Civil Interview: Reshonia Porter Shares on Creating Clothing Line to Honor Father Rich Porter
by Shawn Grant
For those who know who you are but don’t know much about you, what have you been up to?
I’m 28 years old and I work in the city [New York City] at Neiman Marcus. I work in the buying office. Other than that I do a lot of personal assisting, I was K.Michelle’s personal assistant, which was my last client. Outside of that I sometimes take on remote work where I help my clients with their expense reports, travel arrangements and calendar management. I travel a lot. I went to Thailand, Bali and working on my clothing line. I was doing it with someone and that didn’t work out so I’m doing it by myself.
What school did you attend?
Growing up I lived in Harlem until second grade. I moved to Atlanta in third grade and remained until fifth. I completed junior and high school here. I went to Catholic high school in the city and then I went to Hofstra University in Long Island. I went there for a semester. It was expensive. With my mom’s income I could have gone to school for free but I wanted to go to Hofstra. It wasn’t the right thing to do because I didn’t have the household income to sustain that tuition. So I left school and was like I’ll figure it out at a later time but honestly, I never returned. In that semester I learned a lot but I have not been able to get myself to go back. Maybe one day I will, but I’m also the person who thinks that school and what you do with your professions is a personal choice. I don’t think school is for everyone. For me, my background and what I want to do, I don’t think it’s something I need to get back to right now.
You mentioned working in Neiman Marcus and now you are working on your line. How much are you able to cross over knowledge from your current position to what you are thinking for your future?
I’m an office coordinator so I know everybody in my office. As far as marketing, packaging, and things of that sort, I have gained a wealth of knowledge from them. With my logo, I continually speak with my coworkers for their insight and opinions. Although most of them don’t understand my story or anything about my father, they will still offer their encouragement. It’s always nerve wrecking for me when they ask about what happened. One of my workers recently followed me on social media and saw a picture of my father then asked, “Are you Rich Porter’s daughter?” The next question was, “Who is that?” They don’t understand.
Outside of people who aren’t knowledgeable about your dad or the culture do you find any burden in being the daughter of Rich Porter?
Tremendous burden. Probably every single day there is something in my inbox or comments that are about my father. Some days I wake up and can answer questions, but every day? I’m just not up for it. For me, it’s just my father. I have noticed many celebrities pay homage to my father by naming an album or song after him, there is a fine line between showing respect because he inspired you and showing respect as a means for your personal gain. My siblings and I just prefer more consideration when it comes to creating art around our father’s name.
With how his name is heralded, has any rapper actually reached out as a support system?
Never. Not one. That’s how I came upon starting this line. I wanted to do this line and art pop-up shops; my brother is working on a script for a Paid in Full play. We just want to change the stigma attached to the name. A lot of kids don’t even know the truth behind the story. They will look at it with an “I want to sell drugs” mentality, not knowing my father chose that because of the upbringing he had. These kids have reasonable lives but still want to live that lifestyle. There are only two ways out though, dead or in jail. Unfortunately, there have been movies made but I not even received the courtesy of a copy of the film.