Before starting his freshman year at the University of Michigan, LSA sophomore Cooper Kirby asked himself if college was truly something he wanted to do. Luckily, he later found a way to balance academics and his interest in fashion, and has just released a new clothing brand this year.
“It’s been tough to juggle with school work, but it’s been great,” Kirby said.
Kirby and his close friend Ryan Murray, a sophomore at Michigan State University, co-founded Lakeshore Drive, a clothing brand and company that works to promote “individuality and living your best life.”
“We wanted to project this idea to our audience through living your Lakeshore Drive,” Kirby said. “Your lakeshore is your paradise, it’s a place you’d always rather be or anything you’d always rather be doing, and your drive is what always pushes you further, it’s going to keep you going. And you combine the two and it’s a perfect combination of a lifestyle that only you can live.”
Murray currently is enrolled in MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business. To him, it was vital to be on the same page as Kirby.
“In all parts of the business, we are making sure that we are in 100 percent agreement in what we’re doing,” Murray said. “We’re best friends and we’re always able to find common ground.”
On their website, shoppers can find the Pink Boy Long Sleeve, the Poster Boy Sweatshirt and a sticker pack. Murray said they have a winter line arriving soon, with new releases next spring and next summer.
“Everything that you see coming out of Lakeshore Drive is us. We do the designing; we are just trying to do our own thing. If we are promoting individuality, we are trying to promote being individual as a company as well,” Kirby said.
Kirby finds inspiration from artists such as Brockhampton, Ashlinn Gray, Anderson Paak and his community at the University.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from my friends,” Kirby said. “Community is the most important thing, and having the RC (helps) to surround myself with really great, supportive people,” Kirby said.
Engineer sophomore Cam Harris, a close friend of Kirby’s, loves the brand for its clothing quality and uplifting message.
“You know, when your friend comes to you and says that he’s starting a clothing company, you don’t really know what to expect, but the clothing he was showing me was really cool,” Harris said. “You’re not just wearing Lakeshore Drive because it looks great, but it has a really sweet mission behind it,” Harris said.
Harris said Kirby embodies the mission of the brand, and their impact on the University’s community has potential.
“I’ve seen some people that I don’t even know wearing the shirt. It’s a really unique thing,” Harris said. “It shows that something doesn’t have to be huge for it to be impactful.”
As far as further plans for the business, Kirby and Murray are excited about the future.
“We don’t want to limit ourselves. We want our message, our brand to be as universal as possible,” Murray said. “One hundred percent of our company is based on why we’re doing it, not what we’re doing.”