At 20 years old Anish Makkapati the Bay Area native, has amassed a following for his clothing brand BY ALL MEANs. The sophomore at UIUC sat down to talk about his rise in the underground fashion world and the big plans he has in store for 2022.
FASHION AND FRIENDS
The story of By All Means starts with family.
Neha Makkapati, Anish’s older sister — who inspired him with the music she would play — is credited as his biggest inspiration for getting into fashion. Artists such as Lil yachty, ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti played a role in his development into fashion.
“They really got me to care about what I was wearing, they made themselves different through the way they dressed,” Makkapati said.
Even in middle school, Anish wanted to start a clothing brand with his friends.
“I remember going to the library in middle school with my friends and just coming up with as many designs as we could,” Makkapati said.
Recently, Anish has enlisted the help of a childhood friend, Ankith Mareddy. Mareddy, a junior at UIUC has helped maintain the standard that By All Means has set. Mareddy has a meaningful role in the brand, Makkapati said.
It’s not just Mareddy, either. Anish has emphasized how all of his friends provide meaningful and honest opinions on all of his clothes. Makkapati says the goal one day is for his friends to be apart of the brand and to have a meaningful role.
Anish was a junior in the early months of 2019 when his brand began to form. Quickly, it became time to put his passion into motion.
“If I was gonna do it for real, it was going to be all on me,” Makkapati said.
For Anish, this isn’t just a side hustle. Makkapati’s goal is for By All Means to be his full time job.
“I think it would be the dopest shit ever to say I design clothes for a living,” Makkapati said.
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS
As a natural creator, Anish has never really been a straight collar businessman, thus the reason for deciding to major in business at the University of Illinois, studying finance.
When Anish started By All Means in highschool, he was selling a lot of clothes but losing almost all of the money that came with it. If he was going to run a successful business he needed to learn every aspect of it.
With the help of athletes, like Suns Forward Cameron Johnson. As well as a few larger social media stars, such as Euphoria’s Angus Cloud, By All Means got off to a fast start.
With his connections to social media stars in mind, you might have seen By All Means on your local “for you page” and not even notice it.
Sending clothes to stars has been an idea for the brand and something they will continue to do for awhile. However, By All Means has a new vision for the start of 2022. The goal is to create a certain identity for the brand, which plays a role into who he sends the clothes to.
Anish is open to selling his clothes to retail stores in the near future, but only to the ones he believes are the right fit for his style.
“It's not about the money,” Makkapati said. “Certain way, certain story.”
When it came time to look for colleges, Anish always knew he wanted to move far away. After looking at schools like Cal Poly and the University of Indiana he decided on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Now after almost 2 years at the school, Anish says it was a great decision and credits Illinois for much of his brand’s recent success.
Through almost two years of college, Anish has thought through the pros and cons of being a student while running a clothing brand. No matter how hard school gets for Anish he continues to makes time throughout the day and into the night.
In college, Makkapati says the brand has grown just by word of mouth and by meeting new people. It means a lot to him that he can talk about By All Means and build a relationship with the people who like the brand.
Last year, By All Means held a pop up at Illinois, and it was a huge success. Makkapati says there will be plenty more in the future.
Anish’s transition into part-student, part-entrepreneur, however, hasn’t come without some mental challenges along the way. Makkapati said the feeling of not doing enough is always lingering.
As a college student, Anish has a busy schedule and has to remind himself that what you put in is what you get out. He will continue to push himself and By All Means no matter what.
TIMELESS NOT A TREND
One of Makkapati’s original drops was a plain gray hoodie, with “By All Means” written on it in different colors. (pictured in The Business side of things)
Anish and his friends said they dropped the hoodies because they loved it, not because it was trendy. To Anish, the gray hoodie will always have a place in his heart.
“The gray hoodie we dropped a while back was something that we always thought would be timeless,” Makkapati said. “Making the sales is cool but drop what you really want.”
Anish said people are still asking for the hoodie even after a couple years. The idea of the brand is to create a legacy, dropping clothes that will forever be in style.
A big aspect of Makkapati’s brand comes from the underground sector of the clothing industry.
What makes the underground market special to Anish is that people come to you for the clothes that they truly really like and want.
Be on the look out for the By All Means University drop coming at the end of the month.
"something I have been waiting to drop and I hope to see people still wearing it in a couple years just like the grey hoodie"
If Anish wants By All Means to be more than a clothing brand, he believes 2022 is the year to build a community. Makkapati feels like he is starting from square one this year. It’s about the people of the brand and bringing them together in unique ways. Whether it's at pop ups or larger events. Anish has his eyes set on the stars for By All Means.
By All Means is more than the name of a clothing brand — it's a lifestyle. Making an impact is a big goal for By All Means, he wants people to buy into the brand, not just the clothes.
“Follow your dreams by all means,” Makkapati always says. “I want people to buy the clothes cause it makes them happy and they genuinely love it.”
Anish’s ultimate goal is to be big, not just this year but for years to come.
“The goal for 2022 is to do as many drops as possible, the spring collection plans to have multiple pieces. Also to make more content around the clothes,” Makkapati said. “I want it to be the next thing that is IN… people buying bots to get my clothes, people counting down till the next drop."
With consistent drops, large community events and being authentic as possible that lifestyle will spread and spread quickly.
WELL STUDIOS WANTED TO KNOW
What are some of the quality moments you look back on?
Makkapati remembers seeing his clothes in a different city, “Seeing my clothes in LA on melrose was a surreal moment”
— “Seeing the people I watched and Listend to when I was younger wear my clothes ”
As well as when the By All Means instagram account started to grow, Makkapati said, “that feeling of hitting 1k was special”
Top outfit pieces?
“OFF WHITE plan Virgil tee, Sean wotherspoon's 97’, generic baggy denim jeans I thrifted, Dior bucket hat.”
Hardest day to day problems?
“As of right now finding a consistent manufacturer”, Anish says he is eager to find one and that it will take By All Means to the next level once they do.
Who in the media influences Anish?
“people like Virgil Abloh, Ian connor, and Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade”, all
pioneers in their own field, who are known for staying true to themselves and what they represent.