The Global Pillage
Bobby Hundreds: The Internet accelerated everything. Brands came up faster and everyone was on this Ritalin-addled pulse.
Rick Klotz: A lot of young people just jumped right into it with balls of steel. It’s like, “Fuck I don’t know how to make clothes, but I’m going to do it! I see the next guy doing it—if he can do it, I can do it!”
Nick Jackson (12bar): From 2004 to 2007 there was a massive growth in technology, commercial hip hop, hype about sneakers, hype behind Japanese brands, and it converged to create a scenario where starting a clothing brand was pretty much what being a DJ was when we were in our teens. That also coincided with a larger economic growth. People had money, people were spending, people were buying shit on credit that they really shouldn't have been, and the world was booming. It was all about conspicuous consumption and there was a new wave of brands.
Eric Brunetti: They were taking photos of themselves in their fucking stupid outfits and pasting it everywhere, like, “Let’s put a bandanna over our face, take a picture, and start a fucking T-shirt line.”
Eric Haze: The blessing of the new paradigm was that you could make 300 shirts and get them to 300 kids and sell it through. It cut out the middleman in a revolutionary way.
Marc Ecko: To take a kid at his home and have him say. “Fuck Mark Ecko.” And make a T-shirt brand out of it was very democratic.
Angelo Baque: It just exploded with your BBCs and your 10.Deeps. 10.Deep single-handedly opened up the cool-guy T-shirt market.
Greg Rivera (Mishka): Brands like 10. Deep, people just started to straight-up rip off their stuff and you had bootleggers that were just taking their style and bastardizing it.
Andrew Chen: What you would only find in the most exclusive boutiques two years ago, you could walk into Dr. Jay’s and see.
Peter Leornard: Everybody was excited about [all-over], but a lot of the executions weren’t thought-out. It was more like, “Let’s just pick out this ridiculous wallpaper pattern so we can have our own all-over print.”
Bobby Hundreds: The easy way out was by using a dead rapper or a naked chick or something referencing soccer or marijuana. Put a naked chick on a skull smoking a blunt with “Fuck Fuck Fuck” written all over it.
Eric Brunetti: Streetwear became a monster out of control. It needed to be destroyed so that the kings could rise out of the ashes and claim it again.
Augie Galan (Acapulco Gold): We knew it was coming, it couldn't go on like that forever. It’s funny, like in good times I felt uneasy. Me and Geoff [Acapulco Gold partner], we grew up relatively lower class, so we know when things are going good to feel uneasy. NY's like the financial center of the world. You just got to look over the hill and be like, ‘Why are there 10 condos going up in a 3-block radius so fucking quickly? This is some real funny-money going around.’ We had a slight inkling that the bubble was going to burst so we never over-extended ourselves. We never bit off more than we could chew.