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8-bit zombie interview

I’ve posted about 8-Bit Zombie before and if you didn’t know, I absolutely love their stuff. They also recently won Tee Madness 2012 (congratulations!) so I thought I’d take this chance to interview 8BZ.

Why did you want to get into the T-Shirt industry?
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to start a business and thought screen printing would be fun, so I dove in head first. I knew absolutely nothing about screen printing or the tee industry so it was quite a learning process. But it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I knew going into screen printing that I wanted to make rad shirts to sell on the side. So after learning the ropes and honing my printing skills, I ventured into printing my own stuff to sell. Funny enough, 8BZ actually started off with flip-brim hats. I didn’t get around to printing tees until I had carved a little niche for myself with the hats.

Why 8-bit ZOMBIE?
8-bit ZOMBIE was a name I came up with years and years ago. I’m a huge NES (The original Nintendo system) fan and collector. So 8-bit games have been my obsession for most of my life. I’ve also been a fan of zombie flicks for quite some time. So that’s where the name comes from. But it also works on another level – 8BZ is all about 80’s nostalgia. So you might say I’m bringing the best parts of the 80’s back from the grave.

How many guys or gals are there that work with you? Or is it a one man army?
It’s a one man army! Apart from the artists I hire, 8BZ is all me. From screen printing to packing & shipping, I run every facet of the brand myself. It’s an immense amount of work but it’s also very rewarding. I’m definitely a bit of a control freak when it comes to my brand. I have a very distinct vision of how I want everything.

What are your main influences? Do you have any specific artistic influences upon your designs?
My main influences are of course the 1980’s. I was a child of the 80’s and the toys, cartoons, movies and video games of that decade never really left me. I’ve been obsessed with all things 80’s since…..well, since the 80’s, haha. It was definitely a magical time to be a kid. I wouldn’t really say I have any specific artistic influences other than a general 80’s pop-culture vibe and 80’s skate art. I try to work with artists with varied styles but also artists who share my love of that decade.

As I notice you pay homage to a lot of different films and games, has this ever caused you any legal problems?
Not yet, knock on wood. It is something I worry about and something I’ll have to be more careful about as 8BZ grows. But so far, so good.
I see you mainly focus upon 80’s styles, do you plan to branch out and do different decades? Any big future plans at all?
I will always stick to 80’s and early 90’s with 8-bit ZOMBIE. But I feel like I’ve only barely scratched the surface with what’s possible. That era will keep me busy for years to come.

Who are some of your personal favourite brands?
Johnny Cupcakes is an inspiration. I went to a lecture he gave and chatted with him a bit afterwards. His words and advice definitely had a big effect on me. An amazing guy and an amazing brand. Death Shred is a brand I’ve followed for awhile. Similar themes to 8BZ, really awesome stuff. And Orcus Brand is another rad line run by one of my artist buds, Setup85.

Do you have your own studio or do you outsource the production of your shirts?

As mentioned earlier I print all of my merch myself. I am beginning to outsource some of my printing now though. As 8BZ grows, it’s a BIG help to be able to send some of the printing to someone else.

Has anyone famous bought your shirts or been seen wearing them? If not what’s the strangest place you’ve actually sent a shirt to.

I don’t think anyone super famous has been spotted sporting 8BZ. I would love for it to happen though! And I ship stuff all over the world on a regular basis, which was a big surprise to me starting out. In the beginning, most of my sales actually came from outside the U.S. It was really strange to me at first. But also very awesome to think that stuff I made is being worn but people all over the world. But sending stuff to the Ukraine or Malaysia or other remote places with crazy addresses is always weird, haha. I just have send it off and hope it gets there!

You’ve entered Tee Madness the past three years and finally this year you won! Why do you think this year you finally accomplished it?
Extremely happy to finally get 8-bit ZOMBIE a place in the winner’s circle. I think I finally made it this year due to a couple of factors. One was probably the fact that many of the bigger brands got knocked out earlier in the game this year. Luck of the draw was definitely part of it. But other than that, I simply have a ton more fans than in years past. I was super impressed with how loyal and supportive my fans were this year. It was really humbling and amazing to see their devotion. I also just wanted it badly this year. I knew going in that this was going to be my last attempt at the tournament. So I definitely gave it my all and tried my hardest to bring home the win on my 3rd and final run.

And why won’t you be competing in the next Tee Madness? Will we see you in any future events at all?
I just feel like I’ve had time and made my mark with the contest. I think it’s time to step aside and let some fresh blood battle it out next year. Not to mention the fact that Tee Madness is insanely stressful and all consuming. You pretty much have to be chained to your computer if you want to make it to the end. It’s so mental draining and exhausting, haha. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome contest and is well worth entering for the exposure alone. But I’ve battled for 3 years straight and finally made it to the end this year, so I’m ready for a break. Very much looking forward to experiencing the contest from the outside next year. But we’ll see what happens in a few years, haha. I very well may come down with the tee MADNESS again at some point!

What is your favourite NES game and 80s Film?
Those are both tough questions! I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one, as NES games and 80’s movies are two of my biggest passions. But some 8-bit favs are Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Wizards & Warriors, Little Nemo and of course the Mario & Mega Man games. As for movies, Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Ghostbusters, Labyrinth, Lost Boys and Neverending Story hold special places in my heart. Both lists could go on, and on (AND ON!) but I’ll stop there, haha.

Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers?
Keep an eye out for the 8-bit ZOMBIE summer release. This summer will be the biggest, baddest and raddest release to date for 8BZ. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that should bring a big smile to the face of any 80’s fan! You won’t want to miss out on this one!

I’d like to thank Ross from 8BZ for his time and effort in conducting this interview with me! It’s been a great way for me to ask questions that I’m particularly interested in so it has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to reviewing his merchandise as soon as it arrives. Which hopefully should be soon! If you guys want to ask him any questions yourself head on over to 8BZ’s contact page.


Post image for Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000 – Also, New T-shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

Harry Gordon, or better known as Omega Man 5000, is just one of those t-shirt artists that has such a distinct and exaggerated style, it’s truly hard not to notice him. With his unusual color palette and chaotic motifs (and I mean that in the best of ways), his designs are meant to stun you and leave you somewhat perplexed, but definitely eager for more!

Not only does he design tees on the artsy side, but he also delves into the pop-culture world that is so popular these days. Omega has been printed at places like TeeFury, Design By Humans and only today he has a t-shirt up for sale at RIPT! (Pictured at the very top!) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and old school cartoon inspired, this one is appropriately titled, Fear N Loathing In This Foul Year Of Our Lord 1925 and not only can you buy the tee, there’s also a GIVEAWAY! All you have to do to be entered to win a poster of the design is “like” Omega Man 5000’s fanpage on Facebook, and share the post about the new tee at RIPT, easy!

So in honor of his first print at RIPT, what would be better than to get to know the artist behind the tee! I asked him a few fun questions, and I got a few fun answers, that’s for sure.

The most important question first – what tee are you wearing right now?
The awesome Cosmonaut by TheMightyTiki from DBH.

You’re a bit mysterious, who hides behind the name Omega Man 5000?
All I can say about that guy is there’s a lot of things about him you wouldn’t know anything about. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you SHOULDN’T understand. You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like him. He’s a loner, Leah. A rebel.

If your art had a sound, what would it be?
A zoo in outer space next door to a 3 ring circus in the 14th & 1/2 dimension.

What are your plans for Friday night? (I’m not asking you out on a date, just curious – haha.)
Apparently not going out on a date with you. =\

Quick – who’s the first artist (besides yourself obviously) that pops into your head that you would love to collaborate with?
Artist-wise Jeremy Fish. Musically it’s a 3-way tie between C-Lo, MF Doom, and Die Antwoord. Movies-wise Guillermo Del Toro.

Look out your window – what do you see?
A half shark half alligator half octopus. You might be saying well hold the phone that’s 3 halves? But no it’s not, see one half is half shark half alligator and the other half is full octopus… so yeah.

If you had to wear one t-shirt for the rest of your life, which would it be?
This question is way too hard to answer.

Thanks for chatting with us Harry, was a pleasure, but one last thing (and now let me get serious for a moment), do you have any parting tips for aspiring creatives like yourself, hungry to grow in the t-shirt world?
Practice practice practice and practice. Even when you don’t want to. Even if you only work for an hour a day you’ll be able to stay sharp. Also never get discouraged, the world is a much smaller place these days and people who never would have otherwise are connecting with eachother online etc. So no matter what it is you’re about there’s almost a guarantee that SOMEBODY will be into it, and find out about you. =)

Keep in touch with Omega Man 5000: Twitter, Facebook, Shop

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T-shirt News for January 20th

by Andy on January 20, 2012

stand by me t-shirt

Thank you TeeFury commenters for explaining to me that this is a Stand By Me t-shirt.

I am rarely a fan of Shirt.Woot‘s art shirts, and this design doesn’t convince me otherwise.

Scooby Doo t-shirt at RIPT today.

The cool thing about this Shirt Punch tee is that parts of it glow in the dark, cool to see a Totoro shirt as well, Mrs. HYA would love this one.

I couldn’t really get into Spartacus: Blood and Sand, it was all a bit too much for my tastes, even the lure of Xena’s boobs wasn’t enough to keep me watching! This shirt is from The Yetee.

Like many people, I’m well over the ‘Keep Calm’ meme, but this OtherTees shirt made me laugh.

24tee really do love The Big Lebowski.

It’s another Star Wars vacation design from TeeMinus24.

It’s been a while since I posted a Wotto design, good to see him back in action at DBH.

Hey look, Tilteed are selling this tee by a.mar.illo again.

Mint Magazine have an interview with prolific t-shirt artist Drew Millward.

Craig Robson has added some new posters to his store, Daggers For Teeth.

Buy two get one free with the coupon code TRIPLETHREAT at BustedTees.

New arrivals at YourEyesLie.

Tee Gazette are giving away a shirt from LIES and FILTH.

Buy one get one free on everything in the Plain Lazy store.


adam hendle

I’m sure that the vast majority of HYA readers will be well aware of Adam, he runs popular indie clothing blog IAMTHETREND and has recently assumed the exciting-sounding position of Special Ops at Storenvy. Surely his greatest position to date though will be coming up over the coming weeks as he becomes a guest blogger on HYA, talking about goings on behind the scenes at Storenvy explaining what life is like at the rapidly moving startup.

I asked Adam a few questions about three things we both enjoy, tees, taking on more tasks than we can handle, and life.

Congratulations on the new job, can you fill in my readers on what your role is at Storenvy?
Thanks a ton Andy! My official title at Storenvy is Storenvy Special Ops, which probably sounds a little more like I will be in charge of kicking doors own and fighting bad guys, but honestly I wear a ton of different hats for Storenvy so putting one job title on it didn’t really work. As of right now I am in charge of our social media platforms, answering customer support, reaching out to our individual stores for feedback/insight, recruiting new stores to join the site, helping manage and grow the Storenvy community, writing for the blog and whatever else we can throw on my plate!

Does this mean we’ll be seeing less content on IATT?
Unfortunately yes. Working for a startup is basically the equivalent of working two or three jobs, so my time has been pretty limited outside of work. That being said IAMTHETREND is my baby which I have raised for over three years now and you won’t see it dying anytime soon. I have had some more guest bloggers pitch in to the site which has been fantastic and I have just had to be a lot more selective with the posts that I make as well as scheduling posts out throughout the week instead of just unleashing them as I write them.

Storenvy seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment, and clearly they’re growing, what do you think sets it apart from other hosted store platforms that explains the growing popularity?
Storenvy has a ton of momentum right now and for good reason. Everyone who uses it, loves it. I’ve been on the phone with dozens of Storenvy users and every single one of them loves how easy is to use the site. And another thing that sets it apart is that it’s the only hosted store platform that also has a marketplace. Marketplaces are huge. It means that you have built-in traffic and shoppers have one destination where they can discover stuff from all the shores in one place. And I can already tell you that the marketplace is what makes the Storenvy community. Our merchants really get a sense that they’re not on their own and can connect with other users. I think the emphasis on community has been a real driving factor of Storenvy’s growth.

I’ve noticed a few articles on the Storenvy blog giving advice to store owners about product photography, can we expect more of this kind of ‘how to’ content?
Of course since I am an avid blogger I wanted to jump right in and start posting lists and resource articles and store interviews trying to gain momentum again for the blog. I really want to turn the blog from an afterthought to a place that people check daily for resources and insight.

Personally, I’ve never really used the ‘social marketplace’ aspect of Storenvy, am I in the minority and what am I missing out on? And will your role involve growing that side of the site?
Storenvy was really designed for 2 purposes — (1.) hosted, customizable online stores (2.) and a big marketplace made up of all the stuff from the stores. It’s totally cool to just head into your favorite stores and check out their stuff without going through the marketplace. Loads of other shoppers come through the marketplace. Each person is different in what their looking for. Some know exactly where to go for what they want and others want to browse a bigger selection. We just don’t think merchants should have to choose between having their own store and being in a marketplace which is why we put the two together.

The Marketplace is honestly a great place to find out about brands and products that you may never have stumbled on before. I highly recommend checking out and browsing the Markets page as you never know what you are going to find around the corner!

How can Storenvy survive without moving to a paid-for or freemium model?
On ramen noodles, tears and hardwork! Ha! But honestly at this moment we have two freemium features on the site, most recently of which we just launched called “Super Discounts”. That extra allows store owners to offer four types of discounts including $-off, %-off, free shipping and ‘buy n get m free’, which is perfect for offering great holiday deals to customers. On Black Friday we saw over 40% of the transactions going through Storenvy including some type of discount with shoppers spending an average of 15% more when they had a discount vs when they did not. Other than that we have a custom url option and also have some other freemium features in mind for the future.

Luckily, we’ve been fortunate enough to pair up with some investors that understand our vision and who have put some substantial financial backing into the business. These are the same guys who have funded other web startups like Twitter, Groupon, Tumblr, and even Google.

A couple of years ago Big Cartel was the de facto choice of platform for creating a quick store, is your job to make Storenvy the first thing that people think of when they want to make a store?
Absolutely! We still feel that there is no one clear choice in people’s minds when it comes to choosing an online storefront. There are some nice platforms out there but everyone is pretty well spread out with no real clear cut winner. Sure sites like Etsy and BigCartel, Shopify have a nice following but there still hasn’t been that household name that has emerged.

How is Pongdeck going?
Ahhhh Pong Deck, what could have been… Lol. Honestly if you were to say a project was to be taking a backseat I would have to say that Pong Deck is riding in the trailer right now. We had some early success with it getting it into Spencer’s gifts for a trial run as well as sponsoring last years World Series of Beer Pong, but unfortunately myself and my partner were not able to truly devote the time that it takes to get a first of it’s kind product off the ground. That being said we haven’t pulled the plug on it, it’s just on cruise control. Speaking of which if you like beer pong or know someone that does we just put them on sale for $5.99 with tees at $13.99 on! (shameless self plug).

How’s married life treating you?
I always say to people that ask me how life has been since getting married that it is the same! Which I think is beautiful thing. Really nothing has changed in our lives except we now wear wedding rings and can call each other dorky names like “wifey” and “hubby”. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive and amazing women by my side!

Do you hate getting e-mails that start “Dear Journalist” as much as I do? And do you have any pet peeves when brands send you pitches?
Haha absolutely! Don’t ever send me an email saying “Dear Journalist”. As far as pet peeves go, I really do not have too many. I prefer a short and personal email. Please do not send me a zip file including forty images that is going to take me an hour to open, I am sure they look great but I usually can tell in one or two pictures if I am going to write about the line.

How many tees do you have in your closet?
Great question! Honestly I have no idea, but I can tell you that I have a closet, a few drawers and even some totes full of tees and I still buy tees! I think I have a problem… If I had to absolutely take a guess I’d say 246 and a half. :)

I notice that you don’t post about daily sites such as TeeFury, why is this? Wary of the here today, gone tomorrow nature of some of the newer sites?
I just have really never been a fan of the tees that are usually on those sites. I would rather post about a brand that is trying to build something over just one t-shirt that is up for 24 hours.

Are you good at switching off from the Internet and unwinding? I feel like I’m constantly tethered to my emails.
I am the absolute worst at this, my iPhone is always in my hand and I am constantly checking emails. I have a very hard time turning it off and just unwinding, I get this overwhelming feeling of guilt like I should be doing some more productive with my time, especially on nights when my wife isn’t home as she bartends three nights a week. I feel like if she is out of the house I need to be working on something.

For any new projects in the pipeline or are you busy enough?
I always have ideas, it’s just the time that is the issue!

Thanks a lot to Adam for answering my not-particularly-exciting questions, but I found that really interesting. There aren’t many people out there that write about t-shirts as much as I do, so to get an insight from a fellow tee blogger is fascinating to me. it also sounds like Adam is in charge of quite a lot at Storenvy, which bodes well for some great posts when he guest blogs here at HYA.

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Daily Tees and News Roundup for November 16th

by Andy on November 16, 2011

dalek snowman t-shirt

I think that this Doctor Who t-shirt thing may be getting a bit out of hand now. TeeFury.

Very nice Portal shirt from Qwertee, pity that the text isn’t legible though.

That is one majestic looking unicorn, Tilted.

Soooo, is that owl drunk?

Pretty nice tee from Shirt.Woot today.

There is a surprising lack of Transformers shirts around, something RIPT appear to be looking to address, I’d probably prefer to see more of a Megan Fox-esque woman standing next to the car though.

This TeeMinus24 shirt is in honour of it being 37 years since Wolverine’s first appearance in a full issue of a comic book.

More rage face action from 24tee.

I watched Kung Fu Panda 2 last night so this shirt from Loviu is pretty attractive to me right now.

I was going to have a solid Gears of War session on Sunday night, and then my Xbox died again, it’s 6 years old so it’s had a decent run, but no one likes it when their hardware fails and you have to get a new one, that’s £170 I would have rather not spent. Shirt available at Catch of the Day Tee.

Pretty cool Mario concept from Shirt Punch today.

Very nice from DBH, though I think I’d rather have it as a poster than a t-shirt.

604Republic are running a ‘buy 2 get a 3rd shirt free’ sale, which is pretty nice.

Johnny Cupcakes has dropped 3 new shirts.

Wrongwroks have restocked their Monster hoodies.

IAMTHETREND have an interview with 11:11 Apparel.

Karmaloop are giving 30% off and free shipping ($8 off shipping for international users) with the coupon code TEE30, but only on shirts in the ‘dressed to a tee’ section of the sale page.

Retreat have put all their shirts on sale for £10.

Scifen have teamed up with a hip hop artist that I’ve never heard of (which has no reflection upon how well known they are) called eLZhi to create the garments you can see above.

Coty has declared his love for Instagram (I’m a member too, feel free to follow me, my username is hideyourarms, of course.

No Guts No Glory have released a limited edition Christmas jumper that is far more attractive than the ironic one you bought last year.

February Son have a storewide shirt sale going on until the end of the year, all tee are $16. I don’t know what they were before that, but presumably $16 is less.

I will be launching a new website today that will be taking up a lot of my time for the foreseeable future, please be assured that this is actually a good thing for HYA, becuase it means that I can continue to write here and not get a soul crushing job I don’t love.


quakerninja interview

Quakerninja is one of those guys that seems to never sleep, he’s always around giving advice to people about their shirts and stores, and he’s got a hell of a talent of artistic talent too (even if he wouldn’t want to describe it as a ‘natural talent’), which helps to make this interview with TeeCraze a good read.


handsome clothing co.

I’ve been trying to persuade the Tee Hunter to become a guest blogger on HYA but so far due to scheduling conflicts I’ve not been able to snare him, so for now I’ll just have to keep linking to good work done over there, like this interview he conducted with Handsome Clothing Co. makers of handsome t-shirts (and other goods, as you can see above).


johnny cupcakes interview

Whenever you hear people starting their t-shirt line talk about who inspired them, it usually doesn’t take long before the name Johnny Cupcakes comes up, so I thought you guys might like to see this interview with the Willy Wonka of the t-shirt world. Frankly, it doesn’t cover much new ground for people that have followed Johnny for a while, but it is a good interview all the same.

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Interview with Eric Terry of Linty Fresh

by Andy on March 29, 2010

linty fresh interview

You guys know me, so you know I love t-shirts, travel, and food. So in this interview you can expect me to ask Eric Terry, the man behind Linty Fresh, about his clothing company, what life is like in China now that he has lived there for almost a year (with a bit of a break in the middle), and what weird stuff he’s eaten. I don’t really feel like Eric or his company need an introduction since they’re such a regular feature on HYA, putting out lots of great designs, and being something of an inspiration for the tee community, so we might as well get straight into it.
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The Coty Gonzales Interview

by Andy on March 12, 2010

coty gonzales in portland

If you read Hide Your Arms you probably know who Coty Gonzales is. If not, he’s another tee blogger, a good one, who has been writing about shirts (and more) for the past couple of years, and is quite a lot more comfortable in videos than I am. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I’dlike to get into doing more interviews on HYA, and I thought that Coty would be interesting since us tee bloggers are usually pretty sociable but people don’t really know much about us because you don’t really need much of a backstory to be a tee blogger, you just have to like t-shirts. I can’t lie, this isn’t a short interview, it’s 13 questions, but I get bored of reading the same questions and answers on other blogs, so I’ve tried to change things up a bit so I asked Coty questions that focused on him and what he does rather than general questions I could ask to anyone in the street. Coty is a damn good blogger, so if you’re a tee blogger wondering why you aren’t getting the traffic you want I suggest that you give this a read and learn from it.

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I said on Tuesday that I was going to run an interview with The Hipstery ‘later this week’ and bam, midnight on Friday, here’s an interview with Willem Von Tinkel, it’s like I’m a professional or something!

How did you come up with the idea for the site?
Well the year was 1922 and the summer long and endless. I was taking a voyage on the HMS Belfrey to the Newfoundland. After a night of heavy liquid intoxication I entered a poker game with a burly mustached Russian, terribly nice chap, political views aside. A few hands and a mistimed pre-flop ‘all in’ later, I’d squandered the family fortune. Destitute and facing a life time of shunnage I jumped overboard. Luckily I slipped and fell to the deck below where I promptly fell unconscious. Good times.

It’s a pretty strange idea though, do you really think anyone will pay 16eur for a t-shirt they’ve not seen?
Well the psychology of mystery is pretty well documented, from Kinder Eggs to Blind Dates, to Lost. So that part we’ll pass quickly over. There’s another thing we like to call it the opposability factor. The more one approach becomes standard and idealized the more opportunity there is for a few people to do the complete opposite and attract people disillusioned by that standard. We’re the counterpart to an endless striving for more choice, more options, more control. While other sites might offer 147 ways to skin a cat, we offer you one, our way.

Plus our shirts are pretty epic.

Where do the shirts come from?
Simply from the best T-Shirt stores out there. Since our team has been in this business some time now designing, discussing, selling and wearing a lot of T-shirts we have quite a standard and fair impression what makes an extraordinary “Tee”. Usually, our T-Shirts aren’t available at the original source anymore. We would never sell a shirt we would not be proud to wear ourselves.

Are you not just piggybacking on the hardwork of other t-shirt brands?
Preposterous. We got into this to help promote those brands, the brands we cherish. Every shirt we sell is accompanied with the logo and a paragraph of text about the site it originates from, we want to promote great art. We will add more great T-shirt stores, anyone interested should get in touch with us if they’re looking to spread their word and their shirts in Europe.

Who do you see as your target customers?
That is tricky. It’s probably not the average cotton enthusiast that reads Hide Your Arms, you guys are fanatical about shirts and know where to find great ones already. I’d suspect our audience wants the joy of discovery without too much work in the process of that discovering. Or they just want an unusual experience and something novel. Hipstery shirts are also great gifts, with the pressure for picking something the receiver will love falls on our broad shoulders, not yours.

What if I don’t like the shirt I get?
We are true believers in our tastes and technology – I am confident the algorithm our team developed works just perfectly. If, however, you don’t like what you get, you can you can invoke our 2000% satisfaction guarantee, which basically makes you twenty times as happy as a 100% guarantee, possibly maths is not a strongpoint of mine.

Who is behind the site?
We’ve laid our souls bare on the Meet the Team page. Not even our parole officers know that much about us. It is a mystery we keep. Not even all of the team know who is on the team, that’s how secretive we are.

And now you know! The Hipstery team have also been kind enough to provide us with a coupon code that will last for the next seven days and give you 25% off your order (saving you €4 per tee), that coupon code is hideyourpalms.



a.marill.o (aka Sven Palmovski, the 61st human on DBH) is one of my favorite t-shirt designers, so it’s hardly surprising that I enjoyed this interview with him conducted by jimiyo, maybe you will too.


Coty Gonzalez interviews me!

by Andy on March 25, 2009

SDC15010 copy

I probably should have mentioned earlier that I’m taking a few days off from HYA (my brother has come to visit me in Philly, and I’m ill, so there’s just no time for HYA), but if you need your fix of Andy, I recently answered a few questions from ‘the hardest working tee blogger in the whole damn world,’ Coty Gonzales.

Check out the interview here.



Eric Terry, the man behind Linty Fresh (that’s him up there!), held a video webchat on Sunday evening in which he would answer people’s questions about the indie tee industry and share his experiences. With the time difference between the US and UK Eric’s Q&A sessions are on a little late for HYA’s bed time, but by all accounts they’re really useful and people are getting a lot out of them.

Unfortunately, the show was not recorded, however, Coty transcribed the who thing (on the fly as well, from what I gather), and has the whole thing on his blog, so head on over there and get some learning done.


tokidoki’s co-founder and Creative Director Simone Legno welcomed KarmaloopTV into the tokidoki studio for an exclusive glimpse into his methods and imagination.

Was I the only person that previously thought that Simone Legno was a woman, having never seen a picture of him and all the people I’ve met in the past called Simone being female?

Simone Legno interviewed by KarmaloopTV



I might have mentioned Married to the M.O.B (Most Official Bitches) in the past, I can’t remember, but I’m sure I’ve at least intended to, because they put out some really impressive pieces, and are a pretty big deal when it comes to the oft neglected world of womens streetwear. Leah McSweeney, the founder of MOB, had an interview posted on a few weeks ago and it is a pretty entertaining read, packed full of language that sailors would approve of. It really speaks to me about the power of personalities behind brands, with Johnny of Johnny Cupcakes being the other guy that immediately springs to mind when this issue comes up, along with Nigo at A Bathing Ape, and Pharrell Williams (and Nigo, again) at BBC/Ice Cream on the higher-end of things. The cult of personality can have a huge effect when it comes to clothing brands, if people like the designer, then they’re going to be a lot more inclined to buy something from that person, whereas if you’re kind of a dick, don’t expect many sales from Andy, or much love from the media.SpearTalks: Leah McSweeney – Married to the M.O.B


Ban T-shirts: The Interview pt.2

by Andy on September 7, 2006

And now for the concluding part of HYA’s interview with ‘The Dude’ from Ban T-shirts, if you missed the first part you can find it here:

5. If the Democrats were to make major gains in the November election, and then go on to win the Presidency in 2008, would you begin making t-shirts which criticised the decisions of a Democrat administration (although admittedly you do only have 1 tee that is specifically anti-Republican)?

Many people often assume that because we are anti-Republican we are pro-Democrat. That is not the case for the reasons I gave to the previous question. However it is highly unlikely that we would make anti-Democrat T-shirts, mainly because our core audience is not going to wear them as it would make them look like right-wingers. What we WILL continue to do is make shirts that attack specific issues. If we think the Democrat administration is wrong about something we will say so, but it will always be done our way, it won’t be a case of taking sides with the Republicans, it will be dealt with from a left-wing point of view.

6. Do you view ban t-shirts as a business, or as more of a grass-roots political movement?

Ban T-shirts is a business with a political opinion as well as a reason for existing that goes beyond making money. I wouldn’t call it a grass-roots political movement but I would say that it is part of a widespread political movement that is yearning for change in society.

7. Do you ever feel limited creatively that your designs have to have a political slant?

Well, it’s interesting that you ask that because a few of our designs are non-political (we throw them in the “attitude t-shirts” section of the site!). When I first started doing designs I did a few non-political ones. I think that although the site is chiefly political in nature that people won’t mind seeing the odd non-political shirt up there.

8. Considering your business involves controversial material and opinions, do you ever receive hate mail from people that oppose your views, and have you had any reports of people feeling discriminated against due to their wearing of one of your products?

Yes, I occasionally get hate mail, although it seems to have died down a bit recently – I expect it will pick up again as we get closer to 2008. It’s all pretty much the same “you idiot, you hate America, our troops are fighting for your freedoms, blah, blah, blah”. Most customers seem to receive compliments on their shirts but inevitably they will receive the odd sneer or tut-tut from passing right-wingers. [on a side note, when I wore my Ban T-shirts ‘Fortress America‘ tee to a club on Satruday, the only American I met insisted on (physically) pointing out where he used to live, and when I told him that the tee was about the immigration debate he just told me that it take 13 hours to fly to Japan… politics is dead amongst young drunk backpackers in loud nightclubs]

9. Clearly a business needs to sell its products to be successful, do your designs ever have to be altered to make them commercially viable, or are you willing to take a hit financially in order to better represent your own beliefs?

I’ve never altered a design to make it more acceptable to anyone. There is some pretty hard-hitting stuff on the site and it’s going to stay that way. We do have some t-shirts that you could wear to your aunty’s but each issue has to be dealt with in its own way. We don’t go out of our way to be offensive but if an issue calls for harsh language then we’ll use harsh language (and imagery)!

10.Lastly, George W. Bush, great President, or the greatest President?

Wow, that’s like asking me if I prefer Coca-Cola or Pepsi… and that’s not really what you would call “freedom”, is it?

I hope that you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did, and hopefully this Brit hasn’t made too much of a fool of himself trying to discuss American politics.


Ban T-shirts: The Interview pt.1

by Andy on September 5, 2006

I recently sent some questions over to someone I know only as ‘the Dude’, sounds secretive, no?

Well, not really, he’s the person behind Ban T-shirts, a tee company ‘deconstructing society shirt by shirt’, and he’s got some pretty strong opinions:

1. At a time when liberalism is fashionable amongst the younger elements of American society, do you worry that your designs will be worn more of a popular fashion statement rather than as a means to express one’s political beliefs?

I think it’s important that people identify with issues and causes, as well as promote awareness of them. Wearing a political T-shirt can help with both those things. If people think they look cool then I see that as an advantage because it means they’re more likely to want to wear them.

2. Your feelings regarding George W. Bush are made plainly clear in your anti-Bush section, and whilst many of your shoppers will agree with you, do you feel that a t-shirt with a picture of a young Bush next to the slogan “I liked Bush when he was a smackhead” pushes things a bit too far? Especially considering there is no concrete evidence (that I could find readily on Google) of hard drug abuse, he has said that he will make no comment upon drug allegations fearing that it would encourage youth to indiscretion (which isn’t exactly a denial…). In a separate but related question, is it really a good idea to produce a t-shirt with a possible libellous slogan on it?

The whole idea with the smackhead shirt is really just that politicians, and particularly Bush, need to chill out a little more. There is a lot of hypocrisy regarding issues such as drug use and sex and I think it is unhealthy especially at a time when the religious right is gaining such a strong hold on American politics. Young people, in fact not just young people but probably many people of all ages, would appreciate a little honesty from politicians and for them to stop trying to come across as squeaky clean.

As far as the slogan being libelous goes, it would certainly take American politics to new heights of ridiculousness for the Bush administration to take a t-shirt vendor to court because they didn’t agree with the wording on a shirt. I’m sure it would help sales, though!

3. Jon Stewart has commented on the Daily Show that sometimes the comedy just writes itself, would you agree that the current Bush administration has given you a lot of ammunition for satire and slogans? Or would you have found just as much material during the Clinton administration?

I think that during this administration there has been a lot of brazen lying that has resulted in tragic consequences both for the US and other countries. I would like to see Jon Stewart’s comment in context, but I personally would not call what is going on in American politics comedy. The neo-cons have their own agenda which is not good for America or anybody else and there is a large segment of the American population that does not see that or which is feels so powerless that it does not care enough to do anything about it. To answer your question, though, yes, the Bush administration does provide me with plenty of ammunition for slogans because of its behavior. I think there certainly was material, and plenty of it, during the Clinton administration, but it was probably not in the public eye so much as what is going on now, mainly due to the Republican obsession with attacking Clinton’s character.

4. Do you feel that for your business to be successful it is necessary for George Bush to have low approval ratings and for policy to be dictated by hawkish neo-cons? If there was to be more bipartisanship within American government and an alignment (or at least compromise) between the Democrats and Republicans on key issues of policy, is it possible that there would be less interest in your brand, and sales would fall as a result?

I think that because of the internet people are now much more aware of issues than they were before, not just personalities. There are a lot of alternative news services out there now and lots of blogs giving non-mainstream opinions on current affairs, I don’t think it is so easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes as it was, say 20 years ago. People are fed up with the status quo in American politics and realize that there is next to no difference between a Republican administration and a Democrat one. Their lives are going to be pretty much the same whoever is in power. People are sick of the stalemate and they’re starting to demand real changes. So, I think that there is a significant number of people who are going to continue to buy our shirts, whoever is in power. That said, current events do have an effect on sales, it’s only natural that that is going to happen.

That should be about enough for now, check back in tomorrow for the conclusion of the interview, where I totally rip off one of Stephen Colbert’s favourite questions.

Find the concluding part of the interview here.

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Piers Fawkes interviews Oddica

by Andy on September 1, 2006

As part of the series about the ‘online t-shirt revolution‘ (the explosion of small labels on the internet), PSFK have lived up to their remit as trend-spotters and have conducted an interview with Oddica. I must admit that there wasn’t much in the interview that surprised me, but then again, I have been a close follower of Oddica and its rapid evolution, so if you aren’t quite as tee obsessed as I am, you’ll probably enjoy the read, even if one of the commenter felt that it was a “over inflated self indulgent chummy article” (if you haven’t got anything nice to say…).

PFSK interviews Oddica


As a logical follow up to yesterdays first half of the interview with Rafael Vera of The Handsome Sausage, I present, shockingly enough, the second half.

I’m a stickler for not crowding the front-page, questions and answers after the jump.
[click to continue…]


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