BRAND: Mighty Healthy

SINCE: 2004

FOUNDED BY: Denis Iderman and Ray Mate

HOME BASE: New York City

WHY WE CO-SIGN: An entry from Mighty Healthy's blog reads: "We've never felt the urge to put out garments just for the sake of fitting into a demographic". And it's an interesting point. MH is a true New York label if ever there was one, both in reference base and a certain something that can be identified by fellow natives but since its inception in 2004, founder Ray Mate and Denis Iderman have never created offerings with some calculated intention to fit that niche. The distinction (and we're getting to it, stay with us) is that their process is more organic, ambient if you will, and it's the things they know and love best—skating, raw-New York sarcasm and the kinetic city itself—that constantly inspires them and compelled them to create a "progressive street" brand in the first place. Streetwear and clothing culture may have changed over the years, overflowing with countless trend-hopping, soon-to-be-forgotten garments, but Mighty Healthy is an establishment that has managed to stay relevant by refusing to sacrifice the identity that it first made its name for. My God, so they are killers...

Keep reading for our interview with Denis and Ray, and Ray's five winter essentials. Our picks from Mighty Healthy's most recent collection are also after the jump...

Mighty Healthy Spring 2010

Ray Mate's Five Winter Essentials
1. A Huf beanie —Its cold in NY, son.
2. Oliver People x Nom De Guerre sunglasses (I have to hide the bags under my eyes in the morning).
3. Burton gloves (not the snowboarding ones. Just some thin blank joints).
4. Off-white thermal tops. I am making MH ones soon.
5. Gourmet because they have fly shit.

Complex: What's the first designer item you bought or wore?
Ray: I know this is everyone's answer, but Ralph Lauren was my everyday wear. Head-to-toe.

Complex: Nice. So just to go over some bio but for anyone who didn't see or get your ubiquitous "LISTEN TO GHOSTFACE" shirts, explain the significance of your brand's name.
Denis: Well, it's obviously inspired by Ghostface but it also represents a lot of facets of who we are. To the people who can identify the song, it paints a picture of who we are, where we're coming from, and what we're about. But those that have no idea can interpret the name in different ways. Playing on the dualities of meaning is something we love.

Complex: You've been in the game for a decade. What other streetwear brands are you a fan of and why?
Denis: If we're strictly talking streetwear, we like a lot of brands that many of you like but Acapulco Gold is always solid. TWON has great smart graphics and FUCT keeps killing it.

Complex: You're a quintessentially New York brand, what about the city inspires you?
Denis: The spontaneity. The grind. The energy. The food. The diversity. The competition. Prospect Park. Coney Island. The old Yankee Stadium and Shea... MSG. Anywhere that the new wave of cornballs haven't infiltrated.

Complex: Ha. True. On that note, what do you despise about the city?
Denis: The over-development. The Yupsters. The doormen and bottle service. The Meter Maids. The lack of affordable housing.

HATS Mighty Healthy Spring 2010

Mighty Healthy Spring 2010
Complex: Last, and perhaps most important question on the topic: What are your favorite skate spots in NYC?
Ray: Skating anywhere in NY is inspiring but the Brooklyn Banks is where it all started. That's the most iconic skate spot in NY. It brings us back to when Shut Skates was rocking the skate world and they repped the East Coast.

Complex: So back to the brand... What can we expect in your next collection?
Ray: Strong graphic tees, denim for days, classic timeless pieces. Our jackets will also be something to look out for.

Complex: Nice. And what's your absolute favorite piece in the collection? Something that's a total must-have?
Ray: Our Leonard denim. We have every wash, raw, and selvedge.

mighty5Mighty Healthy Spring 2010
Complex: Are there any special projects/collabos we need to know about for the future?
Ray: Just wait and see.

Complex: Details?
Ray: Mighty Healthy will be doing pop-up stores in New York, Philly, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Our Garb Store collaboration releases this spring, too. Reedspace should have it on Allen Street.


WHERE TO FIND IT: Karmaloop, Zumiez, CCS, Active, Reedspace, Shoe Gallery, MLTD, etc. Also our online store will have exclusive products monthly.