It’s been a busy few days here at HYA – which is why though Regan Smith Clarke’s summer collection has been around for a little while, we’re only getting to it now. But what a doozy it is: well worth the wait. Regan designs shirts with a vintage art twist, with eye-popping designs which seem to have leapt from a 1940s newspaper comic strip. Coincidentally, that’s exactly the sort of thing that I love, so I’m craving these shirts very badly.
Trailblazer (above, $25) is a shirt which looks like it could well be at home on a wartime propaganda poster for kids, and would undoubtedly draw some looks for its big design and bright colours. Personally, it’s my favourite of the bunch.
But then you’ve got Lone Wolf ($25) – which comes in black and yellow – that manages to take the weird anthropomorphic animal thing that you see in all cartoons (Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny say hi) and create a new character. As you might tell from the two shirt names, Regan Smith Clarke’s all about giving the wearers of his t-shirts an identity and an ego boost.
Keeping the wartime propaganda look (and almost making me willing to buy a three-quarter length baseball tee) is the Stand and Deliver 3/4 length ($28). I personally think that wearing 3/4 length clothing on your top half is almost as dangerous as wearing 3/4 length shorts (it runs the risk of making you look like a baby) but the design on this is so beautiful that I’m almost willing to overlook it. Almost. Regan, if you’re reading this: put it on a normal tee. I’ll buy it in an instant.
Costliness = $25-28
Let’s hear a little bit of their back story first:
Ever since high school I’ve always thought that creating funny and cool tshirts would be the greatest job ever. An old buddy and I even made lists of concepts and ideas just for fun with no intention of creating any of them for real. Come full circle I’m now a graphic designer for a fortune 500 company but the grass remains greener on the indy tee side of things. So I started creating some tshirt designs. I knew I wanted it to be computer related or my take on the skull and crossbones concept. After messing around a while I created some computer icons and a few skull and crossbones when I accidentally created my first design. I had moved the crossbones on my workspace around and they ended up near computer mouse icon. I thought.. this could work!! After some tweaking, our DeadMaus was born. From there I continued creating crossbone icons with anything from stars to clouds to hamburgers together. I already had a personal blog with a small following named MindlessThoughts, so I transformed it into the clothing line name and website.
We officially opened our door January of 2011 with our flag ship tshirt “DeadMaus.” We recently released our first set of summer tees featuring our highly anticipated DeadMeat for all you burger fans, another SelfMade tee for all the entrepreneur out there, and a fun water balloon fight inspired DeadMaus:Splat tee. Our clothing brand features trendy modern urban gear from tshirts to hats to skateboards and everything in between. We feature bold unique designs expressing a young confident attitude. It’s non-conformity for the conformed at its finest!
I like this guy, he’s friendly and honest and I appreciate that he knows he’s not reinventing the wheel, which is always refreshing when it comes to t-shirt brands. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to only just hear of MindlessThoughts now when they’ve been open for about 18 months, but that’s just how it happens sometimes. Skull & crossbones designs have been done a lot, there’s no getting away from that, but it’s also true that people like them, and there’s always room to play with it and put your own spin on things. It would be great if we could see more the actual tees rather than the mockups (currently there’s only the one shirt with a model photo as far as I can tell), because I think they look a lot better in reality than on a generic mockup.
Triangle Motif got in touch recently to say hello and let me know about their fledgling brand. Usually when people e-mail me they ask for advice, and whilst I’m not here to be a free consultant for brands I do usually find myself repeating the same things to people when they send in a submission, mainly that they need to get better images, explain what makes them special, and don’t pretend to have reinvented the wheel. However, with these guys I can’t see anything that they’re doing wrong, they’ve got some beautiful lookbook images to go with their regular studio product shots, they’re reasonably priced at $25 and they’ve got a nice clean website. That tells me that all they need to do is get their name out there more and they’ll surely gain fans and hopefully propel themselves on to many more collections to come.
I don’t want to alarm you or anything, but the three words “cool wrestling t-shirts” can in fact be used in the same sentence without the world exploding. Seriously, it’s not a contradiction in terms. Admittedly, professional wrestling hasn’t been cool since about 1997, but that almost doesn’t matter. I haven’t watched wrestling since I was 16 – these things called girls got in the way – but I can still appreciate the smart, snarky designs which are a mile away from the stuff the WWE (apparently the WWF had to change their name after the World Wildlife Fund sued them) produce.
Barber Shop Window has a simple motto: “to create shirts that wrestling fans enjoy, would want to own, and wouldn’t be embarassed to wear to the bar.” I’d argue they go further. These things can be worn by non- or lapsed wrestling fans like me.
They take an increasingly standard model of selling. Shirts are available for a limited time period and on a short print run, before being taken off-sale. Any leftovers (usually in odd sizes) can be picked up for about $25 (first-run shirts usually run $20). The shirt stock’s good, the printing lasts and is clear. I’m currently wearing the ‘Monsoon-Heenan 2012′ shirt pictured above; it combines my favourite commentary team from my formative years with my love of American politics (fuelled by The West Wing). I wish I had the Fuji Vice t-shirt, based on this…unique vignette from the 1980s. If you’re nerdy like me, the chances are you’ll find something here for you.
The awesomely named Hunter Franks got in touch to let me know about his new t-shirt brand, Adhesion Clothing. Here’s what he has to say about it:
In physics, adhesion is the tendency of certain dissimilar molecules to cling together due to attractive forces. My aesthetic commonly takes seemingly different concepts and fuses them together to breed a new meaning that provokes thought from the viewer. This sparked the platform that Adhesion Clothing was formed upon: to revolutionize meaning, ignite thought, and inspire creativity. Adhesion Clothing strives to create unique and attractive apparel that creates a narrative and stands out in a crowd.
It’s quite hard to tell what to make a of a new t-shirt startup that has only t-shirts available, even if those two shirts are pretty cool and they’re reasonable at $25 a piece. Hopefully Hunter will get in touch when he releases more because I’d like to see what direction Adhesion goes in.
*UPDATE* Adhesion got in touch to say that if you use the coupon code HYA2012 you’ll get 10% off your order.
You know those times when I have to make an embarrassing admission, and people respond by saying “how are you 27 years old and this has passed you by?” Well, this is another of those times, because I don#t think that I’ve ever eaten red licorice before. I’m aware of it, it’s just never appealed to me enough when I’ve been buying sweets to pick it up over other items. That might be because when I was younger we didn’t eat a lot of chocolate and sugar, at least not pre-packaged sugary snacks, so when the opportunity arose I wouldn’t have taken the risky option of something new and stuck with something I knew I’d like.
Clearly though, someone loves red licorice, because they’ve created and entire clothing line based on the sweet rope. Redlicorice currently got three different designs in the store (on guys and girls blanks, and in multiple colourways) and whilst I can’t appreciate the subject fully I can enjoy the bold colour schemes that they’ve gone for. They aren’t too flashy but they work really well together and make for a fun colour palette. At $28.99 for a shirt they’re probably on the upper limit for what’s acceptable in to the indie industry for a brand just starting out, but that price isn’t so high that it will put someone off making a purchase if they really like the shirts.
Remuse Collective is an artist collective that try to dive a bit deeper with their art. Putting thought and ideas behind their designs rather then just throwing together pictures on a shirt. Printed on Anvil 980 or American Apparel for a modern fashion fit. Shirts are $20, I’d suggest picking one up.
T-bar is an Australian t-shirt label that I’ve been watching for awhile now as their t-shirts seem to be quality stuff. Founded in 2006, their colourful selection of graphic tees is designed by a host of talented Australian and international illustrators. The blanks they print on are soft, comfortable and lightweight, as all good t-shirts should be. In addition to the regular crew neck tees for guys and girls, they also sell some designs on V-neck tees only, which I think is pretty smart as some designs just work better on V-necks.
You may be interested to know that T-bar currently has 23 stores across Australia and one in Singapore, so if you happen to live in or are headed to these countries, you may want to check them out as they seem to have a wider range of tees in-store. T-bar has also launched a new range of basics which is a collection that they’ll be building on.
Their tees are currently priced at one for AUD$40, two for AUD$69 and three for AUD$99. They’ll throw in free shipping if you get 3 or more tees too.
Since Treacle Clothing started printing graffiti tshirts in early 2010 they have released 14 t-shirts so far, as well as a couple of tote bags, sweaters and prints. There are a few things about Treacle Clothing that make them unique, the attention to detail throughout the range and its packaging to the hand finishing of the garments. Treacle print on carbon neutral, ethically sourced cotton garments that are hand finished and printed in the UK, here are a couple of my faves, I think we will be seeing a lot more from Treacle this year!
I am really hoping that Loviu manage to find a niche and stay on the scene in the long-term (‘tee a day’ sites are a brutal part of the tee world). They sent over these cool photos of their production process, I love seeing stuff like this because it’s still something of a mystery to me, and hopefully you’ll like taking a look too.
It’s pretty rare that a t-shirt company stops me in my tracks (whatever that means, I sit at a desk about 10 hours a day), but Limerence did just that when I saw their designs. When I said a few posts back that I thought 2011 would be the year of the photo tee I was kind of joking, but just a few hours later my prophecy is coming true!*
Sure, they’ve got four shirts in the store, one is a logo shirt (a nice logo shirt, but still), and one is the name set onto photos which is cool though still a bit logo-y for my liking, but the other two are utterly stunning, I’m almost considering bookmarking the Addictive Love for a ‘best of 2011′ post that I will inevitably ‘forget’ to write next December when the lure of mince pies and mulled wine becomes too great. The shirts themselves are produced in the US, but I’m not sure what brand of blank is being used, I do know that the inks are eco-friendly though, so this shirt doesn’t melt the ice caps quite as much as many others do.
For a bit of background, Limerence is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is also known as where all those Amish folks come from. Doug, the guy behind Limerence sources all the material for his designs from vintage managzines like a 1950s copy of LIFE or his parents yearbooks, or newspaper clipping, basically anything from before 1974. I’m not really sure where that puts him in terms of copyright law and I’m not going to pretend to have any idea about that kind of thing, but hopefully the images have been manipulated enough for them to be okay in the eyes of the law. It’s funny how willing people are to accept possible copyright infringement when cool tees are involved!
Their website could do with a bit more to it though, it’s just a Big Cartel storefront at the moment. There’s not really anything wrong with that, but they’ve clearly done a photoshoot, and Doug can clearly write judging by the e-mail he sent me, so why not pad out the site a bit more?
*2011 will also be the year of me getting a Ferrari and penthouse apartment in New York, in that case.
It’s hard to know how to feel when a new daily t-shirt site (in the mould of TeeFury) comes onto the scene, especially when it comes to someone like the fabulously named Loviu.
On the one-hand, daily t-shirt sites have come and gone a lot recently, it’s very hard for them to reach the amount of daily sales needed to make their business viable, especially when there are already big players in the market like Shirt.Woot and TeeFury offering a shirt for about the same price as lunch. It’s also hard to make sure you keep up the level of quality when it comes to your designs, and that means having a lot of designers in your community or buying a lot of tee designs. There’s a lot for them to juggle and they still have to make a lot of sales every day. In short, it’s very hard work and there’s not a lot of space left in the niche.
But on the other hand… Loviu have a very cool name, a well designed website, they claim to be the only EU-based daily tee site (and I have every reason to believe them) and have their site translated into multiple European languages, they’re selling some cool looking designs (which is possibly aided by their opening prize treasure chest being worth €5,000), and they have some good stuff in the voting section too (though some of it should probably be moderated out of there to keep the quality up). Also, possibly to alleviate the pressure of being a daily tee site, they’re offering a weekly tee as well, which I like as an option since that means I might actually talk about them more often. Daily tees cost €12, and the weekly tee costs €18.
There are a lot of positive things going on with Loviu, but of course you can say that about a lot of new sites, only time will tell whether they can gain a big enough following to be sustainable and turn into a good source of tees for us Europeans.
Bananas Tees is a new t-shirt label on the block described by themselves as “fun, cool and relentlessly positive graphic tees for the unpretentious”. The range is the brain-child of illustrator and t-shirt fanatic Dale Edwin Murray, who having designed tees for countless clothing labels and bands, and won at almost every t-shirt competition site around, decided it was time to build something for himself. All of the designs have a friendly, accessible vibe but are stylish and stylised at the same time. If you’re wondering where the bananas logo comes from, it is adapted from his online ‘bananaman’ alter ego. The tees are all £15 and shipping in the UK is £1.95 and £7.50 abroad.
To celebrate the launch of Bananas Tees, they are giving away one of each of the new range to someone picked at random from their newsletter subscribers. You’ve got 4 weeks to sign-up before the winner is announced but why wait that long? Do it now! Click here for more info and to sign up.
Check out the rest of the range at Banana Tees
[Andy: It’s hardly surprising that Dale has come out with a strong range of tees, the man has talent!]
This post was submitted by bananastees.
Time for another edition of “Andy’s a prejudiced douchebag!” I got an e-mail from the guys behind Urban Sasquatch Clothing, and in it they mentioned that they had been selling shirts at local hardcore metal concerts. That set off a few alarm bells in my head, I’ve been to hardcore metal shows, and the first thing that jumps to mind isn’t people that appreciate a good t-shirt design, I almost deleted the e-mail right there and then, as part of my “be productive and get stuff done” morning, but curiosity got the better of me, since I enjoy laughing at bad tees too, and realised I’d made a grave error, because they’re nothing like I expected, and actually make some fine lookin’ tees (and $14.95 for an American Apparel tee is sweet too!). They do jump around a bit when it comes to styles, something which will probably be honed in future collections, but there’s no harm in trying different things, variety is the spice of life after all. I hope they work more on the style of the tee above though, it’s got a lot of good stuff going on.
Costiness=$14.95 Buy it at Urban Sasquatch (also available on black)
You’d think that for someone that spends a large (possibly too large) proportion of their sat looking at two LCD screens I would know everything there is to know about the internet, and yet, somehow OMGPOP, their 6 million users, and being named as one of Time magazine’s top 50 websites of last year completely passed me by*. This is possibly because they weren’t a t-shirt company and it’s really rare that I play games online, but now I have no excuse because they’ve launched some really cute tees that I think are often based on characters from their games under the name of OMGPOP Tees (what else would it be?). I like the shirts and I have no idea what they mean, so I can only imagine that their fans are going crazy right now. They’re priced at $18-$20 and printed on American Apparel, which ticks a couple of boxes, and every pruchase comes with 15,000 coins that you can use on OMGPOP, which I can only presume ticks another box, if I only knew what these coins did.
* I’ve now looked at their about page, they were formerly called iminlikewithyou, which I’ve heard of, so…. I’m cool?
I’ve actually been hearing from the people behind this brand-new-brand for quite a long time, they haven’t just walked into the scary world of selling t-shirts blindfolded, they’ve checked things out and been prepping for launch for a long time, so I feel like they’re a lot more mature as a brand than some others that jump onto the scene. They’ve only got 3 shirts to start out with, but they’re all wearable and at least they haven’t tried to stretch themselves just to get more designs on the virtual shelves. The tees themselves have neck prints and hem-line labels on Continental tees, considering how questionable American Apparel’s future is I think that Continental is a good option, especially for European brands, and I’ve been happy with every Continental shirt I’ve been sent. If you like what you see you’ll be parting with £22 for a shirt (£25 with shipping across the world) from FrogFacedSouply.
LUVD are one of the best new brands I’ve seen come along in a while. They have a style that I feel a lot of people are into at the moment, myself included, fiarly simple with interesting use of typography, with a slightly vintage look and not too many colours, most of which are complimentary rather than clashing. I like their website too, it has a slightly unusual layout that sets them apart from the norm, and they have lots of attractive models (so presumably they’ll end up here before too long). The initial selection of designs isn’t huge, but there’s more than enough to get me interested, and $22 will be removing from your wallet if you buy a tee or tank top, which is neither crazy-high, nor crazy-low.
Two thumbs up for LUVD!
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A few days ago on my Twitter I put out a call for t-shirt brands and stores to get in touch if they wanted to put a photo tour of their shop/office/aquarium on Hide Your Arms and Exposed Clothing were one of the first to respond (though, as store owner Chuck usually gets up at 5am it’s hardly surprising that he was quick to respond!). I think this could be a really interesting series that will let us get behind the scenes at companies of various sizes across the t-shirt spectrum.
Exposed Clothing are a brand that I haven’t really taken a close look at in the past if I’m honest, though I feel I know the owner fairly well through tweets and discussions we’ve had in the past, Chuck is a good guy and seemingly always ready to help out with the stupid web-based problems that I have or lending some advice from his time in the tee world. It would appear that this kind of approach has also made it’s way into his bricks & mortar store, as he sells a variety of small labels that he likes on consignment. If I were to ever open a HYA store (and boy do I wish I could) I’d do the same thing, if you ever visited my store it would be like walking around a real version of this blog, just loads of tees I like. Sure, I’d probably be my biggest customer, but I’d have a damn good time. It’s clearly not the biggest or fanciest store in the world, but it has everything it needs, and the store has been getting some attention from local rock radio stations so hopefully that will help bring them the support that keeps them going for a long time. Exposed also offer a screen printing which I would presume isn’t operated out of the same location otherwise we would’ve got some photos of that too.
If you’d liketo visit Exposed Clothing here is their address:
8325 Colerain Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45239
If anyone else would like to send in photo tours (possibly with some commentary and background if you would like) then you know how to contact me.
Artybuzz are a British company that will print and sell your art as tees and ‘hangable’ prints (obviously you can hang a tee, but I think you all understand the differentiation I’m making here). You could say that they sound an awful lot like MySoti and RedBubble, as all three companies offer roughly the same service – POD tees and art prints – and if you look at the Artybuzz and RedBubble homepages you could easily say that they look pretty similar too.
Much like I don’t feel that there is really a problem with new t-shirt design contests opening every few weeks (just because Threadless & DBH are huge doesn’t mean there’s no room for others), I don’t have a problem with there being new POD companies springing up, from a consumer point of view the extra choice can only be a good thing. I haven’t yet had any e-mails or links sent to me from artists asking me to check out their Artybuzz page yet, but they are quite a new company so I think that as artists find out about them they’ll grow because they seem to offer a good service at good prices. It would be nice if they had some examples of physical artwork and tees that they’ve printed out on the site, because that will always be how sites like this will be judged, on the quality of their products, and if you’re proud of what you produce you should be showing it off for every visitor to see.
At the moment I think it is more of an art site than a tee site, there is some lovely art on there, but with them being fairly new it’s hard to tell where they’ll be heading in the future, so whilst they don’t look quite as polished as their POD brethren yet, hopefully they can bring in enough talent to the community to reach that tipping point where they can bust out and really grow.