Designer Spotlight: Dapper Industries

Al Chenault with Derek Smoot
Earlier this summer, I met Derek Smoot, ....a dapper kinda dude. Well dressed, spiffy looking, and quite the entrepreneur. I complemented him on his tie at a Beta Records party in LA and found myself learning all about his clothing company, Dapper Industries. A great guy with a really cool collection of ties and handkerchiefs, Derek made sure I too had some dapper in my life! Here's a follow up to our conversation:

So tell me about Dapper Industries....
Dapper Industries is all hand made in Las Vegas. We're actually approaching our one year anniversary! We are also launching various accessories for the gym, pool, and for the ladies, coming soon.  We wanna look fantastic while  we work out!  We plan on october being the launch  of "dappia"  which will be the name of our female collection.  We are currently in 8 boutiques across the country, and soon to be many more... find us on and support!!!  See you in Las Vegas!

So, Derek, how did you get involved in design?
I was in network marketing and had just given a presentation in california. An audience member came to me after the presentation, and mentioned the suit I was wearing. He later said one sentence to me that changed my life forever.  "What if ties didn't always point at the bottom?" Game over. I said, "Get me a pen!" and went home to Las Vegas the next day and changed my focus. 
Dapper Industries founder, Derek Smoot wearing  a hand made tie from Dapper Industries.
I interviewed every seamstress and tailor I could find and eventually I found a lady from New York that had an idea how we could make these asymmetrical neckties. A week after I met with her, she called me with a prototype. 11-30-2010 was the day I got my hands on the first ever dapper tie. Soon after, I learned how to sew and make them myself. today, we have a team of tailors that handle our orders. Dapper Industries became a corporation Nov, 2011.

I'm loving the two-tone blue handkerchief and paisley necktie.
Do you have a background in fashion? 
No. I am completely self taught, and learning as I go in the fashion industry.  BUT I do have a background in invention. I won the BAYER National Science Foundation award for community innovation in 8th grade, with an invention that made playgrounds a safer place for kids.  I felt, and still feel a major sense of urgency to expose the world to "the new necktie."   I truly believe that we will set a major trend in the men's formalwear accessories industry Japan, Europe  etc..

What inspires your creations?
I knew we had a smash hit concept with dapper industries necktie collection. A man unbottons his coat, and reveals a unique accessory that inevitably causes the double take, followed by "what kind of tie is that?!! I love it!"  My mind races with color&pattern combos and different cuts all the time.  I love when I see prominent people in nightlife or entertainment wearing dapper. The WINNINGEST ATTORNEYS in town look appropriate, only with two-tone dapper industries knot. Alpha personalities that want to own the room and denmand attention -belong in my stuff! Dapper is designed to provoke jealousy. How does that sound?  

Where did the name dapper industries come from? 
A woman once mentioned to me that I looked very dapper....I didn't know what the word meant, so I went home and looked up the definition.  :)  Industries I thought, just sounded right.  After all, if you're going to wear one of my ties you're in the dapper industry

Define dapper.
dapper (comparative more dappersuperlative most dapper)
  1. neattrim 
  2. stylishly dressed, neatly dressed, spiffy 

What celebrities have worn or received your clothes? 
Al Chenault!!....Tyler Glenn lead singer of Neon Trees, NBA Star and singer, Kareem Rush,   
Brad "ONE PUNCH" pickett , UFC, Ian "UNCLE CREEPY" McCall , UFC, Reality star, Bentley Fonzworth (From G's to Gents),  Eddie Griffin, Unlikely candidates, Native June / Tristan Hendy, Jacoby Shaddix lead singer of Papa Roach,  film producer, Jake Monaco, singer /songwriters, Chaz Mason, Kyle Gattison,  AND ME!!  I just played lead on a show called "Cheating Vegas" for the Discovery Channel/ Destination America... wearing dapper in almost every scene.  Airs Sept. 2nd 10pm!!

Cool.... So when's the next party, event, or fashion show Dapper Industries will participate in?
Actually, its September 23-25th... I'll be at the marketplace NY boot/shoe/accessory convention... we will be exhibiting.  We are also sponsoring a few events in Beverly Hills in the next few months as well.

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