumpert, and Wiz Khalifa. Akronites Freeze Clark and Frank Miller came up with the design for the hat days before game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals before the Cleveland Cavaliers even won the championship. The timing was perfect, and after the Cavs came home with the trophy, that was all she wrote. With the growing popularity of 7th Floor Clothing, one must wonder what’s next for this dynamic duo?
WRiTTEN BY: Khrystian McCalister
KM: When did 7th Floor Clothing come to life?
Freeze: A couple days before game 7 of the NBA finals. Frank said he had an idea of a Cavs championship t-shirt. Even though they didn’t win yet, we took the risk. I came up with the design in my sketchbook, and we immediately came back to our office and starting printing the shirts. We watched them win the game at St. Vincent’s viewing and sold every shirt we brought with us by the end of the night.
KM: What would you say is 7th Floor Clothing’s trademark?
Freeze: It would have to be the Frog Kissing the Trophy, because that is the most popular piece we have out.
Frank: Please don’t call it Kermit.
Freeze: We went to IX Center when the Cavs were getting off of the plane, and everybody made a big deal about Lebron wearing the hat with the frog sipping tea so we decided to upgrade it and add some swag. I came up with the jersey and the crown with the trophy, and we immediately started producing the hat.
Frank: Lebron and I have a mutual friend, so I gave him the hat to give to Lebron. About a month had passed before he even wore the hat.
Freeze: Finally, we seen Lebron wearing the hat on his Instagram while he was in Italy on a yacht somewhere.
KM: How did you feel when you saw celebrities wearing your hats?
Freeze: It was dope. It solidifies us to be apart of the fashion scene.
Frank: It makes us feel good to know that they are actually wearing the right hat. There are some imposters out there.
Freeze: All of the Cavaliers have the hats. The first time I met Iman Shumpert he had the hat on.
KM: What other items do you offer in your line?
Freeze: We have t-shirts, custom Lebrons with the frog on it, bookbags, and we’re offering gift sets with the hat, book bag and poster. We also have a Cleveland Indians hat. We had an Akron hat that resembled the Swensons logo, and the CEO of Swensons actually wanted us to do merchandising for him. We love Swensons.
KM: Where did you come up with your designs?
Frank: All of our designs are hand drawn by Freeze.We sew and create the products in our facility downstairs.
KM: Where is your merchandise sold?
Frank: We can be found in Flat Hat Club, all seven NEXT locations, and All Star Sports, and online.
KM: When did you realize you created a masterpiece?
Frank: When Lebron wore the hat. Nobody can tell me anything bad about him, because he supports the city.
Freeze: Then, we made a custom pink hat for Savannah, Lebron’s wife. The fashion blogs were going crazy.
KM: How much buzz has your hat gotten? Did you expect this?
Frank: The hat is on a global scale now. We have sent our hat out to Hong Kong and Switzerland. I never thought it would get this big. We have daily rituals where we come into the office, read the Bible, and pray. People always ask us how we do it, and the answer is God.
KM: What is the most rewarding thing about having your own clothing line?
Freeze: Just seeing how the people react when they see our stuff. It’s alot of fun to go to all the Cavs games and all the little kids want to get a hat.
Frank: We do it for the smiles.
KM: What is your motivation?
Freeze: We want to do better for our families. We are both fathers, so we want to build a legacy for our kids.
Frank: My daughter is my motivation. My dad told me I wasn’t going to sell one shirt, so I wanted to prove him wrong. I think he was using reverse psychology on me, because that fired me up.
KM: What is the meaning behind 7th Floor Clothing?
Freeze: 7 is the number of completion. You always see 7 in the Bible, too. In the future, we will incorporate the number 7 in more of our designs and concepts.
Frank: 7 is really an atmosphere. Once you get on that level of 7, you feel like you can completely do anything.
KM: What is the most important lesson you have learned to date?
Freeze: Never give up on your dream. I always wanted to work for my own company, despite what everyone else was telling me. Before all of this happened, I was looking for a regular job. If I would have given up, none of this would have ever happened.
Frank: Don’t give up. Stay on your grind, and keep focused. Nobody knows you before you get on. Nobody handed us this. We buy every pair of Lebrons we sell. I’m from Akron, I don’t wear Jordans.
KM: What are some of your plans for your brand?
Freeze: Expanding our product line. We also want to do some major collabs, hopefully with Nike. Lebron resigned his $100 million dollar contract in our hat on Bleacher Report, which got Nike trying to figure out who we are. Our goal is to be as big as Nike.
KM: Do you think it will be tough to keep this momentum?
Freeze: No! We are up there with the big names in custom clothing, now. We met a lot of good people along the way, and we are going to keep it going.
IG – @7thFloorClothing
Twitter – @7thFloorClothes
Facebook – 7th Floor Clothing