View our other publications:

Style is freedom

Golden Road unveils the season’s must-have looks: A Q&A with Ajani Jeffries

When did you start designing clothes and why? 

I launched Golden Road back in 2011, driven by a passion to redefine Rochester’s narrative and infuse our community with a new sense of pride. My aim was not just to design clothes but to spark a movement, weaving the vibrant spirit and rich heritage of our city into each piece. Fashion for me was a platform, a way to express and address deeper societal themes—self-empowerment, community impact, and a bold challenge to the prevailing negativity. 

As I saw friends departing for new adventures, leaving behind a city often misunderstood and underrated, I felt a deep call to action. Golden Road became my canvas and my cause: to flip the script, to celebrate our roots, and to create something that wouldn’t just keep our talents anchored but also ignite pride and transformation within the 585. Each design is more than fabric—it’s a testament to resilience, a beacon of creativity, and a tribute to the spirit of our city.

What is your connection—spiritually, physically, etc.— to Rochester? 

Born and raised in the heart of “Floral City, “my roots run deep into the vibrant soil of Rochester. This city isn’t just where I grew up—it’s where I was forged. Known historically as the “Image City” for its rich legacy in photography and film, it perfectly mirrors my creative ambitions. Here, I learned about drive, community, and the gritty reality of life, all of which have profoundly shaped both my worldview and my artistic vision. Rochester has been the crucible of my spirit and creativity. Amid its historical echoes and the vibrant pulse of the present, I found my calling. This city, with its stark contrasts and relentless spirit, demands much but offers even more in return—inspiration, challenge, and a chance to dream. My connection to this place is profound, deeply spiritual, and physically tangible, manifesting through every piece I create and every message I send. It’s more than a hometown; it’s a constant source of inspiration and a community I am committed to uplifting through my work.

What do you see as the summer look this year? 

This summer at Golden Road, we’re embracing the quintessence of freedom and expression. Picture yourself in bold, electrifying colors and relaxed fits that dance with the breeze. Each piece isn’t just [clothing]; it’s a declaration of individuality, blending vibrant hues with the stories of our streets. Our collection is designed to resonate deeply, featuring flowing fabrics and dynamic prints that not only turn heads but start conversations. Whether you’re shredding at the skate park or lounging under the neon glow of city nights, Golden Road’s gear is crafted to embody the spirited essence of summer—uninhibited and boldly expressive.

What is your plan for the future in terms of your clothing designs?
Golden Road is set to revolutionize the way stories are told through clothing. We’re not just creating garments; we’re crafting narratives that challenge perceptions and spark dialogues, extending far beyond the fashion industry. Our upcoming line, “Black Exploitation,” aims to reverse traditional narratives, integrating clothing into storyboard concepts that also serve as integral components of future films I’m directing, like The Art Cartel

Golden Road is committed to sustainable practices, aiming to integrate eco-friendly materials and methods into our collections. This commitment is about responsibility—not just to our community but to our planet. We’re blending artistic freedom with environmental stewardship, ensuring each piece of clothing not only tells a story but also contributes positively to our world.

Looking ahead, my vision for Golden Road extends beyond clothing—it’s about creating a legacy of change, dialogue, and innovation. We are stitching a new narrative into the fabric of our city, one that speaks of creativity, sustainability, and transformation. This isn’t just fashion; it’s a revolution. Golden Road, deeply rooted in the streets of Rochester, is weaving a new chapter in the world of fashion, storytelling, and urban transformation.

Why did you decide to take these photos in the skate park? 

My connection to the skate park began with my documentary No Place to Go, during which I engaged with the local community about the need for such a space in Rochester. The challenges we faced—such as confrontations with law enforcement during the park’s development—underscored the community’s need for a sanctuary for expression. This backdrop of struggle and triumph made the skate park the perfect setting for our photoshoot; it’s where the vibrancy of youth culture and the spirit of rebellion come alive, mirroring Golden Road’s commitment to bold, uninhibited self-expression. 

Moreover, the skate park embodies the essence of movement and freedom, core aspects of Golden Road’s identity. It’s a place where energy is palpable and creativity is unleashed. By choosing this location, we aimed to capture the soul of our brand in every shot—unstoppable, forward-moving, and ever dynamic. This setting was not just a backdrop but a statement of who we are and what we stand for: a community connected by creativity, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of freedom.

Subscribe to our newsletter