We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Warren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea of my business, Heights Apparel, stems from my own personal problem finding clothes that matched my style and taste but also fit my 6’7” body frame.
Growing up I was always struggling to find clothes that fit my height and size. I was a super skinny and long kid but when it came to finding clothes there really were no options for me. Traditionally the apparel industry does not make clothing for men and women outside of a typical height and weight proportion.
Most people say, “Have you tried big and tall stores?” What most do not realize, is that when it comes to big and tall stores, that is literally what it means big AND tall. So finding something that would fit my height most definitely would not fit my slim frame.
As I grew older and became more established in my career, I began buying shirts one or two sizes larger off the rack at stores (so I could get the length I needed) but then turn around and take them directly to a tailor to have them adjusted to fit my slim-cut frame. It was then I began to notice a different feeling, I was more confident and I walked a bit taller because I felt more comfortable simply because I had a shirt that actually fit my body the way it should. However, it was costing me anywhere from $40-$80 more on top of the cost of the shirt itself to do this.
As the years passed, some of the larger fast fashion brands began to offer tall sizes in their collections. Large brands such as Gap, Old Navy, JCREW actually offered tall sizes. I bought a few here and there was somewhat happy with the result. However, one thing that always bugged me was that I NEVER wore these brands. I didn’t identify with the brand, it didn’t match my own personal style and tastes. Once again I had to settle because there were no better options out there.
It was in 2015 that I began to realize that, the ability to produce and manufactured goods was more accessible than ever. So I began, what ultimately ended up being a two-year process, of researching and developing the idea of what would be Heights Apparel. As part of that process, I began learning each phase of the apparel manufacturing process and pipeline from my now mentors over at the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (F.A.B.R.I.C.) in downtown Tempe, Arizona. They helped me fine-tune my niche market and launch the development of my own product.
Today, Heights is a lifestyle clothing brand that serves the tall men’s market offering beach, street, and outdoor-inspired apparel for men that range in height from 6’2” to 7’+. We focus on small-batch manufacturing (50 units or less of each style), and are working hard to manufacture as much of our product in the United States (80% of our products are US-made).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Outside of my clothing brand, my primary career has been in the world of video. Most people don’t see the artistic value that video editors bring to the table. Nowadays I mostly come across people that want someone that can do it all (shoot, edit, create motion graphics) rather than find the artists that specialize in each area. Which is tough to deal with sometimes but we all got to adapt.
I started my career out in Los Angeles working in television post-production. When I moved to L.A. over 12 years ago, really had no idea what area I wanted to work in. I just knew that I wanted to work in movies and television. I fell into post-production and quickly learned that I had a passion for it.
I started out in the tape vault as a tape operator. Doing tape dubs, clones, patching video signals from edit bay to edit bay. This was merely my entry point. I knew it. There was nothing creative to what I was doing and it drove me crazy. However, after 8 months of grinding in the tape vault, I showed enough initiative that I was promoted to Assistant Editor. It was here when I really began to figure out my intense passion and curiosity for the art of the edit.
For a time I was one Assistant Editor covering up to 15 edit bays and editors depending on how busy it was. We had several talented staff editors that I learned a great deal from but we also had several regular freelance editors that came into work on special projects. Anytime these men or women came in, I would drop everything I was doing, so I could spend time picking their brain on techniques they used, theory of storytelling basically anything they would share with me about their creative process. Then during after hours, I would practice my own editing applying things I picked through observation or by sitting with other editors.
One thing I’ve never been to is a patient person. And after a couple of years of being an assistant I grew tired of doing that but for whatever reason could not make the jump to being a full-on creative editor. So I got impatient and left that company. When I look back on it, I wish I would have been more patient with developing my craft.
Fast forward to today, what I am doing with my brand Heights is that I am merging my two passions. I love telling a story through audio and video. To me, it is truly an art form. There are so many subtleties in editing that the common eye or ear don’t even understand, but if you’ve ever watched something and it made you cry, or laugh, or angry, you can thank the editor for that. We use music, sound design, and visuals to evoke an emotion. Just in the same way a piece of artwork does the same.
In a way, that is what I am trying to do with the clothing I make. I want to evoke emotion from every customer that buys my clothing. Primarily it’s confidence and comfort that I am aiming for. There’s nothing groundbreaking that I am doing design-wise with my clothing. The tall market is so underserved right now, it’s all about versatility and somewhat basic. However, each year my goal is to push that boundary a little more with my designs to where it does become a story that I am telling with the collections.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a fun one.
I’m a big sports guy. So if it’s during basketball season we’re definitely hitting up a Suns game. Before the game, we could go to Cornish Pasty Co. downtown and pregame with some brews and pasties. If you haven’t tried a pastie before they’re AMAZING.
If it’s during the right time of the month, we’d go downtown and check out 1st Fridays over on Roosevelt Row, check out the local vendor and art scene, and head over to the downtown Phoenix location of Arizona Wilderness.
One of the mornings I’d have us wake up super early and go hike “A” Mountain on the ASU campus. Most people take their visitors to Camelback Mountain, but we’ll likely be hungover and I live in Tempe so “A” Mountain is much closer. Plus there is a Snooze Eatery right near it and we can hit that up afterward for food and morning cocktails.
Lastly, my group of close friends and I, love the comedy scene that is happening these days. So I’d check out who’s playing at either the Tempe Improv, Stand up Live Downtown Phoenix, or see if there is a big timer playing at Arizona Federal Theater. Depending on which location we go to, it would likely involve dinner and drinks at The Vig Fillmore, State 48 Brewery downtown, or Culinary Dropout if we are in Tempe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Angela Johnson and Sherri Barry of F.A.B.R.I.C, as my mentors, teaching me all the little things about launching an apparel business. Uli and Kate, for all their guidance in the technical design of our products and as always my wife Belen, she was the person that gave me the confidence, when I was at a low point in my life, to make it happen.
Other: Also, check out scottieyang.com the professional portfolio of my video work.
Photography by: Jenny Kaufman of Xposed Capture