How Melengo Helped Trinidad James Streamline HOMMEWRK's Design & Production Process

Trinidad partnered with Melengo to develop clothing samples for their upcoming collections, simplify and speed up the production process, and scale their offering.

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If you don't know how to make it, then it's just a picture. With Melengo, after we got their first sample Trinidad put on the sweater and immediately started wearing it.

Edmond Penn
Product Developer

HOMMEWRK is a sneaker and apparel brand founded by rapper and songwriter Trinidad James. It aims to bring together different cultures and communities to pave new paths for the future. At the heart of HOMMEWRK is education, with their collections serving as a visual library of learning. The brand prides itself on offering high-quality materials and finishes to those who desire quality without being imposed financially - think premium leather, butter suede, and different lace options for sneakers. 

As Trinidad levels up himself on the ins and outs of building a successful brand, HOMMEWRK continues to expand from its initial footwear offering. They partnered with Melengo to develop clothing samples for their upcoming collections, simplify and speed up the production process, and scale their offering.  


Trinidad James and his team were looking to scale HOMMEWRK and leverage support on sampling and production to ensure everything would be ready for an upcoming launch event. While they had existing factory relationships in place, the team wanted the ability to launch products at a faster pace to respond to market trends. Edmond connected with the Melengo team to partner on

needed support when it came to apparel design and production. His sneakers were ready to go, but he wanted some clothing to launch alongside the footwear. Although he was working with a designer, he needed more assistance on the development side of the collection to ensure he was ready for an upcoming launch event. Ultimately, he was connected with a vendor that failed to meet his deadline and deliver the samples, leaving Trinidad in a difficult position he wanted to avoid repeating in the future.

The previous factory didn't come through at all. I got samples made with them. This guy only had two pants ready by the time I had to fly. For the event, I had 7 to 8 pants out of 45 pieces. — Edmond Penn, Product Developer


Enter, Melengo. We partnered with HOMMEWRK to help Trinidad James develop an apparel line. 

How? By simplifying the entire prototyping and design process, offering him a concept-to-collection solution while saving him precious time and money that can be invested elsewhere. 

Benefit #1: World-class samples made simple

Before partnering with Melengo, HOMMEWRK had to source multiple factories to produce different samples depending on the fabrics or techniques they wanted to use. This made the process time-consuming and meant dealing with numerous people at once and navigating language barriers and time differences. Nobody enjoys receiving low-quality samples in the post and iterating the same garment twenty times. 

Trinidad James could browse our product and textile showroom for ideas, get feedback from our design team on emerging trends, and lean on our experts to mock up his vision using CADs and tech packs. Our world-class sample house matched the fabrics requested, delivered innovative materials, kept the Pantone colors consistent, and offered a wide range of printing techniques. Better still, samples were delivered to Trinidad in two weeks at a lower cost than if he were to do it in-house or with another vendor.

Melengo delivered a first round of samples to Trinidad that he loved so much, he immediately put them on! 

He got their first sample and put on the sweater immediately and started wearing it. — Edmond Penn, Product Developer

Benefit #2: Scale your product capabilities

HOMMEWRK began as a footwear brand, but Trinidad James always envisioned launching apparel alongside his seasonal sneaker drops. The problem? Designers and manufacturers usually specialize in one area. For example, a graphic designer focuses on graphics, while an apparel designer will focus on designing men's jersey or woven apparel. Meanwhile, a woven factory will produce woven garments (cotton and polyester), while a knit factory will produce knit-based garments (jersey and knitwear). That means that every time Trinidad wants to launch a new product, he has to source a new set of designers and suppliers, which can inhibit a brand's ability to scale. Plus, knowing which people to work with and put your trust in is challenging, which Trinidad discovered the hard way. 

Melengo has a vetted network of world-class manufacturers in the USA, Asia, and Latin America. Once Trinidad approves a sample, we match him with the right supplier so that he can begin immediate production. Our production team oversees the manufacturing process and gives him real-time updates and action items via the platform dashboard, eliminating delays and keeping him in the loop. We also conduct regular quality control inspections to ensure that bulk production quality remains as high as the sample he loved.

With Melengo, Trinidad can easily diversify and scale his product offering and focus on what he does best - creating fresh ideas and promoting HOMMEWRK. 

He needed apparel for ComplexCon because we were launching sneakers for the event. I was working with a designer and they had a collection built out for us, but we needed support in developing the apparel. — Edmond Penn, Product Developer

Benefit #3: Streamline a complex process

Most designers, influencers, and celebrities launch a product line because they love the creative process of dreaming up a new product. But turning that vision in your head into something tangible that customers can wear on their backs requires a huge range of skills and the right contacts. Building and sustaining a successful fashion brand relies on so many moving parts that need to be managed, including development, manufacturing, shipping, buying, and merchandising. Trinidad James has been open and honest about this and his constant journey of learning and growth as he builds HOMMEWRK.

Melengo can step in and streamline challenging parts of the process, making it easy to create world-class products that don't just sell but sell out. Whether making beautiful samples, sourcing materials, creating tech packs, finding the right manufacturer, navigating high minimum order numbers, negotiating on price, or organizing shipping or financing solutions, Melengo has you covered. 


Melengo delivered Trinidad James a range of high-quality samples (woven and knit) using innovative materials, fabrications, and print techniques that he immediately loved, saving him time and money. These have provided a solid starting point for developing HOMMEWRK's future capsule clothing collections and have given Trinidad renewed confidence in suppliers and manufacturers he can trust. 

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