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An Indiana street

Mike Gillis

Indy Like a Local

Who is Mike G?

Mike is an influencer and entrepreneur with his own clothing line, WDRFA, and innovative collaborator with businesses in and around Indy.

Q: Your WDFRA label is a mix of streetwear and activewear. Are there other local designers or retailers that inspire your look?

I would say that we’re more contemporary and lifestyle than a streetwear brand. We differ from streetwear just because we don’t offer things that are heavily graphic. We offer things that are more minimal and we focus on quality. The people that keep our wheels turning would be James DantHangTime, and Komãfi Cargo Streetwear. Those are some brands that are pushing things forward. We take a lot of our inspiration from outside of Indianapolis.

Q: If a visitor wanted to experience the Indy fashion scene, are there particular shops or areas where they should look?

All of the places I just mentioned above. Plus, Good Neighbor is a spot that just opened in Bottleworks. All the places I mentioned are cool and all have a little different offering.

good neighbor

Q: You embrace collaboration in your work. From coffee creations at Commissary Barber & Barista to your own wine blend in conjunction with Daniels Vineyard. What inspires you to co-create with local brands?

I would say a couple things – In regards to what point I'm at in being an influencer or someone on social media who has somewhat of a following, I usually don’t work for free so it’s a happy medium in allowing me to be creative in the content that I create and help that place gain some notoriety. I feel like I know the value that I can bring on the back end so sometimes that happy medium is a collaboration where we can both gain something and let people in the city know there’s cool stuff going on.

Daniels

With Commissary, I built a great relationship with them. The owner, Brandon, allowed me to come up with my own latte that was on the menu in the summer. I think we sold over 600 or 700 lattes in a 4 or 5 month span. It’s in my top 3 favorite coffee shops in the city. People would go in to support me but then start patronizing the business in other ways. Same thing with the wine, if you go in and buy a bottle of my wine and you like it, you’ll probably try something else from Daniels. That’s the goal. 

Q: Your most recent collaboration with Daniels Vineyard was a special label Red Blend. Food is a big part of your brand. You’ve traveled as a food influencer and get around to many of Indy’s best restaurants. Are there any hidden gems you think a visitor should know about?

I’d say Taco 46 on the west side. I feel like a lot of people don’t get over there. Taco 46 is good, authentic Mexican and they give you nice portion sizes. But other than that, you’re gonna have to pay me. I can’t give away too much information.  

Q: If a friend visited you and you had one weekend to show them the best of Indy, where do you go and what do you over two days?

Each morning we’re going to visit a different coffee shop. Probably Commissary and Quills. If it’s nice we’ll walk the canal just to show them the city. We’d probably go to dinner at Livery one day and get some wings from R&R or Ale Emporium the next. We’d go to the art museum and maybe a Colts or Pacers game if that was happening. I’d take them to check out Bottleworks and go to The Garage. Then we’d visit some of the stores I mentioned or go to The Fashion Mall.

garage

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