Antone Barnes: From Once Designing Music Careers to Home, Interior Design

Along with partner, San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis, Barnes creates his own path while living his dream

Tell us about your team at Modern Class Design, I understand that you have people with diverse backgrounds that help your company thrive, who are they and what do they bring that helps your company work?

Jennifer Snowden, Brenda Lane, Bianca Taylor, and Nicole Blackmon make up my team.  They all have diverse backgrounds and work experiences. With the abundance of knowledge, experience and professionalism shared by this group, we are able to successfully handle any project that we work on.

You’re big on urban renewal projects, why are you so passionate about it?

This was a passion passed on to me by my father who successfully helped to initiate one of the first urban renewal projects for the Jersey City, NJ waterfront area, which set the standard for subsequent urban renewal projects throughout the country.

A certain toughness is needed to succeed in any type of business, how did your upbringing help you with your toughness?

Growing up in downtown Jersey City, you had to learn to take care of yourself. My father was a strong believer in being able to take care of yourself in any situation as well as being disciplined with your actions. He kept my brother and I involved in contact sports throughout our childhood. This helped us to be tough but it also helped with discipline and being a team player. Also, I was able to observe the operations of the business world by watching him run three successful businesses as I grew up.

Look into the future, 15 years from now, what has MCD done and what will MCD be doing?

My goal is for Modern Class Design to become a household name and influential in the commercial market on a national and international level.

What advice would you give to anyone pursuing their dream and needed something to motivate them to make something happen?

Be a trendsetter, don’t let negative responses, ideas or people influence your choices. Things may not be easy or quick, but if you are passionate about your ideas don’t let others persuade you to change them.

If you could do anything over again, what would it be and why?

Everything that I have done and every person that I have encountered thus far has helped to create the individual that I am today. Therefore I wouldn’t change anything.

Is there anything I may have missed that you would like the audience to know?

Don’t follow stereotypes, create your own path and live your dream. As Magic Johnson said “Who would have ever thought a brother would be opening Starbucks and movie theaters in the hood?”

Really, anything is possible if you are willing to invest the time needed. And in closing, be sure to visit our website,

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